Why WHY? That is the question…
Ok.. so maybe I sound crazy.
Your WHY is the reason you’re here, the difference you make that’s uniquely attributed to you. It’s your personal mission statement, your mantra, motto or raison d’etre. Everyone has one, but not everyone acknowledges it, articulates it, and/or shares it with others.
Our opinion? Getting clear on your WHY is a huge opportunity. Like for serious… big time.
Knowing your WHY - especially when it’s a powerful WHY - gives you an invisible jet pack. It focuses you. We all want to get to whatever our vision is - but knowing WHY getting there is important is the engine that drives us. It's that solid thing you can hold onto that powers you forward.
A common example we typically use when talking about the power of WHY is in the world of health and fitness. We all have relationships with our bodies, the food we put into them, and the exercise we take on. For some of us, staying healthy is a chore… for others, it’s a source of energy. What’s interesting, though, is that our experiences are largely shaped by WHY we try to stay healthy in the first place. Is it because our doctors told us we needed to? Is it to set a good example for our kids? Maybe we’re trying to be performance athletes, or maybe we’ve got an autoimmune disease, and we have to focus on our health just to stay out of pain. We’re all trying to do the same thing - get a bit of exercise and eat right - but the reasons that drive us are entirely different. What’s interesting to note is that the research out there says that simply knowing exactly what your WHY is makes a huge difference in your motivation, focus, and commitment to your goals.
When I think about my own life, and the grand scheme of what I want to achieve, my vision includes things like:
- Work/life freedom and flexibility
- A strong community
- Meaningful work
- Amazing relationships
- Fun and games
My purpose - the WHY that drives me - is to “create environments that bring out the best in people.” That one statement has evolved a bit over time, but for the last few years it’s kept me moving forward. It’s helped me to make decisions about where to prioritize. It’s what made it clear to me, for example, that I had to start this business rather than take a job when I decided to move back home to NY.
So, in a nutshell, here’s the benefits of figuring out exactly what your WHY is:
Super focus. With my WHY statement, I’m clear on the types of opportunities I say yes to and I’m confident about saying no as well. Yes, I would love to coach my peers! No, I’m not interested in this transactional project.
Do what you love. Work doesn’t feel like work when you’re spending your time on activities that all point in the direction of your WHY. Identify your most basic motivation and you’ll always know how to get yourself fired up. Ok… so maybe I don’t love figuring out how to make facebook ads work right, but it’s worth it because it helps me do the thing I was put on this earth to do.
Inspire others. Simon Sinek covers this pretty well in his TED talk. Having a WHY and being able to articulate that to others will help you find and develop a community of people who have a similar focus, who can help you, and who need you in return. The fact that my WHY and Stephanie's WHU are "friends" is one of the reasons we can work together.
What’s your WHY?
-- Kara Davidson, co-founder, wolf & heron