We’re less than three months away from my big upcoming adventure to Peru!
(If you haven’t heard, it’s called Personal Myth, Mindfulness, Machu Picchu — my latest yoga and writing experience in the heart of the Sacred Valley of Peru, which is happening from January 27 to February 3, 2018!)
Because we’re around that point where the adventure is starting to feel really real, I wanted to share another writing prompt with you that’s ordinarily reserved for our retreat attendees as a series of special, excitement-building lead-ins to our trip.
If you’re still considering joining us, don’t delay… a handful of spaces were just snatched up this past weekend, and our Early Bird special (which saves you $200) ends tonight — Tuesday October 31, at 11:59 PM PST)!
This month, we have a new writing prompt for our attendees to tell a more personally resonant (and all around interesting) story around the retreat they’ll soon be embarking upon.
Whether or not you can make our trip in Peru this coming year, this is a great exercise for presenting your true Self, your personal stories, or your beliefs with more authenticity throughout your life, starting today.
Peru Prompt #2: “Ask the Five Whys”
Who have you told about the retreat we are embarking upon so soon?
If you have shared that story with someone close to you, we’re curious… how did the story emerge?
Did you find yourself flailing uncontrollably with excitement? Or did you kinda hint around it with a little hesitation, or close-to-the-vestness?
No matter if your personal preference may be to describe Peru as just another upcoming vacation or the bucket-list adventure of a lifetime, how you describe your retreat experience is actually a terrific, real life example of how the stories we tell ourselves and others influence our mental understanding of our emotional realities.
There may be no difference to the actual experience you have in Peru in saying, “I’m taking a little vacation in January,” compared to, “I’m going to CONQUER MACHU PICCHU!! HUZZAH!!!” but the stories we tell do have a bearing on how we interpret, understand, and relate to the world around us.
That’s why, today, you’ll learn how to dig beneath the surface of a comfortable, ordinary story response… into a truly authentic expression.
We’ll do so by asking The Five Whys.
It’s actually a business efficiency practice originating in 20th century Japan at Toyota. How does it work? Well, an employee or team usually asks five sequential “Why” questions to identify how a problem or issue occurred on the factory line. By asking “Why?” five times, the team arrives five layers deeper at an understanding for why the problem occurred at all.
On a personal level of storytelling, you can use this same exercise to arrive at a deeper, more authentic, even more vulnerable reasoning for why you are doing something – like adventuring to Peru!
Consider this a pathway for sharing a more resonant (and fun!) story with those around you.
Here’s how to try it for yourself:
Tell a story in which you reveal an authentic intention for why you have decided to come to Peru in the first place.
Use the 5 Whys to arrive at the “actual” authentic motivation for the story.
Simply begin by making a factual statement about going to Peru — what you may hear yourself lightly gloss over in conversation with a co-worker, peer, or family member:
“I’m going to Cusco, Peru for a weeklong yoga and writing retreat in January, and I’m really excited about traveling to a new part of the world so soon.”
Nice so far! But as you can see, there’s not a whole lot of revelation or deeper meaning to the story. Which is fine! But if you want to experience a more meaningful story, ask yourself five Whys to traverse deeper:
Why #1: “Why am I going to Peru?”
Why #2: “________________________?”
Why #3: “________________________?”
Why #4: “________________________?”
Why #5: “________________________?”
Need an example to help you along?
Here’s one that I wrote from a trip he took to Istanbul a few years ago:
Why #1: “Why am I going to Istanbul?”
I’m stopping over on my way to India, but decided to stop in Istanbul instead of Amsterdam like I had last year.
Why #2: “Why am I stopping in Istanbul instead?”
Because it actually intimidates me to be traveling to a new and different part of the world on my own where I may appear “different” or an “outsider.”
Why #3: “Why go if it intimidates me?”
Because I’ve learned that so much honest growth occurs in spaces of fear, mostly because the fears are totally unfounded.
Why #4: “Why does that matter for me?”
As a writer, it’s feeling this level of vulnerability and exposure that motivates me to get more and more intentional with my words, work and mission.
Why #5: “Why does that matter?”
Because for me, service is about living on the forefront of what you believe — living it by example first, and up front, and being seen for it. Truth happens in vulnerable moments of exposure, and traveling pushes me to that space.
(See how I arrived at a more authentic, personal, and meaningful story by the end?)
Go ahead! Give The Five Whys a try!
Uncover a deeper layer of your story in each Why you ask. You’ll be telling more raw, more real, more authentic stories in no time!
And don’t forget to reserve your space today so you can save $200 on your investment, and so we can explore these principles of authentic storytelling, and so much more, in Peru in three short months!