Every year I go through a season of evaluation, reflection, and I do some critical thinking about where I want to go as a man, as a leader, as a husband, as a father, and where I want to go in my job. Before I get in to thinking of the what and the how of where I want to go, I sit back and do some reflection on why I do what I do. If we do not clarify the motivating factors of our life then we can easily give up on goals, dreams, and any vision we may have.
This is not an easy thing to do though. It takes serious intention and self reflection to discover our internal motivators. It takes us recognizing what actually puts a fire in our bellies. It takes digging through the sludge. This year has been a struggle for me to find my why. I have sat down probably half a dozen or more times and then come back to my wife to share some of my reflection and she keeps reminding me that I have not dug deep enough. I have not done the hard work to find the end motivators. I have kept coming back with how and what answers versus why answers. I am so thankful that she helps me to dig deep and find my why.
When we take the time to dig deep and find our why, we can then begin to process our what, how, and where we want to go as a leader. What is your why? Don’t just come up with a token answer either, dig deep and do some work and I promise you’ll go further. It’s like the old quote from Abraham Lincoln, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” When we take the time to clarify our why, we will go further faster toward the vision we want to accomplish.
And in case I haven’t convinced you, check out this Ted Talk from Simon Sinek.