The Starting Point for Success

medium_4584842646In my last post, I wrote about the importance of working hard at the right things. You can read it here.

In order to do that we must know what the right things are. Which means we need to know where to start. Every journey starts somewhere. The journey to success is no different.

The starting point for success is purpose. Why.

When we are very young, one of the first questions we learn is, “Why?”  As a parent with a toddler will attest, it becomes their favorite question.

When my oldest daughter was three, we lived a mile from the church and it took 3.5 minutes to get home weaving through our neighborhood. One Wednesday night after church as we took that 3.5 minute drive home, she asked 28 “Why” questions. (Yes, I really did count them.)

The thing is, that early question we latch on to as children is actually a vital question that should not be reserved to toddlers. It is a question we shouldn’t stop asking. We need to know why not just what or how. If we never ask why we are doing what we are doing, we will eventually end up wasting our time and effort on something that no longer matters.

Imagine every morning walking out to your car, sticking a “Z” shape medal rod into the front of your car and turning it several times before getting in and heading off to work. Of course, there was a time when this was necessary in order to start the vehicle. Then along came the electric starter connected to a battery and cranking was no longer needed. But, maybe one just felt nostalgic about cranking or maybe it was what they were told must be done and so they continue to do so even though it is not needed. Silly. Crazy. Ridiculous.

Who would shove a crank into the grill of their new car and turn it before getting in to start it?

If one didn’t understand why, they might still do so because it is what was once done.

While that example is extreme, there are some who do the equivalent in their work and lives because they stopped asking why and just keep doing what was done before.

In order for us to achieve success in whatever endeavor we are pursuing, we must know the why, the purpose behind what we do. Then we need to look at whether or not our actions also match the purpose.

Whatever it is you are attempting to do, stop right now and ask the question “Why? What is my real purpose in this endeavor?” Only then can we begin to work hard at the right things and move toward success.

 

photo credit: joeduty via photopin cc