Why “Why” is More Powerful Than “How”
As the founder of the Family First Entrepreneur movement, I am constantly in conversation with very bright folks on the topic work/family balance. In my mentoring and coaching, I am gaining more and more insight into the world of change and how it manifests. Its been very interesting to notice the relevancy of the “why” being more important than the “how” as it relates to change.
Let me explain that statement by defining some terms. The “why” is the reason behind the change we are seeking in our lives. The “why” can be about avoiding pain or chasing perceived pleasure. The “how” is the mechanical process, or the steps we take to create the “why”.
Many people dive right into the “how” because they know it is what they need to reach their goals. However, many miss the critical necessity of having a powerful “why” in place first.
As a teacher of Family First Entrepreneurial concepts, I continually have to remind people that the “how” will be unique to each individual. Your “how” has to work within your lifestyle. People have different marriages, children, businesses, and personalities, just to name a few of the factors that all go into defining your “how.” All these things can drastically change how someone goes through with the process of implementing change. For me to try and rubber stamp a “system” of “how to” that will fit for everyone would be ludicrous.
Change only has a chance to truly occur when there is a powerful enough “why” to make you go though a process of discovery to figure out a mechanical change strategy. One that is unique to you, that can last and be successful.
Keep in mind, what we are talking about here, is change. Change is hard. It’s one of the most difficult things in the human condition. It’s hard to create change and even harder to stick with it. Change often occurs when the pain of our current situation overrides the fear of making that change. An example would be a husband who begins to accept the necessity of marriage counseling after realizing he may loose his wife and family if he does not go. The fear of ego implications or possible peer judgment of counseling is overridden by perceived or real pain of loosing the people that mean the most. This is one way change happens and it can be a powerful “why” that makes the “how” happen.
Another motivator of change that is less painful and more progressive is the dream of “greatness.” Like the “how” and “why,” “greatness” is self-defined and unique to each individual. The greatness motivation often becomes so powerful that people are willing to do what ever it takes to get there. This is where positive motivation can grab hold and make all things possible. Successful change happens when a powerful “why” makes us start and stay the course. The key is to capture that powerful “why” and bottle it, to be opened in times of weakness or when you stray from your intended path.
My strength, or my “why,” comes from the love and duty I feel to my family. The duty, I feel, to provide them with the best spiritual, emotional, and financial environment I can, makes me be my best. I borrow the power and motivation from that duty to do things that make me feel uncomfortable, but that I know I must do. If it means walking away from a business venture that shows promise but will take me away from my family, then I know that I will have the strength to do so. If I realize I will have to grow personally to do something that will meet their needs, then so be it. They are the “why” motivates that change. I constantly remind myself how kids spell love, T-I-M-E. I do what it takes to make my time available to them. Calling myself a Family First Entrepreneur also gives me a powerful “why” message that keeps me in check.
Surround yourself with powerful “whys” and you will notice change happening more easily. Don’t get caught up in the “how,” it will make itself apparent as you go through your own unique process. Keep powerful motivation close at hand for times of weakness. Lastly, know that God wants you to succeed and grow. Ask for his wisdom and strength while you stretch and feel the pain of growth and positive change.