The Why of Things

I’ve heard it said that when you know the Why of your goals the who, what, when, and where will follow.  But how to find that Why?

Perhaps some people go in to each task with a crystal clear vision but that has never been the case with me.  Rather than reflect too much on things I  default towards Action, then be guided by the results.

Take this website for example.  I had some ideas of the Why when I chose to commit to publishing a new article every week this year but by no means was there a crystal clear vision of a guiding Why that I would be led by.  Instead, there was a loosely grouped bunch of reasons, or more accurately a general gut feeling of what I wanted to accomplish.  These were, in no particular order:

  • Improve my writing
  • Adhere to a publishing schedule
  • Clarify how I feel on various subjects
  • Build a platform from which to launch a book
  • Improve my human interactions by studying communication

Looking back I can see that only some of these truly apply, while others are not as important to me after all.  Improving my writing, completing a long-term obligation, and digging deeper into ideas that I care about have been the driving force.  Platform building has definitely not.  While there are many online entrepreneurs that I admire I now realize that I do not aspire to be one.  Had that truly been my Why I would spend far more time on that aspect, but I just can’t bring myself to apply much effort there.

The point is that I started with the What; publish an article every week.  The exercise is one in consistency and I have reaped great personal benefits from it.  The Why of it all has developed and become clear over time, and will probably continue to evolve.

Having a strong Why is important, but not as important as action.  Without action there won’t be failures, and without failures you won’t learn and grow.  The more you do, the faster you come to your limits, and the more opportunities you’ll have to learn and adapt.  We don’t learn much about ourselves while maintaining the status quo.  We learn the lessons when we are challenged.

If you have a Why, great.  But don’t let that stop you from getting started.


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