The driving force behind being proactive and being a voice, not just an echo is your why. Why do you do the things that you do, why will you say the things that you say, why do you want to make a difference in the world? It is easy to talk about the what and how but we often miss the why. And like any good journey before you step out you need to know where you are going.
Your ‘why’ is your motivation. It is what gets you started and keeps you going. It helps you answer the questions of what and how, as well as when and where, and who. If you want to be a star athlete you have to develop certain physical skills and stamina. If you want to be a doctor or lawyer there are certain academic courses you have to take, learn new knowledge, and take tests to prove you have learned. If you want to influence people you have to learn the skills of communication and leadership. So it is important to know what your why is.
Simon Sinek wrote a book called Find Your Why Collectibles | New & Used Books from ThriftBooks in which he explained the process of finding your why – your motivation. He said that in the case of companies people don’t buy what you do or how you do it, but rather why you do it. The message is the medium of exchange, the reason sales happen. In the same way, people care what you say not because of the what or the how but the why.
He has you write down a list of your life’s accomplishments and the reasons why you feel those are significant and memorable. This leads to a recognition of trends that show your motivation. For me, I harkened back to my first Toastmaster icebreaker where I identified 3 words that help define me. Exploration, Experimentation, and Expression. My life’s accomplishments and the things I love to do all center around those 3 words.
I realized that in all my speaking and leadership activities I want to inspire people to embrace those concepts. So my Why is “I want to inspire people to explore, experiment, and express their discoveries and passions so that together we can make this world a better place”. So the task for you is to determine what are the driving forces in your life – your Why. What makes you tick and why do you want to spread that message to others.
In my next two posts, I will discuss finding your voice and finding your place, your network. But before you can take advantage of that you need to find your Why. It may surprise you when you find it.