Well as I am sitting at my computer, sipping on my favorite cup of Constant Comment Tea which is a blend of black tea with orange peel, savoring the flavor I begin to ponder what word should we talk about this week? There are so many I can’t wait to write about but one keeps popping into the forefront of my mind…the word WHY! Over the course of the last month it either came up in a conversation with a friend or colleague, one of the guest speakers at a conference I attended had this as his talk and then a recent article also mentioned we needed to answer the WHYS before pursuing the next steps. Whether it was moving towards our goals or justifies what we were doing, I actually found this to be quite intriguing.
A best-selling author and speaker, Simon Sinek reinvented his whole career around three little letters WHY! He is now dedicated to changing the world by developing a discovery course to feel inspired and inspire others. You dig deep to identify the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do and articulate your unique WHY statement. I highly recommend you check his books and website out at www.startwithwhy.com.
Let’ think about it for a minute do you remember as a child how innocent we were in asking so many questions, most of which start with WHY! As a parent I can remember on many occasions my children asking me WHY unfortunately it is also was the most difficult questions to answer because it was bottomless-it kept on going forever because no matter how you answer the first “WHY” there was always a follow-up just waiting to be voiced. “WHY they could or couldn’t do something with a friend, WHY is the sky blue, WHY do they have to go to bed, WHY was I driving down one road when Ms. Tammy always goes down the other street to get there.” Question after question and many times I had good answers but many times I didn’t. So I either made something up so they would quit asking or I simply had to say I didn’t know the answer maybe they need to do some research. Now days we have most answers right at our finger tips with the search engine such as Google, Bing or Ask but in many cases it may not always provide the correct answer. What I mean, life is not just black and white. There is gray and in many cases lots of color…it is all in how you look or accept things. Our attitude is key and our faith will pull us through!
The past few months (actually a few years) have been very difficult for me, there are many days I feel like a little hamster in the wheel going round and round not making much progress. I have had to step back and really ask myself WHY for various reasons? I am very seriously considering using this as my Word of The Year for next Year as I believe it can help me identify some things that need to change and identify how to do it or who to ask for help. For example in my career we have had a major change in how we do things, for over 30 years I had become very comfortable in learning, developing techniques and could almost recite most answers in my sleep. You worried more about your competition, setting your strategy and game in how you could out sell or service them. Then one day the government decided they knew best for the American people and a law passed that dramatically changed our world and my career. We basically have had to scratch the way we do business and relearn the trade. There are many days I ask myself WHY, if I could see that is was improving the quality of our lives, cutting costs, and providing state of the art care at the fraction of cost, I would agree and be all over it. Yet it has ended up very complicated, costly and basically everything had to change from the design of the programs, to the systems that administer it, to the networks of physicians and hospitals that treat us to employers being mandated or fined, we have to keep up with part-time, full-time, what their ages are and how many family members they have. If you are an individual you are mandated to have it or be fined and can only purchase it during certain months of the year. Carrier consolidations and fewer choices for coverage, regulations will not allow people to keep their same physicians even though they have treated them for years or certain procedures are now not covered. While others are…It is crazy and a bit overwhelming! It has become more difficult in multi-tasking; there are more distractions, clutter and pressure.
As you are reading this you may be asking me if I need some cheese with that whine (wine) but I am drinking tea and eating a protein bar so let’s laugh a little and realize it is not all about me and my present circumstance. No I can’t change the situation, I can only change my attitude, accept it, embrace it and figure out how I can make the best of the situation. You might say WHY stay in it, if it is that hard get out and do something different. Yes there have been times I have thought about it but it goes against my belief system to give up…this is a relationship business and I have clients, customers and people I deeply care about. We are in this together! I am committed to making a positive difference in the lives I touch each and every day.
This past week I have had several conflicts with various individuals, where we didn’t see eye to eye. I am not a very confrontational person in fact I avoid it at all cost but in each of these circumstances I stepped back and ask myself WHY did this happen, what was the root cause not what we were arguing about and in each and every case there was something deeper related to that persons feelings than what we were disagreeing upon. Once those were identified we were able to pick up the pieces and move forward. It is so important to put yourself in the other persons shoes as it can help clarify not necessarily justify the answers.
This is the foundation of my WHY…we all need a mission statement both in our personal lives and in our career. What motivates us, what makes us get up and get with it each morning? No, it is not all about the paycheck, that is a result! I don’t care if you are young or old we all have a purpose. We also have a belief, it is our responsibility to identify and not waste it. Each one of us must clarify our WHY and live it with passion. I absolutely love James Allen quote, “For true success ask yourself these four questions: WHY? WHY not? WHY not me? WHY not now?”
My faith keeps me grounded as well. I believe firmly in reading the word of God and scripture will reveal the lessons I need to learn and live by each and every day. The scripture my mission statement is built on can be found in the Old Testament. Habakkuk 2:2-3 “Write my vision and make it plain upon the tablets but these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily surely the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow do not despair for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” It is true God is faithful in his own time not mine!
I have to admit to you I am sitting in my favorite pair of Soma pj’s as the sun is beginning to raise, the fresh start of a brand new day! It is a gift…I am breathing deeply, exhaling slowly and keenly aware of my surroundings. I love the birds chirping their morning hymns, the squirrel scampering across the top of the fence; the planes are taking off and people venturing on. As I get up to let my dog, Sage, out I love the routine ritual of mornings. She sniffs the perimeter of our yard to see who dropped by last night, she relieves herself while I pick up the newspaper and then she is scurrying back to the front door for her treat! WHY do I like the simple things? I feel very blessed even amongst the turmoil. I personally want to awaken from this fog I have been living in, to continue to grow and actually take a leap of faith and pursue my WHYS with more passion than ever. What about you?
As you are “Takin Time Out” this week I encourage you to ponder your WHY’S! I encourage YOU to identify your fears and begin to face them. Be grateful for the good time and bad…tweak your daily routine to find the balance we all need to live by and most importantly identify WHY! You will grow richer and deeper, your life’s purpose is clearer.
Until next time my dear friend…inspire to live your WHY and enjoy!