Lessons on finding your why
Find Your Why (2017) by Simon Sinek gives reasons why to find your why and how to do so. Logically this book is sequel to Simon Sinek’s Start With Why (2009) – one needs to first understand what is the why and what does it mean before finding one’s own why. After getting familiar with Start With Why and of the recommendation of our coach I wanted to dig deeper on finding my why.
Find Your Why helps individuals and businesses to find their why and to implement it at work. The book adds more context and actionable exercises for the search of why. As a young entrepreneur, or having the entrepreneur mindset as I see more myself I was thinking about the why for myself in my life and the why for our company Jumble. However, to find the organization’s or company’s why one must know theirs first. Of course not all of the employees might know their why. That is where the leader steps in. Imagine if the leader doesn’t know his or hers why oh boy is the company in trouble. Not necessarily facing financial trouble or trouble with the staff but for sure they are not using their fullest potential and achieving even greater things than other companies who know their why and follow it. Well this was a bit going to back to Start With Why. Now let’s get to the journey of finding why.
Simon Sinek is known to be one of the biggest motivational speakers of his time. I personally love his thoughts and ideas – they make me really think and inspire me. Therefor it is no wonder that Find Your Why made me think a lot about my own life. There’s many different whys I could write this essay about; it could be about my personal life and my why, my goals or our company Jumble. I would love to write about all of them but that would not fit on one essay. Or would it? Let’s try.
The first lesson the book gives is how to find your why. It is simple but not easy. The way to find it is going through events and stories from your past that had a big impact on you. This is the most important part of the process. Most of us can point back to childhood and find lot of buried passions or even wounds that effect our nowadays decisions. Also recent stories matter a lot, as long as they had a big impact. It is about defining the highs and lows of your life. It makes us to understand why we do something in a way we do. The stories help us identify our purpose. For the past few years I have went through life changing ups and downs and I feel my why has become more clear thanks to those moments. However, I might not have always understood what is the story behind and where does my why come from. If I start to think about stories and events from my past it is pretty exciting to see what events pop up to my mind first since those are most likely the ones that had the biggest impact on me. Those stories are the ones that define my why. There’s different aspects to my why. When thinking about the international part of my life I start to think trips that I took as a child and adventures I experienced. Maybe the reason I chose to study International Business came from all the trips I took younger, from the fact I was in English preschool as a kid and learned to read English first and from the model I have gotten from my parents. These are decisions I could not impact as a kid, yet these are the ones that have partly defined my why. When I got older I could start to choose where to go and what to do. I chose to go to Mexico for a year as an exchange student in high school and now I’m getting ready to go to Namibia for next semester. Why did I choose so? Well of course because of my why which has been building since I was a kid. When thinking about my why I realize lot of my stories and decisions are similar to my dad’s. My dad is one of the most international people I know and yes he is 100% Finnish, he is an entrepreneur, he never gives up, he is a great speaker and he has crazy good networking skills. Even we pick up lot of from our family we still individually choose our why. We make the decision if we want to follow someone’s food steps or walk our own. Personally I have taken a conscious decision to follow my dad’s food steps more or less because I believe that will take me closer of living my why.
The second lesson the book gives is to use your hows so they would be efficient in implementing your why. After taking the first step and finding your why you should understand it is not enough to just know it, you need to start to live it. This is where your hows come into the game. Your hows include both, very specific habits and more general points of view. Hows are the behaviors and attitudes that enable you to do your best work. When past stories help you identify your purpose, past behavior can give an idea on how you should live your why in the best way possible. I started to think of my daily routines that allowed me to perform best in the best and which high-level skills I have accumulated so far. I thought of the decisions I have made in the past and what are the things I have done. I love to help people therefor in everything I do I try to show it to others through my behavior and show them I care. Also about international point of view I often use my holidays traveling and I work to afford my next trip. I love when I can combine traveling and helping. Actually that is my dream and goal in life – move to another country and help people in a way I can. When you have figured your hows living your why becomes a lot easier.
The third lesson is to share your why. I know some people prefer to keep things more private but in some things they should not. When you share your why it will inspire others to start searching for their own why. Knowing your why is the perfect answer to “What do you do?” It will help you refine your mission statement constantly. Knowing your why is putting your vision into words. If in Jumble at the beginning, we would have discussed our whys I believe we would be in a different spot than where we are now. We all come from different backgrounds, we all have different stories to be told, we have different things that motivate us we have different skills and passions. If a company knows their why and have a motivated and inspiring leader to make sure everyone knows the why, they are ahead of most and will achieve greater things. However, in Proakatemia we are cooperative company and it is our responsibility as a team to find the why and work towards it. However, it is important to find everyone’s individual whys first. This could be a great dialogue session especially with all the workshops and tips Sinek gives in his book.
The book gives this simple formula to identify your why: To___so that___. After hearing this I was able to put my why into words: To live by an example and care for others and help them so I can inspire others to do the same around the world. My why might crow a bit as I go but I believe that is my core why. Quit things that do not fill your why nor take you closer towards it. How does a job or project you dislike take you closer to your why? When you know your why and keep it in the center in your life, you are already in your journey towards happiness. In Jumble’s dialogue session we talked about our individual dreams and shared our goals. One of the main goals many said was to be happy – I hope you will go find your why now and put it into words. Then we can have a dialogue session and find Jumble’s why.