This is The Only Question That Matters
Two men stand unmoving, dazed by what just happened. They're in different cities at different times of the day. Both are holding a gun they've just fired. They've both just shot someone.
What's the difference?
The difference, the only difference, is the answer to the only question that matters. The question is,
Why tells us that one man walked into a convenience store wearing a mask. Why tells us that the other man is standing in his home and protecting his family from the intruder who broke in through a window. One man is a criminal, one is not.
If you're not asking “why,” you're missing the heart of the story, the thing that says one man's actions are to be condemned and the other's make him a hero. Why is the only question that matters.
As leaders, you and I have to look at the why behind the what.
John comes in late almost as often as he's on time. If we didn't ask the right question, if we didn't ask why, we may think he's lazy, undisciplined or a bad employee. Asking why, we find out that he has a daughter that's handicapped; some days she's able to get herself ready for school, other days John has to help her.
Asking why allows us to look at the result of a project and figure out what went well and what didn't. Why tells us what to do different and what to do the same. If we never asked why, we'd never advance in science, we'd never cure any disease and we'd never find our soul mates. Why leads to understanding.
Why allows us to distinguish right from wrong, determine why we are successful, and figure out why our friends are our friends and not just people we pass in the hall. Why separates good performances from great ones.
Life is not and cannot be just about what we do. Life is about having a purpose; and our purpose comes from our why.
Find your why today. If you already know your why, share it with me in the comment section below!