Dang…I can’t seem to stop thinking, writing, and reading about the elements and processes of moving forward – into the future – not just from a products/items perspective (Innovations and Inventions) – but, from a “how to get unstuck…and pursue life in a more open and productive way.”
As is customary for me during these times of deep wonder, I sat quietly and allowed my being to be filled with these questions. Over time, a small 3-letter word cropped up – WHY – why did these thoughts continue to fill me with curiosity and intrigue?
As shared in so many of my past blogs, I’ve continually observed a great deal of evidence that demonstrates the resiliency of the human spirit – especially with those who have endured fires, floods, failed businesses, and so much more. These observations (and personal experiences) remind me that each of us has within the ability to engage, hold our power, and inspire others along with ourselves.
Yet, so often, we allow ourselves to become bogged down (or “stuck”) in rote and routine behaviors, activities and processes. I’ve said it before – and I’ll say it again – “we simply need more quality, focused time.” If only life was that simple…a bit more time…hmmmm? Rather than searching for ways to create or generate more time, maybe converting what little time we do actually have into more meaningful time might offer the solution. Maybe allocating more time to sit quietly (meditate) and dig deeper – and ask ourselves WHY – why are we doing or undertaking a certain, specific activity or project. Using this technique has helped me identify and bring feelings surrounding my true passion to the surface. From that base, I’m able to design a world that focuses on worthwhile events that, hopefully, will truly make a difference – maybe even turn a few heads and hearts – and encourage and inspire action by myself and others.
As I continued to ruminate on these ideas, I went in search of more solutions (or at least a few motivational stories) – ones that might guide me in sorting out (and acting upon) this burning (driving) force within me that was trying to get out. As is generally the case, I was led to (stumbled upon) this video…and a few relevant comments shared at the site…
HOW GREAT LEADERS INSPIRE ACTION
Margie Callahan. Simon, you have brought me to my why: “I believe humanity can bring civilization to a utopian level for every person on earth, starting with each of us using our mind to improve our mind.” This is the point of all my speeches and my soon-to-be-launched book. Thanks for getting me to see my “why” clearly!
Mykal White Daniel. My mind was blown reading your response. Not only could I not agree with you more…as I write these words, I am building a company whose entire purpose is speaking to that truth. And I have wonder… how many others out there see the word as we do? Only time will tell. Thanks for your time.
In my own personal life, the simple act of asking WHY…and allowing answers to unfold…has provided tremendous guidance and insight – and even assisted me in the art of digging myself out of the quick sand of activities and commitments I’d literally buried myself under.
Truth be told, I’m a chronic list creator. Everything from personal projects to business projects to home projects and chores ultimately lands on a list. These lists offer guiding paths (actually control) through my daily activities (even my life and beyond). At one point, I had become so obsessed (actually overwhelmed) with the desire to take action – especially remove items from these lists – that large parts of my day (and life) were being overlooked, neglected or blatantly missed (“it’s mild and sunny outside…how about taking a walk”!).
One day, I sallied up to one of these lists – kinda like someone about to mount a bucking bronco or engage in a wrestling match. I approached and confronted the list – staring face-to-face with each item it. While glaring directly at each specific item, I openly asked myself honest questions that each started with the word WHY:
- WHY is this item on the list?
- WHY did I put this item on the list?
- WHY does this particular item take precedence?
- WHY is this item not connected to a reasonable timeline, financial commitment or priority ranking?
- WHY does a stated goal/purpose not accompany this item?
This process, of course, initiated a chain reaction which ultimately pushed me to prioritize, move to a future date or eliminate the item altogether from not only this particular list…but, from each of my other lists. This process was cathartic. It revealed not only much about the individual items but, exposed some deep rooted personal behavior patterns that were unrecognized and needed to stop.
That was six months ago…and it now goes without saying…my head (and body) has surfaced. My head no longer views life from below the quick sand and control of the lists. While lists still occupy a place in my life…I’m no longer under the spell of their self-created, stress-filled pattern. I now manage my lists, projects and time. Each day before my hand (and pen) are inspired to place an item on one of my lists, I now pause (take control of my hand and pen) and ask my series of WHY questions. I truly feel much healthier and have been led to a much more positive, productive life.
As Simon Sinek so aptly shares in his video (and in his book – Start With Why), when a company (or even an individual) starts with WHY, it becomes easier (and much more powerful and profound) to operate from one’s core – with PURPOSE, CAUSE, AND BELIEF.
Until next time…
Crafted, researched and written by: |LIZ CARLOCK
The Write Resources, LLC™
© 2014 EM Carlock