Do you know why you get out of bed in the morning? A few months ago I ran across Simon Sinek. He is a self-styled optimist, but he has a lot to say about how everything we do in life should start with why. I read his book “Start With Why” and then followed up with the associated workbook. I’ve devoured most of his YouTube videos and Ted talks and loved almost all of them.
So I now have a working draft of my own personal “why statement”. This is why I do what I do every day. It’s what gets me excited and leaves me feeling fulfilled. Finding the statement hasn’t changed anything about what I enjoy doing. But it has become a clear marker by which I can make decisions. In short, knowing my why has changed my life.
Enough suspense? My why statement is this: To inspire and equip people to become their best selves, so that together we can transform our world. I’m still not 100% on the second half, but it is a work in progress. I try to repeat my why to myself every morning when I get out of bed. So what has it done for me? Why has it changed things?
Well first of all, it has changed my attitude. I have been writing hard for over a year now. But lately my writing time has felt like it is getting sapped by other life stuff. I am currently working part time at 32 hours a week, primarily so that I can have more time to write. The financials have been tougher than I thought, but we are making it work. The problem is that of those 8 extra hours extra I get every week, I maybe spend 2 of those writing. I was getting more and more frustrated with my job, because it was just a barrier to me doing what I wanted to do with my time.
Enter why. I realized that writing isn’t the endgame for me. Writing isn’t why I get out of bed early. I get out of bed early to equip and inspire people to become their best selves. Writing happens to be a huge piece of how I go about that. But it isn’t the only way I can do it. All of a sudden, new pathways opened up for me. I started seeing ways to live my why in my friendships. I have helped two close friends through their own why discovery and it seems to have helped them. I inspired and equipped them to find new meaning in life, thus living out my own why.
I also led a workshop at my company to start a why discovery process for my division at work. This was a really special time where we shared stories about why we liked the division and why we wanted to be part of it. I was inspiring and equipping the leaders of our group to better lead. I could even give Ted talks in the future if I wanted. I’m not sure what about yet, but really anything to equip and inspire people.
I am now looking for ways to live out my why every day, and writing is just a piece. I have even had renewed inspiration in writing. Writing isn’t my only outlet anymore, so it flows more freely when I do write because there isn’t as much pressure for it to be my sole fulfillment in life. I try to find a way to live out my why every day, and it is making a huge difference.
Do you know your why? If not, you should get on that. It might just change your life.
Here’s a good place to start finding your why if you are interested:
How Great Leaders Inspire Action (Ted Talk) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp0HIF3SfI4&t=125s
Start With Why (Book) – https://www.amazon.com/Start-Why-Leaders-Inspire-Everyone/dp/1591846447/
Find Your Why (Workbook) – https://www.amazon.com/Find-Your-Why-Practical-Discovering/dp/0143111728/