WHY I do WHAT I do…? Inspired by the book, "Start with Why" by Simon Sinek
When people ask me what I do, or to tell them about Bottom Line Yoga, I often resort to the WHAT, with a, “We provide yoga and meditation to professionals during the workday.” At the end of the day, that is exactly what we do. The WHAT is often really easy to grasp, and it helps people understand how to utilize our services.
Now, the WHY helps explain why we do what we do. As I’ve written about before, yoga changed my life drastically. I’ve said it a million times, but sometimes I even forget. Just recently I started reading a great book called, Start with Why.And I was confronted with a question that brought my perspective back full-force, “WHY did you start doing WHAT you’re doing in the first place, and WHAT can you do to bring your cause to life considering all the technologies and market opportunities available today?”
My mission is to provide people with the means to discover their intrinsic value, thus allowing them to live by their own personal bottom line. In our world, we are often valued most for WHAT we do, as it’s usually the FIRST question people will ask when they first meet us. We therefore begin to value the answer to that question, more then recognizing WHY people ask that question in the first place. What I’ve discovered is people only ask us that question because they’re seeking ways to connect - we are all seeking to connect. However this question dismisses the reality that true connection comes by seeing someone’s intrinsic value and worth.
If you’re an accountant because you love helping people save money, so they can afford to spend more money doing things they love, than you're likely able to connect with your clients in a more meaningful way. And, this mutually beneficial experience probably makes you feel rewarded in your work. However if you are an accountant because it's easy for you, and you like the letters C-P-A after your name, than you are likely miserable with the work you do. Now, what we don't realize is that a person can easily shift from having a miserable career to one they love, by simply learning to connect to what they're doing in a NEW way. What I discovered early on was it’s not WHAT we do that matters, but WHY we do it. If you talk to the happiest people you know, they likely live by their WHY.
Growing up, I was told I needed to have the best job and make the most money, or at least that’s what I heard from society. During my commitment with Teach for America, I discovered I loved teaching, but I was not content in the current education system. I decided to continue exploring my love of teaching by teaching the one thing that helped me discover my intrinsic value, YOGA. I found my bottom line, my value, through the practice of yoga. If you want to know that answer to the question, who are you when know one else is around, than practice yoga and meditation because the answer lies beneath the surface.
The practice of yoga helped me find my WHY for my career, as well as my life. Bottom Line Yoga is just an expression of me living my WHY. I desire to bring yoga and meditation to the world because I know when people discover and align with their intrinsic value, they are better at everything they do, and I found my value through YOGA.
Many times I come across people who discover yoga, and they decide they want to quit their day jobs to teach yoga because they are so grateful for yoga in their life. I usually tell them to wait because teaching yoga is a WHAT, not a WHY. Bottom Line Yoga is a business, and my primary day-to-day job is to run a business. My WHY is often seen through my passion when teaching yoga, or working with clients, but I express my WHY even when I’m not teaching yoga. Because after I discovered my WHY, I honestly believe I could do any job that aligns with my values in the very same way because it’s not WHAT I’m doing, but WHY I’m doing it. I love connecting and getting to know other humans!
If you’re a lawyer, stay practicing law. If you’re an accountant, keep crunching numbers. Once you find your intrinsic value as a human, and you’re able to connect to other humans on a heart level, then everything you do will have more meaning. If you hate your job, remember that you aren’t your job, and you can start doing things you love while you work. (Just a note, some places and people are toxic to our growth, and leaving is good, as long as you're not running from personal growth. It's important to take time and notice the difference.)
The yoga world has become a reflection of the rest of what we’re feeling as a culture - a disconnection to our WHY. All over social media, we see Instagram posts where people are doing yoga, so everyone can admire them doing yoga. This only exemplifies the same WHAT problem we see everywhere else. You are valued as a true yogi if you can do a handstand - if you can’t therefore you aren’t a true yogi. Just another reminder that all things can become about WHAT you can do, and lose the WHY. This distraction and loss of value can literally happen to anyone in any profession!
What the world needs right now are CEO’s, entrepreneurs, prisoners, homeless youth, financial planners, office managers, investors, talent recruiters, grocery clerks, politicians, and literally everyone under the sun to discover their WHY - their reason for being. The way I discovered this was through YOGA, but yours might be through volunteering, or starting a social group, or going back to school. Wherever your intrigue leads you just keep seeking, and you will find. Once you find your WHY, of course, you'll lose it again only to find it again. If you recall even Apple, Inc. lost their WHY and Steve Jobs from 1985-1997, only to re-hire Jobs and re-connect to their WHY, and to TAKE over the WHY world to become the leading example of how a company can make lots of money, and live in alignment with the WHY!