WHAT IS YOUR WHY?
When your WHY is big enough, you will find your HOW.
Why do you do what you do? What motivates you? Have you ever spent time to think about it? If you have, good for you. If you haven’t, it’s time you started. This is my last post to finish my series of solidifying what your personal brand is all about…and I think it very well could be the most important.
The first step at figuring out what drives your behavior is discovering the real reason why you get out of bed each day. It could be money, recognition, providing for your family, proving somebody wrong, desire to be the best…this list could be endless. If your “Why”is not well actualized, it is very difficult to achieve the results you desire…in this case, you “PRESS:”
- Pressure…it’s hard to have lasting success when you are contanstantly in a state of pressure
- Retaliation/Revenge…motives of getting even and revenge are unhealthy and short lived
- Expectations of others…you have to want it and believe it
- Someone else’s goal…if your motive and goal isn’t yours, how can you truly commit?
- Stuck…when you feel you have no way out or are stuck, panic and stress take over
When your motives are in the wrong place, you will PRESS.
When you PRESS, you will not sustain success.
Simon Sinek, author of the book Start With Why explains it very well. Organizations (or people for that matter) that do not thrive or even reach their full potential, is because they are starting at the wrong place. He calls it, “The Golden Circle.” Most companies or people when looking at accomplishing their goals start in this order: 1) What is it that we/I do, 2) How do we/I do it, and 3) Why do we/I do it?
That’s the wrong way. Here’s the right way…I just saw that Apple has over 1 billion devices being used in the world today. Why has Apple been so massively successful? Notice earlier I said “devices” not computers. Apple did start out has a computer company, but because of Steve Jobs’ vision and creating a clear “Why”: to creat innovative, quality technologies that are user friendly. Their Why was never we are a “computer company”….no sir, that could be their “What.” Their Why is to be an “innovator”….iPods, iPhones, iPads, MacBooks don’t look or perform like desk top computers. This is an example of the importance of starting with Why.
Consumers love innovative, products that make life easier and more enjoyable. In this case, they connect with the Why…that is why they buy Apple. Start with WHY, and the rest will fall into to place. Another example is the creator of Tom’s shoes. Their motto is “One for One.” For each shoe they sell, they will donate a pair of shoes to someone in need. Now that is a Why I can get behind!
Ok, you might be thinking enough with the business examples, what about ME?!…here goes. Think about a time in your life when you were so committed, so driven, and so focused on accomplishing something, you couldn’t be stopped. Maybe it was finally dating your love interest, landing that job, losing weight, quitting a bad habit, or supporting a child or loved one. You probably said to yourself, there is no going back, this is my purpose, this is my vision, there was no backup plan…you were all in!
If you can combine that drive and hunger with doing something you love…that is an amazing combination! What are you passionate about? What are you really good at? Leverage those to help create your Why.
What is it that you want? The Bible says, “Ask and you shall receive.” Having a clear Why will take you there. We need to get our mind, body, and soul into that “state,” that frame of mind, in “the zone.”
A few of you might cringe when you are asked, “What is your passion?” For a lot of young people and even adults, that is a tough one. While on a plane a few weeks ago, I listened to a TED Talk on the topic of creativity. One of the presenters was the author Elizabeth Gilbert, from the book Eat, Pray, Love(over 10 million sold and was made into a movie staring Julia Roberts). I learned 2 things from her that might help with establishing your Why:
1) If you don’t have a crystal clear PASSION, then ask yourself this question, “What am I CURIOUS about?” Your curiosity in a subject, service, thing, or type of people, will help lead you to your Why.
2) During the creative process, you cannot be afraid to fail. Fear of failure is the #1 killer of creativity. This mindset, retools how to look at failure and outcomes…there is no finish line, just growth and creation. We need to buy our own Why!
Now onto Step 3), which could be most important: what drives you besides money? Money and status come and go. When your Why goes deeper, trust me, the money will come. Remember, the PROCESS is more important than the OUTCOME. The journey is tough. There will be set backs. Your Why gets you out of bed; your Why helps you overcome hardships; you’re Why helps you get back up when you are knocked down. If your Why doesn’t do this, it’s time for a new one. Without a strong and clear Why, you will be lost.
Here is my Why: I used to live a life full of insecurities. I was constantly judging myself, and being my worst critic. I set unreal expectations for myself. I didn’t celebrate wins because they were expected…but I would consistently beat myself up if I failed. I’ve learned that there is hope. Contribution and growth are premiums, failures and obstacles are blessings and opportunities. Wealth isn’t in money or accolades, it’s in relationships and helping people…I’ve come out the other end of the tunnel. I want to share the light and peace that gratitude and service provide…how faith never fails. Why am I doing this blog, it’s simple: to give people the tools to become they BEST VERSION OF THEMSELVES.
It’s time to come up with your Why. Think about it, write it down, tell someone, and start living it!!!