Book Review: Find Your Why (Part 2)

“Take stock of you and your situation and start taking action toward what comes to you naturally.” ― Som Bathla

I finished the book from the book club I joined. By reading and listening to insights being shared in the group I got to realize that there is more to who we are, what we do and how we respond to circumstances around us. This is the basis upon which I am writing this second part of the book review and definitely encourage you to get a copy of the book to read. It’s one book that guides you through the process of finding a purpose in your life. As I stated in part 1, it’s not a quick fix so you may never get to find it instantly. Live through the process.

In finding an individual WHY, the book encourages us to reflect on our individual lives recollecting moments and memories that had a lasting impact on us. These can be both the happy moments and sad moments but ultimately there is an emotion associated with how they made us feel. Aligned to this, you can find the reason as to why it evoked the emotion. This sets you on track to finding your WHY.

As the old adage goes, “A woman in love is a poor judge of character“, as a person you always love yourself so much. In judging your own experiences and deciphering their meanings, you may just be the worst. This makes it ideal to have a trusted partner help you reflect through your stories as you share them and identify the key themes involved. The common or interrelated themes will then form a basis in establishing why you act, perceive and behave in a particular way. It’s setting stage for your WHY. There will be other themes that may come out and not make it to be part of the WHY. It doesn’t mean they are less important but they play a role in bringing your WHY to life. They can be part of your HOW or WHAT matrix.

The WHY concept also applies to group settings especially in  the book the focus is on companies and organizations. I think it can even apply in families especially new marriages to help set course for your married life together. This doesn’t exclude it for those who have been married for a while though.

In group setting, every individual has a WHY and these are supposed to be aligned to or nested upon the overall WHY of the group. Most times the focus is on ensuring individuals deliver on their job as required in the organization with little regard on their personal ambitions or inspirations. This is the reason millennials have a tough time fitting in the current workplace. They believe in living their purpose while most systems work so hard to shrivel your potential and reduce you to a robot-like maniac pushing for results.

It’s important to let every individual in the group state their experiences being part of the group i.e. from what inspired them or what they loved in being part of the team. This set the stage because often than not this is aligned to their WHY and they felt they could bring it to life through the group/organization. Once you can link these, you have a chance to put it to action by aligning it to the organization/company or team WHY. Once aligned and communicated solidly to the individuals the aim is to contextualize it in a way that every individual is inspired and motivated to give their best in realizing the organizations mission as it helps them live their purpose. A sense of ownership is created.

When I was reading this last section, I could resist reflecting on our woes as a nation with governance especially in the health sector. When H.E Uhuru Kenyatta was re-elected in 2017, he got into work and established a blueprint for what he had set out to achieve in his last tenure. This was dubbed the “Big Four Agenda“. As we are facing a global public health pandemic, it’s even clearer how a sense of ownership and action for our health systems is necessary. Unfortunately, since inception the blueprint has never gained common ownership by Kenyans. This is not only among the Kenyan population but even the leadership i.e. people mandated to bring it to life like the Cabinet Secretary for Health Hon. Mutahi Kagwe. How can we work towards the realization of a goal that’s not ours in the first place?

I have come to the realization that we all need to start from establishing a common narrative or basis for what we do i.e. our WHY and then take ownership to bring it to life.  A purpose that’s not put to action is as useless as the effort put in finding it. As we strive to find our WHY, let us also work on bringing it to life.

“Once you know your WHY, you have a choice to live it every day. Living it means consistently taking actions that are in line with the things you say. If you say one thing and do another too frequently, you will lose the trust of others. Our actions either add to or take away from the trust and loyalty others feel towards us. When the things we say and the things we do are aligned with what we believe, we are fully living our WHY. Will you choose to take a stand?”

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