A couple of years ago, I had to answer the Why questions. As simple as the first question was, it threw me off balance. However, I’m glad I answered them all because I now know how critical my work is in the scheme of things, even globally. The questions went like this:
Q: Why are you a Wellbeing Specialist?
A: To relieve people in pain, educate them on health and wellness, and guide them on how to lead a healthy life.
Q: Why do you want to do all that for people?
A: To improve the quality of life for individuals to enhance workplace productivity, which translates into growth and increased profitability of the businesses and organisations in which they work. Because when such organisations grow and make profits, they would positively impact their immediate environment and the world.
We must ask ourselves the why questions in any career, either chosen or found ourselves doing, because knowing what, how, where, and when we do our jobs are important but somewhat short-sighted. Therefore, understanding the why of your job and the ability to find
a bigger picture in your global role serving humanity indicate that whatever you do is more significant than you in every sense.
Our role in the scheme of things being bigger than us reminded me of Oprah Winfrey’s interview some years back at Stanford Graduate School. In the discussion on career, life, and leadership, she highlighted the need to know yourself, what you are doing and why you are here to do it.
Even though knowing one’s why brings direction, relevance, and fulfilment, the core is that it makes you put in and give out your best in whatever you find yourself doing. Meaning because you have the bigger picture, your why makes you more passionate about what you do and opens your eyes to the endless possibilities tied to it, which ultimately brings success in the form of wealth, accomplishments, fame, and accolades. Hence, the reasons to do what you love and enjoy for a living.
Anyone in a job or career with the ultimate why as money seldom gets fulfilled because a human being is to fulfil a greater purpose than themself, which is serving humanity. So, when a politician who gets asked the reason for running for office answers with a sense of
self-gratification, one can easily submit that the mission is not to serve but to get served, and there is no way on earth such a person can come as one and stand as ten thousand.
The legal system has a compelling way of showing intention’s role in cases. In law, specific verdicts are pronounced based on intention; as such, intention separates murder from manslaughter, bribe from a gift, and consensual sex from rape. If intention can be such a defining force in deciding on critical societal circumstances despite the actual act of crime committed, then you would agree that being intentional about your career whys is of utmost importance.
Another benefit of knowing your whys is that it helps you navigate what you shouldn’t do as you go along and grow in your career. Your ability to answer the why questions and put the responses in perspective would help define what to stand or fall for – giving an illustration here with an aspect of my business that renders spa services. In the industry, charges are determined by the time spent; therefore, business owners can decide to start a sixty-minute session from the moment the client walks in or the moment the client gets on the massage table. Many big outlets run with the first option, meaning the client’s time starts counting from the moment they walk into the building, regardless of other activities involved before the massage. However, knowing my why as to bring true relief while giving value for money compels me not to give a 45-minute massage even if the first 15 minutes were spent in preparation for the session by the client. Therefore, running my business with the second option allows the client to spend 60 minutes on the massage table.
Giving your best for the greater good beyond yourself is always a great avenue to build strong relationships, receive support and become successful, as whatever you do becomes easy. This ideology is so practical that even the universe would entrust its resources to your care. So, when Oprah was asked another question during the same interview about how she often felt when in a decisive meeting where she was the only woman and probably the only black. She responded, I love it. She never felt intimidated or egoistic about it because she knew two things; she found herself in that position because some people who came before her paved the way for her to be there, signifying humility. And that she owed it to the future generations to do right to pave the way for those coming right behind, indicating intention.
Olayinka Opaleye, a well-being specialist, writes from Lagos. Tel: 08100371304. Email: [email protected] or follow her on LinkedIn: https://lnkd.in/efCmu87J