Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Find your why

I've been struggling with something lately. It's a project I've had in my head for a while that's refusing to be birthed. I thought perhaps it's that the gestation period had not been long enough, but I know from experience that if an idea is solid in my mind I can get it out in an afternoon. Maybe it was me that wasn't ready to put myself out there. But the first release would be to a trusted circle of friends who's feedback I was eager to get.

No, it was something else. Something I couldn't put my finger on.

After weeks of being frustrated beyond belief I decided that there was no use forcing the issue, I had to let this block dissolve when it was ready. I just had to trust that whatever was holding this project back come in it's own time. It just so happened that my decision to give up the mental fight coincided with the Easter weekend and as I closed my front door I consciously left my spinning mind at home.

The power of distraction. It took just one day of being away for the 'why' of the block to rear it's head. So what was it?

Ironically, it was the WHY itself. I don't have clarity in myself as to the WHY of my project.

WHY am I compelled to create it? 
WHY do I believe in it?
WHY will it make a difference to people?

It's that simple. I have to work out the why, without which my project will not see daylight. The why is the emotion behind the idea, it's the power that will compel the idea forward.

Why is so important to discover your why?

Simon Sinek puts this into a simple circle diagram.
The WHAT is your idea. It's your offering, what you're bringing to the table. The HOW is the execution of this idea. But it's the WHY that's most important. The WHY is the how your offering will make people feel. People's WHY is deeply personal, tied into a core belief. People connect with the passion and the feeling the product/company gives them. They don't just connect the product itself.

So how do you find the why?

It can be difficult to articulate our WHY as to do so we need to connect deep down with our feelings, but there are a couple of techniques you can try.
  1. Think about all the things you love to do. The things what make you lose the sense of time. The things you could do all day if you were given the chance. What are the things you used to love doing as a child? What do all these things have in common? What is the motivation behind doing these things?
  2. Think about the people who you love, and who love you. Ask these people "Why are you friends with me? What is it about me that you love? What makes me special to you? What's my 'sweet spot'".
Your why is what value you offer to the world, and what people value about you.

I love the way people feel when they are seen, really seen, and heard by another human being. I love the smile they get on their face when they realise that someone has got them, understands them, accepts them for who they are and actually celebrates them.

I love that. It makes me gooey inside.

So that's my why. What's yours?

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