Evaluating Why

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I’ve taken a bit of a sabbatical from website related activities this month. During this time, I’ve found myself asking over and over why I get up in the morning and do anything. Not because I don’t want to get up, but because I’m still searching for meaning to what I do. This doesn’t mean I don’t have any purpose. Of course I have a wonderful family that I want to provide for and give opportunity to. But what do you do when you still feel an empty hole?

Leadership Through Why

I recently came upon a TED talk about leadership and what makes the difference between a great company like Apple and all the rest of the mediocre ones. Evaluating Leadership – Why. The general theme of this talk is that when sharing your message, beginning with WHY instead of WHAT connects with people in a far greater way than starting with what you do. So I will explore the why for a given day using my life story. Perhaps you might notice something that is similar for you.

The Why Pattern

Why get up in the morning?

I get up in the morning because I either need to go to the bathroom, or I’m going to be late for work. Rarely do I get up in the morning because I have a compelling vision of something I want to work on. I ask the question, “Do I even have a compelling vision?”

Why go to work each day?

In my situation, I have a family to take care of. So I go to work because not going will mean not being employed and not having the pay check come in to pay for our house, food, clothing, vacations, and entertainment. Without work, I may have to sell my house and move in with a family member, ruining my family’s independence.

Why keep trying to build a business?

I’ve tried many business ideas in my life – coming close to 10 now. Some have showed brief moments of potential, but ultimately, all have failed to connect with a large audience and provide an income to replace my full time job. I attempted my first business back in 2004 with a website called “ComputerGamesNow.com”. So for about 7 years now, I’ve been working at it off and on.

With so much failure, why do I keep a glimmer of hope that I can make a difference and succeed at building a business, whether through writing, building websites, or making games, or whatever it may be? I think the biggest reason is that I want to believe I’m capable of more than just sitting in my cubicle at my day job. It’s my self-worth that’s on the line. I tie my self-worth to my ability to succeed in my business endeavors. Maybe that’s not the right thing to do, but it is what I feel when I ask why…

Why raise a family?

I have two kids and a great wife. I have this family because I want to experience having children and making a marriage work, along with providing a better future for my family than what I had as a child. Raising a successful family is challenging and were it not for my love for them, the drive to provide for them and give them opportunity, I’m not sure how I would make it.

Why

I’m still searching for exactly why I’m writing here on my website. Perhaps it’s to leave something behind for others so I can feel like I did something worthwhile with my life. Regardless of the reason, it is apparent to me that finding my reason why and having a compelling vision are big keys to breaking past many of the failures I’ve had in the past. For those of you reading, what is your reason why you do what you do?

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Updated: November 28, 2011 — 12:40 PM

4 Comments

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  1. I do spend some time reflecting on my decisions, but just to learn what I did right or wrong. At this stage in my life, I know why I do things. I get up to go to work because I enjoy what I do and they pay me. If I didn’t, I would change my job!

  2. Most people who ask why are often not prepared to hear the answer. I love your post and I think what it all boils down to choice. We all have a choice whether we want to make a difference or not in our own lives and that of others.

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