Early in the week I had the privilege of attending a christian coach training through Missional Monks, an organization run by by brother-in-law Bret which supports and equips those stepping into a missional lifestyle. This was a really intense two days, not really because it was incredibly academic (though I did learn a lot), but more because I had to really shift my thinking. Coaching is all about asking good questions and listening. To have a good coach means to have someone who will think enough of your abilities to not offer directives and advice.
One of the core practices of a good coach is to help people figure out the “why” of their goals before they tackle the “hows” and the “whats”. While all three are essential to accomplishing a goal, often the “why” is left by they wayside because it take so much work to answer. When setting a good goal, the answer “just because” doesn’t really float when posed with the meaning and purpose of the pursuit.
One of our assignments was to reflect on this TED talk from Simon Sinek covering the topic of “How, what, and why”. He talks about the great innovators of our time how only when the “why” question is really answered does growth or advancement take place.
Note: This is an 18 minute long video, but I would encourage you to set some time aside to watch it. Trust me, it is well worth every minute.
As I watched this video, I had a sudden rush of clarity about my own life. I think back to many of my failed endeavors and goals, and also the parts of my life that I felt lost and unfulfilled, and I can point to the lack of a “why”.
Think about it. When you are not sure what you are doing or why you are doing it, it is easy to get lost.
Let me give you an example. I have talked a few times on the blog about how I have gotten into the “Insanity” workouts and have lost some weight and gotten healthier.
But, in the last two weeks I have lost all motivation to eat right and be healthy. I haven’t run or worked out and I am eating like my old self again.
And, I am feeling it.
So as we were discussing this idea of “why” in our training, it hit me. I had lost my “why” when it comes to maintaing a healthy workout routine. Why was it that I was able to do 60 days of Insanity when previously I was unable to workout more than 2-3 days in a row?
The answer came to me suddenly. The reason I was able to workout consistently was not because I tried harder than other times of my life. The reason was I had accountability. You see, when I started Insanity, I joined an online challenge group that checked in on my everyday.
You see, the “why” wasn’t about getting it shape. It was about having accountability and relationship. And, once my challenge group fizzled, so did my motivation to stay in shape.
For me, staying in shape is great, but to do it alone is not. So, why did I get in shape? To maintain and build new relationships.
So, tell me how this strikes you. How has the question of “why” affected you in your goals and direction? I would love to hear back from you.