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One evening, Rita and her husband Dennis looked out the window of their apartment. It rained. Outside, a man walked past a pond. He stopped. Rita looked at Dennis because the man walked into the water. “We have to go down,” she said. The man was already waist-deep in water when they arrived at the pond in the pouring rain. It was clear he wanted to end his life. Dennis had already called the emergency services, and Rita went into the water to talk to the man. He no longer had an outlook on his life and talked about his problems. Rita listened, and soon the police and ambulance arrived. The man was saved.
This last story from Rita was the key to her WHY:
I offer space to discover new ways so that we can improve the world together
Stories & experiences
A WHY statement is based on past stories and experiences. As soon as you express your WHY statement, it reminds you of your experiences and the feelings that come with them. Those feelings and emotions are a powerful force to live your WHY. It gives self-confidence, joy, and direction.
->Reading tip: How to find your WHY
Below, you’ll find other examples of WHY statements. They are all based on people’s experiences and stories. Some WHY statements may seem similar, but they are all unique because they are based on individual experiences and stories.
I bring people together so that they have the right conversation and
a more beautiful world is created
I activate others so that we can reach great heights together
I am unconditionally present so that there is connection and love
I am involved and connect people so that we can be there together
I spark the light on people so that together, we can achieve the impossible
This last WHY statement is based on a story from Manuel. His mother was addicted to alcohol, and his parents were divorced. He often sat alone with his mother in the bar, which was located below their apartment. He did this to keep her company and to ensure she didn’t drink too much and get into trouble. It was an impossible situation for both Manuel and her mother. Because Manuel paid attention to his mother, they stayed connected. Eventually, her mother gave up drinking, and her mother and father’s relationship improved.
The WHY of a tribe
The WHY statements of organizations, groups, or companies are also based on the founders’ or employees’ stories and experiences.
During a WHY session with people who work at a college library, impressive stories were told in groups. They were about how the library has been able to help students, teachers, and people from outside the college to make a difference in society. That resulted in the following WHY statement:
We make connections with our environment so that people can develop into professionals who contribute to society
A journey of discovery
Since 2018, I have been supporting people and organizations in discovering their WHY. It is an honor to be part of those journeys of discovery. People often tell very personal stories, and my job as a facilitator is to find the common thread in all the stories.
->Reading tip: What does a WHY session look like?
The common thread consists of recurring themes that can have a contribution or an impact. These are the core of a WHY statement: a contribution and its impact on the world. If you read all the WHY statements carefully again, you will see this. Other examples of WHY statements can be found here and here.
I have been helping people and organizations discover their WHY for over five years. It is noticeable that some themes often recur. People need to help, connect and want to improve the world. It’s often about growth and love. The former is a natural process, and the latter is universal.
What is the spiritual purpose of life? To learn how to give and receive love.—Harold Klemp
Do you want to discover your WHY or the one of your organization? I can help you! Contact me today.
What is the story behind your WHY, and how does it inspire you to do what you want to do every day? Let me know in the comment field below. The other readers of this article. and I are looking forward to reading from you!
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All names have been changed to respect people’s privacy.