At the end of last week’s post, I touched on the concept of finding our WHY and as promised this week I want to unpack it a little. If you are anything like me, you want to know how to find it!
I think it’s a safe to say that the majority of us know what we do. Most of us know how we do it, but when you get to why we do it, we seem to be at a loss.
I discovered on my own journey that sometimes your WHY can be born out of pain.
How many charities, foundations and other initiatives have been built as a result of a devastating loss or extreme heartbreak.
Sometimes your WHY is discovered as a result of a problem that you have experienced yourself and you embark on a mission to find a solution.
Bevel was born out of the challenge and physical discomfort Tristan felt when shaving. He created his first product to solve his own problem – a shaver specifically designed for men with coarse or curly hair. His WHY is to make health and beauty simple for people of colour.
Finding a solution to your own challenge often has the side effect of being able to help others solve their problem as well.
In Simon Sinek’s book Find Your Why, he says in order to help find your WHY, your goal is to complete the following statement:
My WHY is to … so that …
The first blank is HOW you want to help others – your contribution and the second blank is the impact you want that to have. He gives his personal example as this:
‘My WHY is to inspire people to do what inspires them, so that together we can change the world for the better.’
The following are two easy methods to help bring you closer to finding your own WHY.
Speak to close friends (not family or partners). Find out exactly what makes you a good friend to them. When Simon asked this question and after a bit of probing, people responded ‘when I talk to you, I feel inspired’. The answer gave him goosebumps and this emotional response revealed his WHY!
I know most of you won’t do the friends exercise so here’s another method.
Make a list of all the people that have impacted your life or played a significant role in becoming the person you are today. It could be a grandparent or a teacher, a boss or maybe a sports coach – anyone who encouraged you or saw something in you, that perhaps you didn’t see at the time.
Share this list with your partner or close friend and get them to be aware of when you come alive.
The goal is to discover the impact that was so lifechanging, you feel it’s your mission to have this same impact on others.
Then go back to the statement and fill in the blanks.
Once you can articulate your WHY, every decision you make from there on becomes easier and a lot more obvious. If something doesn’t contribute to your WHY, you find yourself not wanting to do it and can then simply choose not to, or be okay, (read guilt-free), with your decision to do it anyway 😉.
I should say here that finding your why takes time. Even when you do find it, it doesn’t eliminate the challenges in life. What it does allow, is for you to feel inspired and fulfilled by what you are doing AND provides an opportunity to contribute to others.
If you can answer the question ‘why do you do what you do?’ you will not only inspire others but it will nudge you to get out of bed and push through the difficult (uninteresting) tasks required.
One of the first lessons I learnt as I began to dig into personal development was to focus on the positives or the solutions. As a content writer this translates to focussing on the benefits.
So often businesses will launch a product and want to tell you all about the great features, the specifications, and how and why it works so well. Most people don’t really want to know any of this initially.
WHY – we value xyz just like you,
HOW – you can easily get this from us.
WHAT – we have this product that will help you achieve that.
Some of the biggest names in the market have this concept down pat. Take Nike for example. Some years back they ran an ad with a slogan of what they stood for and what they believed – no product was shown.
Actually, I don’t know if it was what each employee really valued or more of a very clever marketing idea to connect through emotions. Regardless, people all over the world that resonated with the message and believed what Nike ‘believed’, went out and bought their products.
The result? A 25% increase in online sales without showing a single product!
People don’t buy what you have, they always buy WHY you have it.
So, it could be summarised like this.
The goal is not to connect with everyone who needs what you have, the goal is to connect with people who align with your values and believe what you believe.
Dalya xx 💙