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Why we need to start with why

Where do your needs and wants come from? If wondering is your thing, you’ve probably played with the idea of the purpose behind it. Or maybe you have heard author Simons Sinek advocating the importance of starting with why. So let's start with...

Why this article?

‘You ask good questions’ said Andrea, a lady I met briefly on a cycling tour of Athens. It made me smile. I've always been curious about understanding other people, the world and myself. Probably because it makes me feel more connected and creates a sense of belonging. And digging even deeper, I see that acting from such a place, unintentionally, comes with a different kind of impact.

Andrea paused before she came up with the answer. It made me realize that putting a spotlight on what lies behind, gets people to look into themselves. It is an empowering trick and according to science, serves as a stronger motivation incentive than rewards. And if a short 2-minute read can get people on board, then that is a big WHY for me!

How does asking WHY help us?

German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche once said, ‘He who has a why can endure any how.’ In other words, having a sense of inner purpose will help you stay strong even when circumstances change. And the key findings of the purpose of the question ‘why’ suggest that it helps because:

  • It takes us to the root of our motivation

  • It creates criteria and helps eliminates the unimportant

  • It reminds us of our values and can help when we feel less motivated

For instance, while creating Playground there are some non-exciting administrative tasks too. But going back to the purpose of this platform, it reminds me how much I value the development of other people’s work playgrounds, and as such these tasks become meaningful too. On another note, asking why also becomes a reality check confirming that not all parts of building a business need to be exciting when making something purposeful.

Over to you

I would be eager to hear how your ‘whys' have motivated or even stopped you along the way. Would you be willing to take a turn and play with your why? If so, here is a short exercise to help you try what you just read.

Step 1 | Define it

Sit down and define 1 want or one challenge you wish to explore.

Step 2 | Ask

Ask yourself: why am I doing this? Why is this important to me? Is my 'why' bigger them my discomfort of doing it?

Step 3 | Create the next step

Move from analysis to action. Learning about your ‘why’ will help to clarify, but as writer Leo Baubuta argues, making a difference will come from trying out what you learned. Coming up with a perfect answer is not required nor encouraged in this mini-challenge. It’s about the joy of experimenting and the clarity you will get from that process.

In conclusion

'Why' helps us get to the root and purpose behind what we do. Do you also spend time wondering about your why? Why is why important to you?

P.S. If you found this article useful, please pin it 👇( it helps me share Playground with others).


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