“Why?” - said no one ever…it seems.
Have you ever just stopped to think this simple question?
Think. Think, damnit. Do any of us spend time in thought anymore or do we just “do?”
Do you ever just stop and seriously think…maybe reconsider everything?
Why am I doing this?
Why am I here?
Why am I even alive?
Okay, yes, that last one got a little deep. Nonetheless, this topic spawned from my recent read of a book that many of you probably have heard about; “Start with Why,” by Simon Sinek. A book that had been recommended to me years ago. Honestly, it had been a book that I had passed over for quite some time as many others just seemed much more interesting to dive into prior. Ultimately, a mention of it in Tim Ferriss’ “Tribe of Mentors” got me motivated to move it to the front of the pile. I took it’s reference as an omen to re-organize my “next up.” By the way, if you follow me on Instagram @thetylerchesser, you always get to see what book is next up in my story.
I think the reason why this book had lost precedence to me was that it seemed obvious that we should live life and conduct ourselves with purpose, and the premise to me wasn’t so groundbreaking or very exciting. Let’s be honest, most of us Millennials (and the billions of people that we influence to want to be just like us - I’m just kidding, baby boomers) know that we should be living a life with purpose. I honestly didn’t feel that there wasn’t much else to be said on this concept. Now that I have contemplated this thought in a much deeper fashion through reading the book, I must say that it’s a much more profound idea to follow than I had considered originally.
Long story short, read the book.
But while we’re here, let me just say, flipping the conventional wisdom on how to conduct your life, because of “WHY” you exist, is profound. The same can be said about your business, occupation or organization.
Many of us grow up thinking “what will I be when I grow up?” or “I want to be an astronaut, or a firefighter, or a policeman, or a pilot, or a nurse.” (Side note, I hope my future children say they want to be a real estate investor!) Ultimately these are all examples “WHAT” we aspire to be as adults when we are children, because it’s the line of thinking we’re continuously exposed to. “WHAT” project should I take care of first, is a question I ask myself every day. The question of “WHAT” is continuously asked to us in a professional sense - what product does your company sell, what do you do for a living, what do you do for culture building, and the list goes on. You get the picture.
Additionally, there are endless discussions of “HOW” things are done from “how do you distribute your product?” to “how do you market your services?” to “how do invest your money?”. I promise I am not intending to belabor this!
So I go back to the questions that I posed to you at the beginning of this post. How about instead of starting with what, how, or who and starting with the question of “WHY” and truly operating from that place?
Why do you do what you do for a living? Why do you invest your money the way you do? Why do you believe what you believe? Why do you walk out the door every day and face the world? Why does your organization exist? Is it just to make a profit? Why? Why? Why? Keep asking and keep exploring.
If the “Why” doesn’t get to the core of who you are, it isn’t the right answer. You will know it. Your friends, customers, partners, and family will know it. So I’ll say it again - think, damnit. If you get this right, you will know it - your customers will flock to you, partners will beg you to do business with you…again, you get the picture.
The answers to these questions, I believe, will lead you to the life of your dreams. I think you’ll be fascinated that your answers may cause huge changes in your life. Don’t shy away from them - follow your heart and ultimately your life will become a life to be proud of.
They will ultimately lead to creating a purpose (and even a product or a service) that is so wildly successful that your competitors cannot touch you.