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Why?

I write this column out of the joy of writing; from the depths of my being.  I love to share ideas and I hope to make an impact, no matter how small, on someone’s life.  I believe words are a lost art, and they will be greatly missed as we continue to stray away from simply reading.

Why do we do things?  I dislike the word “things”, but it works here since I want you to notice the word “WHY”.   I’ve been convinced that we must always know the WHY.  I’ve been convinced that explaining the WHY will always lead to more listeners, more interest and more innovation.

Simon Sinek explains on ted.com that too often people & companies explain the WHAT or the HOW and eventually get to the WHY.  This progression fails all too often.  The bigger successes start with the WHY and then progress to the HOW & WHAT.

I spend time during the day writing as I am led.  If a thought comes to mind, I grab a post-it note or a scrap paper and write it down.  I mull over the thought, I pray at times about the idea and then I start spilling out my soul onto the page.

I learned that when we explain the WHY, we directly appeal to the emotions of the mind.  It truly reminds me of the purpose of the Ten Commandments.  The Commandments hit us in the conscience with the reality that we have not successfully kept all the Ten Commandments over our entire lives and this in turn opens our ears to what comes next.  The WHY of Christianity is often missed because we hear all about the WHAT first.  WHAT do we need to do to inherit the Kingdom of God?  HOW do we get there?  Most people don’t care, because they haven’t heard the WHY.  Most people don’t care about some new fuzzy toy until they hear WHY they should buy it.

Simon Sinek has taught me well.  Compare these two examples.

Exhibit A:

I have a great device called a GPS that will take you where you want to go.  The GPS talks to you in a pleasant voice and it will direct you while driving.  You can even select landmarks or hotels to show up on the screen, which is larger than all of our competitors offer.  We link into the vast GPS satellite network in order to pinpoint exactly where you are at all times.  It’s quite simple; we developed the device to tell you where you are and to calculate the shortest and safest path to your destination!  We believe in integrity, honesty and simplicity.  We care about your safety, your time and your driving experience!  Please consider our product.

Exhibit B:

We care about your safety, your time and your driving experience!  We believe in integrity and honesty and simplicity.  We offer various GPS devices that use the vast satellite network to pinpoint exactly where you are at all times.  It’s quite simple; we developed the device to tell you where you are and to calculate the shortest and safest path to your destination!  You can even select landmarks or hotels to show up on the screen, which is larger than all of our competitors offer.  The GPS talks to you in a pleasant voice and it will direct you while driving.  GPS will take you where you want to go.  Please consider our product.

Which exhibit sounds better to you?  Which one pulled you closer to desiring the product?  Use your imagination if you don’t want or need a GPS.  I made these “ads” up using the WHY, HOW, WHAT technique.  Can you tell which one is WHY, HOW, WHAT and which one is WHAT, HOW, WHY?

You may not agree, but the majority of you will like Exhibit B better.  Try reading the exhibits slowly, like you are listening to a commercial.  In Exhibit B, you will feel connected to the product in some way almost immediately.  Exhibit B spoke to your conscience right away, and it may have sucked you in.  Exhibit A could have lost you in the first few sentences if the WHAT wasn’t something you desired.

I love writing these types of columns and I’ve done it many, many times.  Some of my posts are short, some are long.  Some posts are Spiritual in nature and others are simply funny (or meant to be funny!).  Overall, I write many posts with the sole purpose of making you, the reader, think.   Check out what you may have missed here.

Acknowledgements:

Thank you to a friend for pointing me to the video and for Simon Sinek sharing his ideas.

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