I’m currently reading Simon Sinek’s Start with Why. While reading this book is for work, and it’s a excellent book for business, it has me thinking about my personal why for life not just business. I think it has struck a cord with me because of the season of life I’m in right now. There are many seasons in life whether it’s making a new decision, going through a new life change or even a season of just taking a step back to clarify where we want to go next and having a third child is definitely one of those pivotal moments; however, like everything in life, this one major life change isn’t really just a moment and it doesn’t happen in a vacuum either. While having a baby is a big deal I’ve also had changes in my career, changes with my other two children, changes spiritually, and the list goes on. Needless to say, it’s been a transitional season with lots to ponder but little time to really process all that’s happening. Since all these changes are going on, I feel especially intrigued by the idea of “My Why” to guide all these changes and those to come. I want to make sure they are in line with my mission and values. Essentially, the question I’ve been posing to myself is “Why do I do what I do?”
I feel I have worked hard over the years to cultivate a sense of me, that is, I pray, I reflect, I analyze and I’m self aware of who I am, what I stand for, the beliefs I hold and the “image” I hope to portray. For example, this blog’s name Cultivated Curiosity arose out of a sort of branding exercise I read about in a magazine when I was in high school. It was about giving yourself two words in an effort to define what we would call a “personal brand” these days. I’ve always wanted to be someone who was pulled together and polished, but with a sense of curiosity for the world around me, a sort of Audrey Hepburn meets the fictional character Vianne Rocher of Chocolat. I want to continually thirst for knowledge and discovery and still be rooted in tradition and history, hence my tag line of Cultivated Curiosity.
However, now that I’m reading Sinek’s book, I’m wondering if it doesn’t make sense to create more of a mission statement that defines why I do anything that I do in my life, a sort of thesis for why I do the work I do, the organizations I join, the way I cultivate my family and friends. It’s not that those things haven’t all been chosen with intentionality on my part, but essentially the mission statement of my personal values and beliefs would become a judge for all future endeavors just like “Cultivated Curiosity” has been a sort of guiding principal for my personal wardrobe, home decor, or the “image” side of me. This “Why” would define the “action” side of me.
I know…I know…I’m analyzing this way to much, that’s what I do. I question and ponder everything. Aren’t you glad you’re not in my brain? For me, the idea of a mission statement of me is oddly satisfying, though.
After pondering this questions, “Why do I do what I do,” the answer came surprisingly quickly. “I want to inspire others to be the best version of themselves.” That’s why I write this blog – in the hope that it will help others solve problems or answer questions they have. That’s why I work with my clients – because I believe being a good steward of money makes us all better versions of ourselves. It’s why I am always sharing anything I learn, from business to motherhood to spirituality because I want others to be the best version of themselves.
I believe that this life is just a means to get to the next and that our ultimate goal is the attainment of union with God in Heaven, so working in whatever way I can to help others be the best version of themselves and loving them through it all, even if they don’t share this same beliefs as me, is exactly what I want to aim to do each day of my life is at the root of most of the decisions I make but undoubtedly will be moving forward.
This statement gives me a gage for each day. I feel pretty confident that many of the decisions I make do not align with this “Why;” however, there is also much work to be done. Giving a definition to all the future changes and seasons of life gives me a compass to guide me through those decisions and a ruler by which to measure my actions. It provides some wonderful clarity in the haze of day to day chaos.
So now I’m going to pose the question to you, “Why do you do what you do?”