This is my favorite question, just like an annoying four-year-old. And since the popularity of Simon Sinek's book “Start with Why” it seems to be the thing on everybody's mind.
Why does your why matter to be successful in sales?
When you have to do something you don’t want to, your why will make it fun.
When we have a written and shared goal that is tied to an intrinsic motivation, the science of cognitive dissonance tells us that we will voluntarily engage in;
“(ethical) unpleasant activities in effort to achieve a desired goal.”
Researchers concluded that those;
“who can attribute their work to an external reward stop working in the absence of that reward, but those who are forced to attribute their work to intrinsic motivation came to find the task genuinely enjoyable."
This is why I continue to tell clients, “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.”
But I am starting to think the popularity of Simon’s book has totally screwed us.
It seems that the trend to start with why has left many in a frozen state, afraid to take any steps to do anything without the magical realization of the why. Now the search for purpose has become an excuse for inaction.
Yet research by William Damon, Ph.D, Professor of Education at Stanford University suggests that a sense of purpose is driven by action and passion.
You don’t think your way into your why, you work your way into it.
Your why is an evolution, not a revelation.
To find your purpose, you must do something.
8 Actionable Ideas to Develop Your Purpose
Here are some of the things I have done and coached clients on:
- Take a risk and try something new. Our brains love routine, even if they are bad for us. Get out of the same old routines once in a while. Make the commitment and tell others about something new you are trying. Better yet- volunteer in your local community.
- Play more. Schedule time to do the things you enjoy. Find ways to create fun in the things you do. Hate doing dishes but love dancing? Do both at the same time.
- Make yourself accountable to others. Make promises and do whatever it takes to keep them.
- Take responsibility for everything. Even when it's not your fault. Remind yourself that you are the only one who can choose when and how to respond.
- Accept and even seek what is uncomfortable. Don't like heights? Go hike a mountain.
- Get up and move. Go for walks, meditate, take a kickboxing class- whatever gets your blood pumping.
- Set goals continuously. Big ones, little ones, professional ones, personal ones. Revisit and update as you go. Change them- but keep setting them. They must be measurable, create a new behavior (not just stop an old one), have a date assigned to it, and is shared with others.
- Make it real. Use visual cues to remind you of your goals in your daily life and stories to tell others of what it will be like when your goal is achieved.