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Put Some “Why” In Your “What”

I saw this fantastic video the other day that I really wanted to share here, because it really gets to the heart of what we’re doing here on “Think Right Thursday.”

It’s funny, I started writing a blog so I could share with some of the powerful things I’ve learned in my life. But in my heart there are still things I want to share that I have a hard time putting into words — especially on Thursdays, when things tend to be a little more abstract. That’s why I’m grateful when I come across a video or another article that articulates what I’m trying to say.

I don’t know much about Michael Jr., the comedian in this clip, but I like what he has to say here. And the example he shares is right on the money, so I want you to watch it, and then we’ll talk more about it. Please don’t skip the video!! (There’s no screenshot here, so to play the video, click the blue words, “Comedy is ‘what’ I do” below).

Comedy is “what” I doYou gotta see WHY this video is AMAZING

Posted by Michael Jr. Comedy on Friday, September 18, 2015

Isn’t that terrific? I loved what he said at the end:

“The first time I asked him to sing, he knew WHAT he was doing. The second time I asked him to sing, he knew WHY he was doing it. When you know your WHY, your WHAT has more impact, because you’re walking in or toward your purpose.”

That is so powerful! It’s easy to just bumble along through your day on autopilot, not giving any thought to why you do things. But when you understand WHY you do what you do, you can link your actions to your purpose, your values, and your faith. Then nothing you do is unimportant.

Do Your Choices Matter?

A good friend of mine many years ago had this gift where he could take the most menial task and give it purpose. I heard him tell a new receptionist, “You could make or break my company — your job is that important. When you answer the phone, your tone of voice could make someone feel important or feel like an intrusion, and that affects how the rest of my conversation with them goes. How you greet people at the door could set me up to close a sale or get a no-thank-you. If there’s bad coffee in the waiting room, it tells everyone we don’t care about little things. You are so important to the success of this company.”

Talk about giving purpose to actions!

Consider this:

  • Did you know that by volunteering in church, you could save someone’s marriage, because of a message they got to hear? I’ve seen it.
  • Have you ever realized that by smiling at someone as you walk by, you could give them hope that things are going to get better?
  • What if you made a decision to be kind to the girl at the cash register and she made a decision to improve her life?
  • Is it possible that, by buying flowers from a local grower, you could save America from famine?

Think about that one for a minute. When growers use pesticides that kill bees, the bees don’t fulfill their critical role in pollination. Crops don’t grow. Livestock die. Bakers run out of supplies. The food supply goes into a tailspin.

It’s a fragile world we live in, and your “little decisions” can change the world.

When You Feel Like Your Actions Matter

When you feel like your actions matter, you give them greater effort. You put your heart into doing something that’s going to make a difference, even if it means communicating a hint of the pain in your life through your singing.

It puts everything you do in perspective, from big choices to little choices. Is there a reason behind your actions?

A couple of my takeaways from this video:

  • Do everything you do with purpose. Who are you serving? Whose life are you making better? Are you leaving the room and the people around you a little better than you found them?
  • You don’t have to do everything. Find out what you are here on this earth to do, and then focus on it. If you’re going to spend part of your life doing something, even a few minutes, give it your best effort. Learn to graciously say no to the actions that don’t fit your purpose, values, and skills.
  • Don’t live on autopilot. Pay attention to what you are doing and why it matters. If you’re just punching a clock to pay the mortgage, ask yourself why. What else could you be doing that would give value back to the world?

Anyway, these were my musings from watching that video. I would invite you to watch it again, and think about it in the context of your life. You might want to share this article with a friend and see what they take away from it. You may be surprised at the conversations it stimulates. Who knows where you’ll be at the end of the year if you start reevaluating the WHY behind every WHAT in your life?

“At the end of your feelings is NOTHING. At the end of your principles is a PROMISE.”  — Eric Thomas

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