The Big Why
It all began with that one question. The three dark-skinned men all dressed in suits, sitting directly at my front, taking pleasure in the way I was giving them the desired answers to the questions they were asking me. Everything was going smoothly and I was already assured that I was going to get the job. Then, that question came in like a “black sheep” amongst others. “So, why did you apply for this job?”, the interviewer asked me. I suddenly became silent like a wild cat that got lost in the forest. I couldn’t give an answer to that question or rather, should I say, I didn’t know the answer to provide to the question. That one question ruined it all, rendering me jobless for a long period of time.
It took me a long time before realizing the importance of the WHY story in certain steps/actions that one takes in life. Why did you decide to take that step? Why are you doing what you’re doing? Do you even know what the BIG WHY is all about? Or are you part of those that believe that they only do things when they feel like without any reason being attached? Let me tell you now that it’s time you rid yourself of that false belief or it might cost you something big later in life. Behind every “no reason lies a concrete” reason or cause for your actions. Are you curious to know more about the WHY story? Read along and let’s dive together into the world of THE BIG WHY.
Your BIG WHY is that reason or cause for taking a particular step or action. It must be rational, clear and specific(i.e. it must be clearly stated in specific terms). A good example of a clearly stated WHY is “Fighting hunger and poverty in Africa through skill empowerment”. This example shows that someone, somewhere is taking a particular step or action but why is that person taking that action? It’s because he/she wants to fight hunger and poverty in Africa. It should also be noticed in the above example that the BIG WHY stated how the person wants to achieve the goal, which is through skill empowerment and this is very important. Your clearly stated WHY must include how you intend to achieve the goal you stated.
There are various things that can initiate your WHY story. It could be an experience you have been through and would like to change/improve for future generations. Also, it can be the challenge(s) faced by people around you( be it friends or family) and would like to provide solution(s) to in order to avoid future recurrences. It is imperative for you to know or establish your BIG WHY because it has many advantages amongst which I’ll be discussing three with you below:
It connects you with the right set of people
Establishing or knowing your BIG WHY connects you with the appropriate set of people that will aid the achievement of your goal(s). The moment you make the mistake of connecting with the wrong people, it becomes difficult or even, almost impossible to achieve your goal. Hence, the importance to connect with the right set of people which can only be possible if you identify your BIG WHY.
It keeps you going even when the flames of passion burn out
It is only natural for you to lose interest in doing something you’ve always found pleasure in doing. At that point, the flames of passion are said to have burnt out. Then, this is when determination set in. After passion is lost, determination is the one thing that can keep you going. However, you can only be determined if you know and have clearly stated why you’re doing what you’re doing.
An example of this is Tayo, a young adult whom education was not easy for while growing up. He eventually scaled through all the difficulties and then makes it his mission to provide easy education for the upcoming young learners. However, at some point when things are not going as expected, Tayo would always be discouraged and felt like quitting. But whenever he gets to remember his BIG WHY and all that he had gone through in the past, it always gives him the courage and determination to keep moving. That’s how important one’s BIG WHY can be.
It prompts you to think of how best you can achieve your goal
Knowing your BIG WHY provides you with various ways in which you can achieve your goal; hence, giving you the opportunity to choose the best way. For example, you have an interview to attend by 10 am and woke up late. You have to get ready in haste so as to get to the venue before the time for the interview. After getting all prepared and ready to leave for the interview, you have the option of either boarding a bus, which is cheap and slow or a motorcycle which is more expensive but faster. It is right for your instinct to go with the motorcycle which is expensive but faster which. This is the best option because you wouldn’t want to be late for your interview.
These 3 points and many more are the importance of your BIG WHY. If you haven’t established or identified your BIG WHY, now is the right time to do so. A goal without a clear purpose will stay unachieved until its BIG WHY has been identified. These few steps will help in the easy establishment or identification of your WHY story:
- Flashback to when you started doing what you’re doing
- What prompted you to take that step?
- What are the things you’re focusing on?
- Reflect on why you’re doing those things?
Following the steps above with an open mind will definitely give you the answer(s) to your question(s).
We are TheReformers, a non-governmental organization aimed at accelerating Africa out of poverty and hunger using extra-value education, mentorship and skill empowerment to build people-centric leaders and create jobs. To learn more about TheReformers, click here.
However, don’t forget to share your BIG WHY with us in the comment section below.
Tijani Qodirat Omotola