Have you ever read Start With Why by Simon Sinek? Well if you haven’t, you should.
Let’s be honest, when we were growing up we drove our parents nuts with all our why questions. And, then, if you are a parent, your children drove you nuts about the same questions.
Why is why such a dirty word?
I think why just gets a bad rap. When we don’t like something someone tells us, we ask why. When we are upset about what someone did or did not do to us, we ask them why. Why might be the most used word of the infamous W words: who, what, when, where, and why. But, that doesn’t mean it should be in the overused category.
Why is an excellent place to begin to reflect upon our motivation, our internal drive. Why can help us understand what we believe and how our decisions align with it.
If you know the answer to why, you can make decisions based on it.
Over the last several years, I have looked at why I make the decisions I make in life. I have asked myself what was important to me and analyzed why I felt that way. I took steps to change my path based on the answers to my why questions. I took a teaching job to be more available for my children and to help kids understand the important role reading and writing play in life. I left teaching because it took me away from my why instead of bringing me closer as I expected. I tried building a business that I thought aligned with my why, but it still wasn’t quite the right path either.
Making decisions based on why can invigorate and frustrate you at the same time. Each failed attempt at pursuing my why brought me closer to the truth of my why. They helped refine and clarify the true meaning of it. Each step along the way was necessary in helping me find the right way to add value to others through my why.
Recently, I was asked to run for my local school board. At first, I was not sure whether or not I should take that type of step. Other people believed in me but did undertaking something this big align with my own personal why? Would it add the value I knew I wanted to add to people around me? Or, would it take me away from the things I valued most?
Fortunately, I know my why. I was able to reflect and analyze my motivation and the need based on it. I am not afraid of failing because my why is so strong within me. I knew the next step in my journey was to jump and build my wings on the way down. So, now, I am running for the school board.
Do I think I am better than any of the other people running for this position? No. Do I think I am more worthy of trust that the other people running? Not necessarily. But, what I know is I have a unique perspective about the job because of my why, because of the path that led me to knowing my why, and because of the steps I have taken that helped me refine and clarify how to add value to others through it.
Your why may take you to places you don’t expect, place you with people you never thought you would align with, and encourage you to walk a path you never noticed before. Your why is that important.
Find your why in life. And, use it to direct your path. Allow it to shine a light on the next step and show you the way to something more.
Be Brilliant. Be Amazing. BeYOUtiful.