The Nuclear Option: Creating Compelling Reasons

Although you may be reluctant to use it, you should know that you have access at any time to a cleverly hidden source of virtually unlimited follow through power. 

You can access this powerhouse simply by deliberately creating a truly compelling reason to do — and keep on doing — whatever you intend to do NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE DOING IT.

How too much logic can cause poor follow through

One of the most common causes of poor follow through is making the irresistibly logical but nevertheless faulty assumption that the “right” reason for doing something you’ve intelligently decided you should do is powerful enough to get you to do it. The truth is, the right reason isn’t always a compelling enough reason to get the job done, which is why counting on the right reason is often a recipe for failure.      

So, when the right reason for doing what you intend to do leaves you stranded, it’s time to take out the heavy artillery and create a compelling reason that gives your intention as much power as it needs to make it to the finish line.   

What makes a compelling reason powerful enough

To be powerful enough to get the job done, a compelling reason needs to turn an “I really SHOULD do ____” thought in your head into an “I absolutely MUST do ____” feeling in your gut.

To illustrate, let’s say you’ve been putting off doing some rather unpleasant paperwork you really think you should be doing. What if something happened to make you suddenly feel in your gut that something terrible will happen right away to you or to someone you love unless you do the paperwork RIGHT NOW. Wouldn’t you do it?

The point is, a truly compelling reason can power you up and over even the biggest obstacles to doing something you intend to do but don’t feel like doing.

Deliberately creating compelling reasons

So, how do you go about deliberately creating a compelling reason to follow through on a particular intention?

The key is to forget about logic. Remember, many reasons that SHOULD move you, don’t. So, look for reasons – even foolish ones — that will be sure to move you.

For example, if you absolutely hate being embarrassed in front of your spouse, child, friend, or business partner, deliberately engineer a situation in which you’ll definitely face extreme embarrassment unless you follow through.

Or if money is a strong motivator for you, then put as much of it on the line as it takes to make you feel in your gut like you have no choice but to do what you intend to do.   

Seriously, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish

I’m not exaggerating when I say that if you have the courage to pull out all the stops, you can always create a compelling reason that’s powerful enough to get you to do even the most unpleasant things that you know you should do. 


By the way, creating compelling reasons is one of the seven strategies discussed in our Follow Through Strategies course.