Find Your Why
I have have written an essay about WHY. In that I went through explaining and thinking about Simon Sinek’s idea of why. If you have not heard about the Why Theory I suggest you to read my essay on it.Link to it is provided at the end of this essay. After that I wanted to know how to know my own why. Is there a process to help reveal it to you. It led me to a journey of soul-searching which helped me discover my inner self more. When I heard Simon was going to publish a book about discovering your why I didn’t hesitate. I pre-ordered it straight away. This fall with the help of my teammate Teemu, I discovered my why. Here I’m going to go through the process I went.
Simon Sinek’s book Find Your Why is an exercise book. It has chapters for discovering why for individuals and groups or tribes. The process of discovering any why is to go back the memory lane (Simon Sinek,2017,31). In there you want find the most influential and emotionally packed stories. These stories, when dug deep enough, will give insights of your true self.
You can start it chronologically from your first memories to the most recent ones, like I did. Or you can choose to gather them as they come to your mind. In this stage you don’t need to write down details about the stories (Simon Sinek,2017,55). Rough outlines of them will do. One of the methods to help you gather your stories is to use a method called Peaks and Valleys. In the method you draw a horizontal line on a piece of paper. Above the line put memories you would gladly relive and below the ones you wouldn’t want to relive but that impacted your life a lot. After gathering your stories you’ll have to find a partner to help you go through the stories.
Going down the memory line was not easy. For me, it got me relive in my mind moments of regret, shame, joy, and fulfillment. It is not easy to face your true self. Facing myself was a bit easier for me, as I’ve tried to do it through my whole life. For others, it makes them cry and weep, laugh, feel warmth, depending on the story. Anyway, the process is precious and in the end a very enriching experience.
Find a partner
Start by thinking who of your friends is close enough to reveal secrets from your past. While your wife or significant other might sound as a good match, he or she might be too subjective seeing your stories in a certain way (Simon Sinek,2017,41). After finding your partner, tell your partner what you’re about to do. He might not have even heard of the concept before you ask him about it. In the book, there’s a section for partners to learn how to ask questions from you. They will help even a bit more less experienced person to make the most out of your stories.
Go through the stories with your partner
Now that your partner knows the drill, you can start to discover your why. The process is quite straightforward. You set up a time and a place, preferably for few hours, for it. You tell the stories to your partner while he asks specifics about the story. It might be you had just relived the stories again for the first time yourself. Now with a partner, you tell them to someone else, maybe for the first time. Take your time on it. Nobody judges you. It doesn’t help that your partner will ask more about the stories than just what happened, and who were there, but how it made you feel and how you see it has affected your life after that.
After going through the stories themes unfolds. Partner has the lead in this, as he has a better view of the forest from the trees (Simon Sinek,2017,71). Themes are things repeating in two or more stories. It might be that you always defended those around you, in every situation, or that you always lit your surroundings with joy when times were dark. Whatever the themes, they will reveal themselves.
Draft the WHY
A good WHY is an actionable and focused on how you positively affect other people (Simon Sinek,2017,75). For Simon, the WHY is to inspire people to do the things that inspire them, so that, together, we can change our world. The first part is the contribution of the person and the second part is the effect of that contribution. You can experiment with it. I think that it can be formed in some other ways also, other than to____so that____. That is still a viable tool to make your WHY in written form. The benefit is that it will be quite concise and short.
After the discovery
Now you have your why, what now? I don’t know. Eat the paper you made it on maybe. It is different for every person. For some it might be an anchor, so that they can assess jobs if they fit their why. For me, the WHY is more of a vision for my life. A guide to go follow tough times, when in doubt what to do. My personal WHY is to help people life up to their potential, so that, we can all enjoy life to the fullest.