Starting without why
Action is the great clarifier.
When you’re unclear of your motivations, unable to figure out why you feel called to undertake something, the simplest solution is to act your way into understanding. To just go, trusting that the movement and the momentum will fill in the blank.
Because the reality is, starting with why isn’t always an option. Sometimes we have to start without why to allow the path to illuminate itself. Sometimes we have to get a half mile down the road, only to look back say, oh, so that’s why I started walking.
Behavioral psychologists would call this a variation of positive deviance, in which a person acts their way into a new way of thinking. They change their behavior through practice, not through knowledge.
When I decided to start wearing a nametag, all day everyday, I had no idea why I was doing it. There was zero motivation. I just started. But as time went on, I began to understand the implications of my experiment. Themes and patterns about identity and interaction and creativity and belonging began to make themselves known. I took notes and made observations and conducted research and wrote reflections on my experiences. And about a year into the process, the why finally announced itself.
I was writing a book. A book that would change the trajectory of my life forever.
The point is, you won’t know why until you try. And so, instead of beating yourself up for a lack of purpose, just start. Get to work doing something and let purpose enter through he side door.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What understanding have you acted your way into?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.
Now booking for 2015–2016.
Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!