Getting at the "Why" and "How"

by Brooke Wilson

Most of us have heard of Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle or seen the TED Talk about it. If not, we have probably all pondered about our “why” or encouraged our students to do so. Since this is a thought I pose or present regularly to students, I decided to reflect more on it myself.

When I think about my purpose- my why- I think about my yoga practice and one of my Clifton StrengthsFinder Top 5 Strengths, Connectedness. I also think about my role as an educator and people-empowerer. To me the what is very much the same as the why, but with more purpose injected into it. More intentionality. My why is simple, yet complex. It intersects with my personal life, my profession, my values, and my passions: Engaging in authentic relationships to inspire hope and drive development. I use the verb tense of the word “engage” because it is active and ongoing, persisting in good days and bad. It is why I get up in the morning, but also what often keeps me up at night. Like yoga, it is a practice- a work in progress. That is the artistry of it. Instead of focusing on “getting it,” I just “go for it.” My why is not necessarily measurable and never fully arrives. I am the most content with it that way, though. I believe there is always room for growth and that we should not rush it. The beauty comes with the process- the in-between moments. My how becomes easy since my why is so clearly established and central to my life. The means by which I live out my why is “grace.” This is where self-love and love of others prove vital. Yoga is helping me do this on and off my mat. The root of my why is change- positive social change to be exact. This extends from my place of work to my home and all the places in-between. It starts with loving myself and my family. Once I show up fully in those spaces, I can bring much more of my true self, focus, and intention to the rest of the world.

What is your “why” and how are you living it out in all areas of your life? What do you need to spend more time doing so you find greater alignment between your purpose and your to-do list? Are you over-using your Strengths and getting in your own way? What is one thing you can do this holiday season to get back to doing what matters most?

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