Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose. – Helen Keller
As I work with leaders, I find that the most important element of success is an understanding of the answer to the question, WHY? In our inner most depths, we always know when we make a decision or take an action, WHY we have chosen it.
Perhaps we choose something because we want something for ourselves. Wanting something for myself isn’t a bad thing. Often though, I will not tell others that my purpose in asking for something is to take care of my needs. I may even deny my own needs to myself or others. Then I am operating with a hidden agenda. This hidden agenda will create some level of distrust and rarely do I experience what I have chosen for myself.
Perhaps we choose something because we are reacting to something from our emotions and the real WHY is unclear.. I might be afraid of what others will say so I choose something that will not offend others or I might feel anger so I choose something that will inflict an unpleasant consequence on someone else to mitigate my pain.
Perhaps I have chosen something because I feel it is the best solution I see for the situation at hand. For it is the power of this clear WHY that inspires others and helps bring aligned action that accomplishes great things. I reminded of Martin Luther King Jr.’s wonderful “I have a dream” speech on August 8, 1965. In it, he laid out WHY this dream was important to him. This clarity of WHY has inspired millions across the globe to find their inner WHY and accomplish great things.
So today as you walk through life, in whatever role that you have chosen, I invite you, as you make decisions or take actions, to ask yourself the question, WHY? If the answer is clear watch how others respond. If the answer is unclear, stop! Find the answer and make sure when you know the answer to WHY it is something you want to continue to pursue.