“Man is originally characterized by his ‘search for meaning’ rather than his ‘search for himself.’ The more he forgets himself—giving himself to a cause or another person—the more human he is. And the more he is immersed and absorbed in something or someone other than himself the more he really becomes himself.” – Viktor Frankl
Since I just finished reading Start with Why by Simon Sinek, I feel that I would be remiss if I didn’t dive into my WHY (as Sinek calls it) before I started posting in more detail about what I do. Here’s the truth: defining your WHY can be very hard. Sure, I have a great sense of what drives me, but arriving to one final conclusion that can be neatly articulated? Much, much harder. Sinek explains this by drawing the connection between our limbic brain and our WHY. He makes the connection that our WHY can be as challenging to define and articulate as emotions are.
For the shortened version (but I highly suggest the book):
Sinek and coauthors provide a great step-by-step guide to discovering your WHY in last year’s Find Your Why. I’m going to share some of my work here as I make my way through my version of the process. This draft may change and may or may not align with the defined process of finding and starting with why. At the very least, this will serve as a history log.
So, here it is. This is my first public announcement of my WHY (draft 3): “To empower people to design their own lives and live the life they want to live.”
I have to be honest, it feels broad and bold, but I believe, with the HOWs, it begins to paint a clearer picture of what I do and how I live when I’m at my best. Here are my HOWs in a value driven format:
Awareness – Cultivate your awareness. What narratives are you bringing to the story? What limitations are you placing on yourself? What is happening and how are you perceiving it?
Education – Always seek to learn and grow and move from a place of curiosity and wonder. Don’t overuse the knowledge you have, rather seek to gain new knowledge.
Compassion – Treat yourself and others with compassion. Change has to come from where you are. Showing compassion for that place/self allows you to move from a place of wholeness.
Adventure – Play! Treat everything in life as an adventure. Find the fun, the play and try not to take yourself so seriously.
Dream Generously – Don’t limit yourself or others. It’s too easy to draw boxes around ourselves and tell ourselves a limited story of who we are and what we are capable of. There are enough forces in this world that, intentionally or unintentionally, create these boxes for us. They don’t need our help.
Choose – Live your passion and values with every action. Be an active participant in your life. Don’t let the big choices blind you to the little ones. Every day, we constantly make decisions about how we want to live. Every action is a choice. Move from a place of intention.
Great, so what does this have to do with bikes, yoga and science? This is where my personal story comes in. By learning and continually applying these HOWs in those disciplines, I have realized that I have the choice of how I want to live. I can’t control every outcome, but I can choose my response. I can choose how I interact with the situation. By becoming aware of my perception of myself, I learned that it can either hold me back or propel me forward. Sure, sometimes a mountain bike ride is just a mountain bike ride; a yoga class is just a yoga class. However, when I teach, this is what is driving me. These HOWs are the skills the I want to share and practice with you one class at a time.
For years, I have been struggling with how to connect all of my interests. This is the key. I hope that it gives you a better understanding of who I am and where I’m coming from. I’d love to hear your WHY. Please share it in the comments (even if it’s still in draft form). Let’s talk about what drives us!
One thought on “But Why?”
“Don’t overuse knowledge…” What a great reminder in a time when we’re all drowning in information and concurrent, alternative truths! With all of science and history in our pockets, it’s so easy to dig our heels in and forget to approach new situations and people with curiousity and plasticity. Also this statement threatens my engineer brain 😉
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