Lessons Learned – Part 3: The Why Power

Continued from Part 1 & 2…

As important as patience is, a more important question would be: what makes one endure the pressure and keep patiently making progress little by little? That’s where a strong purpose or “the why-power” comes in. It is really what keeps one going even when it is hard, and Especially when it is hard.


(Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash)

I would suggest that for anyone to start something serious, really ask yourself about your motives, why you want to do what you want to do, and why it is so important to you. You might not be able to articulate it clearly at the very beginning, like the case for me. But you know there is something in you and in this chase that completely changes the question from “can you afford to do it” to “can you afford not to”.

If your motive is just the so-called success defined by others, you will give up when you don’t see the money or the fame. But if you are working for a dream and a purpose, you will not give up when you meet obstacles and setbacks. That is because you know those are necessary steps to take, and the process of overcoming those challenges is what prepares you for bigger and better things to come.

For the same reason, if the calling is not strong enough, you probably should not go through it because the challenges and uncertainty might crush you one day if you are not able to hold on to it in a storm.

The storm can be anything, external circumstances or internal struggles. I’m lucky to be pardoned by the economic storm because of my supportive family and friends. To me, the storm is an emotional one. I have to constantly fight my own demons, control my own thoughts, and regulate my reactions to situations. However, I find myself growing stronger and stronger from those storms instead of being crushed by them because I really believe that what I am doing can potentially help a lot of people. For myself, and for my love and passion for people, I have to keep showing up, overcoming my own shortcomings, and asking for help when I need to, with no shame or apology.

Once you have really found your Why – for yourself, and not for anybody else – then you will suddenly find yourself unlocking all kinds of superpowers that you did not even know you have. You will be fighting your battles without anyone urging you… you’ll get all your shit together instead of avoiding them like you always do… and you’ll face your roadblocks instead of walking around them just because it is easier.

Simon Sinek had an inspiring TEDTalk and book on Start with Why. He says that we can always decide on what product or service to provide and figure out how to provide it. But it’s only the people who know why they are doing what they are doing and have a firm belief in their worthy goals, have achieved what they desired and altered history. He has come across many successful people feeling lost and unhappy even when they have gained wealth and fame. That is because they either did not start their pursuit with a powerful why, or they forgot about their why somewhere in the pursuit.

When I was interviewing my assistant, I ask him if he had questions for me about the company or about his position. He asked me why I started doing what I was doing. That was the question that impressed me and made me want to hire him. When he left, he asked me to not to forget why I started what I am doing. I appreciate how he really cares about the cause we are pursuing with the business, just like I do. This also reminded me of how important it is to hold on to my why power.

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