What is your “Why”? and why the will to prove yourself takes you a LONG way

I’ve been re-reading the book “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek off late and that has my brain analyzing, one thing led to another and i’m convinced “a certain type” of people that succeed (success being a term here driven by societal standards) are people that have the strongest “why” no doubt!

I was first introduced to this topic by Simon Sinek’s book and watching his videos, in his book he talks about how certain key figures in life such as Martin Luther king were able to drive massive impact as their Why was strong and had unshakable optimism and then he goes on to explain how companies who start with “why” they exist rather than the “what” of what they sell create customer mania and long term profitability.

Background on “Start with why” and what is it really?

Everything in life has a “Why” if you consciously think about it, why you live in a certain place? why you’re dating a specific person? why you’re in a certain field? Why you’re choosing to leave your job? XYZ the list goes on. Having a deep sense of why in life can form a solid identity for us.

Stories of people winning against all odds also boils down to them persisting in life through hardships as their sense of Why is strong, An immigrant in another country feels the need to prove themselves, as some can feel they don’t belong! this factor’s into their strong sense of why with the following feeling

“ I am a child of an immigrant my parents went through XYZ, I have to become successful for all the hardships they faced and also because I need to prove to the country I am in, that I belong, I matter — whole heartedly”

Another could be a child bullied through highschool, forming an identity to prove himself and acquiring certain amount of wealth as he grows older to feel a sense of self worth, his why is “I need to become like the cool kids and that comes from wealth so let me get wealthy and date a model”

Everyone’s why stems from different life experiences, perspectives, thoughts and early life formation. Some why’s evolve as we grow, some stay the same.

Some common and strong Why’s are

a) Want to become financially strong to provide for the immigrant parents that worked so hard

b) People who’ve been dealt tough cards and made it through gloriously on the other side have transitioned to “why’s” of creating an impact in the world. Eg: Malala, JK Rowling

c) Some want “fame” as they see that being the ultimate success

d) Some desire recognition, maybe because they felt unseen in their early years

e) Then there are some that need to “prove themselves” and that becomes their why

Let’s focus on Why “wanting to prove yourself to the world” is a strong why? and aids in success

Easiest thing is to look around you and think deeply about why certain people are succeeding in certain things in life, if you’re still not sure ask them!

Slowly, but surely you might see this pattern in some around you, I’ve seen this desire to succeed financially and make something of their life for people who come from humble backgrounds and are competitive by nature v/s non competitive kids who have been blessed with a financially strong family.

The humble, competitive being has so much more to prove and loose that their why carries them through storms that come up and for people who feel the added layer to “prove themselves” can run through the extra mile that might not even carry through the humble, competitive type.

Pro’s and Con’s of this Why mindset

Pro’s

  1. The biggest pro is definitely that it can bring you a long way in life and give you the strength to continue one project after another (It’s more this kind of personality, so we’ve achieved X, let’s now go towards Y full speed)

Jennifer Lopez in her documentary on Netflix, mentions that since she’s a Latina, she constantly feels the need to prove herself.

Another example is Naomi Osaka — Tennis Player, (someone that makes for a great role model to young girls) she mentions in her documentary that her whole point of playing Tennis stemmed from “wanting her mom to stop working overtime and because many people told her father she would never be anything”

Now I don’t know her personally but through how the documentary portrays her she seems to be a deep being, who’s why is bigger than being a great if not best tennis player and definitely didn’t involve the part of being “famous” . Her why — took her so FAR along but mentally being an empathetic person her why also wanted to do more, be more.

2. Having the push to stick to something becomes much easier this is with most strong “why’s” and this particular one pulls you further around through some big puddles in life.

Con’s

  1. Achieving a state of mental peace and calmness can get harder as you’re in a constant state of proving for big or small things in life. An easy way to spot this is someone who is super competitive in winning a friendly board game, they definitely somewhere deep down have a why to prove in life and that unconsciously translates towards friendly games as well
  2. Mental Health can suffer, especially since brain might find it much harder to stay in grounding states of energy
  3. Also likely to be a cause for burnout, as taking a break might seem counterproductive.

Final conclusion

The concept of “why” is such a beautiful one and the first time I read the book by Simon Sinek I was awakened and in the need to question every tiny “why” in my life. His videos provide so much logic wisdom that I can’t helped but feel the need to evolve, access and dive a little bit deeper than before.

SO what is your Why? What is driving you in life ;)

Below are some links to this video’s that are definitely worth watching

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp0HIF3SfI4

2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNgQOHwsIbg

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Payal A Kumar

Payal A Kumar

All things Spiritual, Wellness centric and dedicated to our evolution journey