Using the 7 Levels of Why for Deep, Lasting Motivation to Gain Wealth

This is an excerpt from my new book, The 4 Minute Millionaire*. If you enjoy it, you can buy a copy on Amazon for $4. Disclaimer: This is not financial advice.

When Dean Graziosi hired consultant Joe Stump to better engage his readers and students, Joe first asked him a simple, one-word question:


At first, Dean gave a generic answer, but then Joe followed up: “Why?” Dean kept answering – and Joe kept digging. Ultimately, Joe asked Dean seven times why he held each subsequent belief that powered the one that came before it. Joe calls this exercise “Seven Levels Deep,” and it is not just a great tool for problem-solving. It is also a good way to discover what truly fuels you when all external layers are peeled away.

We all have the same, superficial reasons why we want to be rich. “I never want to worry about money anymore.” “I want to control my time.” “I want to send my kids to a great college.” These are legitimate desires but not always good motivators. When life gets hard – and it will – only something personal and unique will drive you to persevere.

Why do you want to control your time? Why do you want financial independence? Start digging, then follow each answer with another why question.

With three levels of “Why?” left, Dean became emotional. He finally understood his deeper reasoning for what he was working on at the time.

If you want to feel energized and inspired even on bad days, you must pull your strongest desires out of the depths of your heart. Only you can do this. You must feel your higher purpose in your soul. It’s a priceless defense against giving up on your dreams.

When Dean reached the last level, he discovered he wanted to feel in control. Is that a good reason? A bad one? It doesn’t matter. It is Dean’s reason, not yours. What counts is that it gave him clarity in all his decisions and the energy to see them through.

Dig deep. Find your why, and then let it carry you up the mountain.

Action Item: Start the 7 Levels of Why exercise

Write down a numbered list. Seven items. Next to each number, put one word: “Why.” Then, complete each line with a question and its corresponding answer.

Make your first question this: “Why do I want to be rich?” What follows will be unique to you. Usually, the first few whys flow quickly. Then, it gets harder. You don’t have to finish this exercise today. The point is to get started. Then, take all the time you need.

Some whys take longer to find than others. Keep the note or piece of paper. Let it sit. Think it through. Whenever you find the answer to another question, add it to your list.

Every day, spend a few minutes on this exercise. By the time you complete it, you’ll have a much better understanding of why you want more money – and much more motivation to earn the riches you seek.


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