UPS delivered a book to me today. Now I ordered a book, but the book that showed up was not the one that I ordered. My immediate question was “why?” Which is kind of funny, because the title of the book is “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek. Did I order the wrong book by mistake? Did someone order it for me? Did my husband order it?
Why? It’s the most basic question. Maybe even the first question when as young children we begin to form words and sentences. I remember when my own children first began asking “Why?” My guess is that if you are a parent, you remember as well. At first, it’s cute, sweet and innocent. It gives us great delight when our little person becomes inquisitive about the world around them. But somewhere along the line after about the 100th why, we begin to feel annoyed. I distinctly remember my mom often replying “because I SAID SO!” Period.
I’ve always been inquisitive and a “why” person by nature. Why? Because I like to learn and because it helps me to “buy-in” when I know why. There is great value in asking yourself some “why” questions.
For example, why eat well? Meditate? Exercise? Make sleep a priority? Why is individual. Your why might be different than mine. I do my best to eat well because I truly believe that food is medicine and many of the chronic diseases that afflict a large population of Americans is preventable with good nutrition. As for meditation, I have found that when I take even 10-15 minutes to meditate I get immediate clarity. In a world of constant distraction, this clarity provides peace of mind and helps me stay focused on what’s important. I never had a sleep routine until recently. As I learned the benefits of getting consistent sleep and changed my own sleep habits I began to notice how much better I felt the next day. I was less angry, more patient and had more energy.
Exercise is a difficult one for me. This one is a challenge because I spend much of my time working and parenting. I used to only think about exercise at the end of the day or week and then it was in a negative way because I shamed myself for not having exercised at all or enough. As I’m getting older my why for exercise is nagging at me because having a good quality of life as I age is extremely important. I don’t believe when you get older that everything falls apart and you are doomed to spend your days medicated and clinging on to life waiting for “the big one!” I believe the motto "move it, or lose it!" If we exercise, we can keep our heart and bones strong, stay flexible, balanced and energized. So now I schedule it FIRST!
Why comes before what and how. Why am I tired? Why do I eat so much sugar? Why do I get sucked into social media for so long or binge watch Netflix? Why am I afraid to ask for help? Why am I sad? Angry? Depressed? Why don’t I create boundaries for myself? Why do I keep doing that thing I say I'm NOT going to do? Taking some time to get quiet will provide the space that is needed to answer these questions. Often when we are trying to create new habits or achieve goals we begin with the what, followed by the how, and forget the why. Knowing your why and constantly reminding yourself why will help inspire you and put you back on track when you falter, as you most certainly will do from time to time.
Here's a question to ponder- Why be self-centered? Isn't being self-centered a "bad thing?" Isn't it selfish? Being self-centered does mean you have to spend time on yourself, this is true. Being self-centered requires saying yes to you and sometimes no to other people's requests for your time and energy. But being self-centered is also the ultimate gift for not only you but your family, friends, and community. When you are self-centered you are the best version of you. You are a positive role model. You show everyone around you that you don't have to "fit in" to belong. When you are self-centered you are inspiring, motivating and energizing! Why be self-centered? When you are self-centered you are able to be more courageous, compassionate and connect to life in the most authentic way possible!
With Love & Gratitude,
Kinda and Rachel