07 Sep Start With WHY
I love “Aha Moments.” I had one today.
I’m listening to a book on audible that I’ve had on my shelf in hardback format for I don’t know how long, written by Simon Sinek called “Start With Why”. I learn better by hearing, so audible versions of books make so much sense for me. He said something I’ve heard so many times, but today it hit me in a new way; a thought transforming way. He said, “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” I don’t know how you learn best, but re-read that, or say it aloud to yourself, or write it down on a slip of paper and then read it aloud to yourself. We are not consumers of STUFF, we are consumers of PURPOSE.
When we buy something, we are buying an experience we want to have, a memory we want to make, a comfort where comfort is lacking; in essence, we “buy” into things that we believe will make our lives better. And its up to the person marketing or sharing the product, service, or experience to connect the dots from WHAT they have with WHY we want it.
I pushed pause on my phone and sat back to think. To examine this idea, that what I’ve chosen in my life up to this point has been because of the strength of “WHY.” I thought of my top three life direction “buy in’s:”
I chose to believe in God and follow Him. WHY? I chose to have faith that there was someone bigger than me, who made me for a purpose, who knew me intimately, and would help me love and experience life through a love that came from bigger than what I could conjure up. (Also because I knew based on my personal choices to up to that date and all these years later, that I am not capable to be god of my own life. 😉 )
I got married. WHY? I wanted to be in love, and to spend my whole life with one faithful someone, and create a family.
I had kids. WHY? I wanted to have a tribe of people to go through life with and experience life & the world to the fullest.
Those were the biggies, off the top of my head. Just wow. When we are deeply connected to our WHY, we stay strongly committed to the commitment. (or buy in, or product, or company, or relationship, or….whatever it is you’ve chosen.) It resounds with me because all of those three things have been VERY HARD at times – my faith, love, patience, and selfishness have been tried time and time again in each of those three areas. But my WHY is so strong, and deeply fulfilling, that I have pressed on in each area to find a new depth of WHY: relationships grow stronger when they are tested, and hold up, under pressure & pain.
Then I scaled it back a bit to analyze a few of my daily choices:
I choose to exercise and eat healthy. WHY? I have found through personal experience that it is really uncomfortable to carry extra weight. I hate the feeling of trying on everything in my closet and it being tight, and feeling “bulgy.” I think I am too young to feel how old I feel when my weight is up and I am out of shape. I want to be one of those elderly ladies that is active, and fun, and engaged in adventurous living.
I take calcium/magnesium pills every day. WHY? This is a biggie cuz I detest swallowing pills. But I had thyroid cancer last year, and a complete thyroidectomy, and a common side effect after this surgery is osteoporosis. I also get migraines and magnesium is supposed to help with that. I don’t want to get osteoporosis and I don’t want migraines. So I swallow these horse pills daily.
I get up every morning and read my bible, listen to inspirational teachings, journal, and pray. WHY? I love to learn. I like getting better at the things that matter to me, and I am most fresh and eager to learn first thing in the morning. My favorite time of day. The better I get at living my own life well, I am more liable (and credible) to help someone else live a life story that is deeply satisfying to them.
This has been an eye opening day for me! The more I think on this, the more powerfully simple and true I see it is. Back to listen in, though this book has already given me so much. And so my writings will hopefully be more connecting from here on out, because I will stop leading with WHAT and instead let WHY guide me, and hopefully you…to the application of HOW.
Be relentless. In pursuit of excellence.