The Power of Why

“In order to do anything right, you must first know why you are doing it.”

I heard this quote today and it really struck something inside of me. To me this was profound wisdom. In order to so something right we must know why we are doing it.

It all depends on the reason we are doing something as to whether we will do it or not or if we will even put our best effort into it. I read this example by Benny Hsu and it was really great. If you were offered 10 dollars to walk 30 feet, would you do it?  And I am sure most people would say yes ..sure!  But, if I asked you the same question only it was red-hot coals you had to walk over, would you do it?  I can hear you all now. NO NO NO.  But, and here is the why factor, if your child were at the other end of those red hold coals and was in danger and that was the only way to get to your child, would you go across those red-hot coals?  Of course you would.

Finding out about the why you want to do something is more important than finding out how.

Benny Hsu

Here is a personal example. Son and I admit we are poor. We are poor and we are still happy. 🙂  When we moved here, son got a new bed and it was queen sized and so he bought only one set of sheets for it as they are expensive.  He comes walking in carrying his fitted sheet today and says he does not know what to do as it is worn so thin it is threadbare and torn open. That happens when you use the same set of sheets and wash them over and over and over. So, we tried to figure a solution and came up with one. It was a lot of work but he now has a nice fitted sheet again. We took a flat sheet and cut and pinned and fitted it to the raggedy fitted one and then sewed around the edges and cut out the old sheet when we were done. Now, many people would say why bother with so much effort. Why not just go buy another set of sheets. Well….it comes down to the “why” thing.  Why did we go to that much trouble?  Because we did not have the money to buy a new queen set of sheets and we DID have a flat sheet that would work great sewn in there. So, the “Why” caused us to do a good job and work hard and the end result came out great and put a smile on son’s face.

If you don’t know why you’re doing something you won’t be able to tell if you’re doing something that will make your life better.

Knowing why you are doing something can affect the whole outcome. Everything hinges on the steps before and the steps after but if we are just doing things without any thought, then doing them with a goal of achieving something is lost.

“If you don’t know why you are doing something, then you don’t understand how it connects to the next step, or possibly even what the next step is. Then there’s the step after that, and the one after that, all leading to the outcome you desire. The more ambiguous you are about what you are doing, the more mistakes you make, the longer it takes to get the outcome you want, and the harder everything is. Most people give up before they succeed because they don’t understand how what they are doing really works.”

Yaro Starak

When we know why we are doing something, we should be able to explain it….to ourselves…to others so that they understand why too. I can remember friends criticizing me because when I would tell my boys that they could not do something…they would ask me why?  And I would sit down and explain why to them. I believe that knowing why helped them to learn. Friends would say I should just tell them “because I said so” but I do not believe in that.  Explaining why to them also helped to clarify to myself why I did not want them to do this or that.

“If you can’t explain it to other people, how are you going to understand what and why you are doing to the person who matters most – yourself.

Yaro Starak

“Why” is a power tool that could help us achieve things we might not otherwise. It forces us to think about what our goals are and the power or impetus behind why we are doing something. What is the power that pushed you to do a specific event?   I am still walking with forearm crutches because I am determined to not have to use a power chair full-time. That is a real powerful why for me.

Sit and think about why you want to do this or that and it may help you to better succeed at it. Our minds are powerful tools and if we figure out what drives us and gives us the energy to accomplish, it gives direction to our lives.

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8 thoughts on “The Power of Why

  1. Another great post… Love seeing all the many likes here and reading the thoughts of others… YOU are a smart one, with the sheets… would have not thought of that in a lifetime; yet it just came to you in a snap! bravo!!! great quotes, clever solutions and just al around brilliance once again great read… no wonder you are older than dirt, think u must have invented it!!!! Martha Stewart has nothin on you my friend!~~~ just sayin.

    now as for the why you don’t have her money? i just do not know! smile kiddo, you light up the lives of so many here and there and just about everywhere…

    • I think survivor is the word for that making the sheet Sherry. And we had fun doing it and we felt proud when done with it. Yup….older than dirt wisdom I have learned through the years. We did not have the money sher because I do not believe in hinting, passively asking by mentioning or suggesting that others give me money for what I can do myself. Only in direst circumstances like getting to Colorado Springs for heart catherization have I let people financially help me and I stopped the fundraising you started when I reached the exact amount. I was so blessed by those that did help too. 🙂
      hugs my friend.

  2. I like how you solved the sheet problem for your son. I don’t think I would have been so crafty to get the job done. Congrats I always liked your thinking and it is better than ever now.

  3. When I’m having a problem with my writing, in any form of writer’s block, I instantly ask myself why I’m writing. The simple answer is because I love it! I’m passionate about it. But without the answer to that why, I’d just continue to be frustrated and blocked from doing what I love. P.S. Thank you for all of the quotes you post. I love quotes and you never fail to give me new ones. 🙂 And keep workin’ those crutches!!! 😉

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