It is 14:07 on a fine afternoon. Here I am sitting in a local café ironically sipping a cup of hot cappuccino in a considerably warm day. Here I am trying to put my thoughts into words. It’s been a while since the last time I wrote, and it feels… nice. Let’s just say I have not been putting enough effort into managing my blog this past year or so, even when there are friends, and even strangers, who reached out to me and encouraged me to continue doing what I was doing. Instead of taking on the encouragement, I looked the other way around and made excuses.
“I am busy with all these school deadlines.”
“I am on my final term in school, so I need to focus.”
“I can’t force myself to write.”
“I don’t feel like writing.”
“But it takes so much of my time.”
“I don’t have anything to write about.”
“Who would want to read what I wrote?”
“There’s no point.”
Excuses after excuses did I make until I run out of it. Why? I am not sure. Maybe somewhere along the way I have lost the motivation to continue. Maybe somewhere along the way I have lost sight of the WHY behind what I do. But here I am resisting all the tempting call to procrastinate and watch Riverdale, here I am putting my mind and heart back into doing what I used to do. Here I am today, back at it. And just a fair warning, this post might be more of a ‘curhat’ session, but do bear with me today.
(Intermezzo. Okay maybe that wasn’t completely honest. Maybe I started writing today because of the fact I am back in Jakarta, and most of my friends are working. Hence, there are not many people I can bother on a day to day basis.)
I have been reading a book titled “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek. It talks about how the WHYs of what you do is essential and foundational if you want it to last. And so, with all the time I have in the world, I took the time to think through of the WHYs of this blog. The book differentiates the WHY from the WHATs and the HOWs – yes, they are three very different things. Summarizing the words of Sinek, here are the definitions. WHAT is simply the identifiable product, both the tangible and the intangible, within a system. HOW, though not as obvious and identifiable, is the method or process to get to where one wants to be or produces the WHATs one desire. Though these two make a large proportion of our lives or the things we do, there is yet a missing detail. It’s the WHY. WHY is the purpose, cause or belief of your activity. Why should the WHAT exist? Why should anyone even care?
Anyway, reading this book reminded me to return to the core of the existence of this blog. It refreshed my memory of why I started my very own blog, sharing my vulnerabilities and my stories so openly to the public. And so yes, let me go back to the WHYs.
Who I am today will never be possible without the many people who have made a huge impact in my life. I learn from people – from the day-to-day encounters I have with them, from the failures they have gone through, from the successes they have achieved, or simply from my own observations of how different people respond to circumstances in life. I cannot tell you how much I’ve learned about life and how much I’ve grown as an individual just by hanging out with people. And by people I meant each and every person, because I know that each person has their own unique story and unique lesson only that person can ‘teach’. Knowing that I won’t be where I am today without the stories people carry with their lives, I want to be that person with a story that may (or may not) help others too. Though my story might not be as exciting as I made them sound to be, thought it might not be relevant to some of you, it is my unique story I get to tell, and even if it just speaks to one person, I think my effort is not in vain. This blog is not about showing how good I am (because clearly I am far from good) or how great my life has been (if you read through most of my posts, you’ll know I’ve been on such crazy bumpy ride). But rather, because of my brokenness in many aspects in life, I’d want to share with you what holds me together all this time – as for me, it is faith in God. And I hope to inspire you to discover whatever it is that holds you together when the world seems to be tearing apart.
My WHY got fuzzy along the way. It got hidden by the WHATs, where I started worrying more about the number of views I got on my site, or the visuals and layout that will be more aesthetically pleasing. And I guess it really proves to me that WHATs, as tangible as they are, cannot survive without a strong sense of WHY. So today, let these intriguing questions speak to you as much as they speak to myself. Is there anything you are doing that is just burdensome to you? Do you wish for the burning passion you once had but is somehow lost along the way? May I suggest you to restart. To restart with WHY. And I hope with those answers, you may find your way back to the core of whatever you are doing, and not only will you keep doing what you are doing, you will do it with greater passion and all the while scaling up what you intended to produce.
To close, let me quote a paragraph from the book that compares WHY with an arrow. It says, “Before it can gain any power or achieve any impact, an arrow must be pulled backward, 180 degrees away from the target. And that’s also where a WHY derives its power. The WHY does not come from looking ahead at what you want to achieve and figuring out an appropriate strategy to get there. It comes from looking in the completely opposite direction from where you are now. Finding WHY is a process of discovery, not invention.”