Are you living your WHY? I am not talking about your typical network marketing WHY that you wrote down when you enrolled in the last company and created a list of all your material needs and desires. I'm talking about the one Simon Sinek describes -- your big, real, true, forever WHY.
Simon Sinek, one of my most favorite and inspiring people on the planet, identifies WHO as the sum total of your WHY + HOW + WHAT and only when your WHY, HOW and WHAT are in perfect balance do we know WHO we are.
He goes on to say, if you are acting differently when you are in your profession versus when you are hanging out at home, then in one of these situations you are lying probably to yourself and others. But this disconnect creates opportunity. Here is your chance to bring your WHY to life personally, professionally and intentionally. He reminds us that one’s identity, contribution and expression is not about WHAT YOU DO, it is about WHO YOU ARE. YOU ARE WHO YOU ARE!
Simon suggests that we have one big WHY in life that seldom changes, regardless of the roles we play. The WHY that inspires us is always true, not situationally true.
How do you discover your WHY? Look back on your life and recall those moments when life was going extremely well. The collection of these moments will reveal a singular nugget or pattern. That is your WHY -- the foundation of who you are.
“When you know what you believe, and you follow your values, and what you do reflects what you believe in, then you know who you are. If they are out of order, or you violate those things, people will say 'I don't know who you are anymore'." This inconsistency serves no one, least of all you and contributes to feelings of dissatisfaction.
Are you bringing your WHY to life?
I am curious to hear your answer because it is important to me. My WHY is to compassionately connect humanity through the way we work, think and live. It has only recently occurred to me that this is my WHY. But looking back, it is the pattern that has emerged over my sum total of experiences and, ironically and obviously, it was the tag-line of my business way before I recognized it as my WHY.
I misunderstood it to be my vision. But Simon defines vision as "being where we are going”. A vision is subjective whereas your WHY is objective. A vision is an idea of where you are headed and changes with circumstance. It is the world you are trying to build -- a fantastical outcome. Your WHY is real, actual and tangible. Your visions reflect the many ways you might express your WHY for the highest good.
Simon compares a vision to a "just cause" -- a cause so just that we would willingly sacrifice to advance it. The entanglement of our vision(s) and our WHY is like a house. The WHY is the foundation of the house; it's what gives our lives structure. The structure that sits upon the foundation changes, it is remodeled, repainted, resided, reroofed, expanded and leveled. Yet the foundation does not change. You can have a vision of the life you want to live or the company you want to build and you this “blueprint” is built on the foundation of your WHY.
In 2012, prior to totally understanding my why I wrote the following “vision”:
I was willing to sacrifice in order to help advance my vision for Monsanto to "awaken and re-think why their organization exists and become a compassionate and conscious corporation…". I was so willing that I went on the inside as an employee. It was one of those experiences when I remember feeling fulfilled and in alignment with my WHY. Until I didn’t. My vision (or my house) needed an overhaul [another story to be told at another time…].
I tell you all this so you can understand my unwavering commitment to my true WHY: to compassionately connect humanity through the way we work, think and live. My current vision feels less imposing but no less magnificent. It's light, juicy and fun -- even playful. My heartfelt vision is to create a soulicious community that feeds us artists, service-based business owners and entrepreneurial-minded people who work with our hands and hearts. May we find an alternative way to experience financial gain and create a sustainable living doing what we love -- offering our purest and truest form of service - our full expression. As we know who we are, and we know how we serve. We embody experiential freedom and we decorate our hearts offering our artistry as our greatest gift, if even only to ourselves. When we know our WHY, we take action in full-expression and ripples of joy raise the vibration of the planet.
Don't get me wrong, I too have a traditional network marketing list of "little WHYs". There are things my daughter and I need and desire, we do not renounce modern conveniences, comfort, and pleasure but we understand that these lists are not always true, they twist and change over time. My daughter and I made this list a couple of years ago.
We might re-work it a bit today. Rereading it makes my heart sing. I was able to check-off one item because I bought a 2016 Ford F-250 last fall that I love more every day! It is still my heart's cry to be able to provide full time, in-home care for my parents as they, in typical Jones fashion, have endured so incredibly much and are very, very tired. But if we never own a 2-seated Razor ATV, I won’t be disappointed. Possessions like that are enjoyed but they are not who we are.
So yes, make your little list but I challenge you to know your "big WHY" the one that you don't want to leave unrealized. If you are reading this and find that your WHY is aligned with and might benefit from the energy of some crazy brilliant artistic types, consider joining Raindrop!
Standing in and holding space for you to help you bring your "big WHY" to life and for my vision to come to fruition in the way it desires.