Sunday, June 6, 2010

Not what, but why

Why do you do what you do? What is your cause? What is your purpose? What inspires you? What empowers you? What do you feel in your gut and your heart?

The Wright brothers loved learning new things. Although neither of them finished high school, they started their first business together by building a printing press out of broken and recycled parts. Later they became interested in bicycles and opened a bicycle sales and repair shop. In 1896, Wilbur set his sights on flying.

Around the same time Samuel Langley was being funded by the US War Department to figure out a flying machine. He had all the financial backing he needed and hired the brightest minds to help him be the first to fly.

Conversely the Wright brothers had no financial backing but had a dream of flying. They pursued the idea of flying from their hearts. It was a mystery they had a passion to solve. They could not hire people to help them, but they inspired people to help them. They were not focused on fame but rather on what it would feel like to fly.

Of course the rest is history. Everyone knows about the Wright brothers who invented the first successful plane. But few have heard of Langley who gave up after the Wright brothers made their first successful flight.

Simon Sinek was an advertising executive who lost his passion for advertising and had to struggle to rediscover his excitement about life and work. He came up with the concept he called the Golden Circle. The innermost layer of the circle is "why", the middle layer is "how" and the outer layer is "what". Everyone knows what they do. This is the clearest part. They know how they do it. But what about why they do it?

Most people work from the outside in. They think about what they do before they think about why they do it. Often they lead lives of frustration staying stuck with what they are doing. Eventually they may change what they do out of boredom or because of outside circumstances.

People who work from the inside out, knowing why they do what they do, lead inspired and fulfilling lives. The "why" is not as easily defined as the "what". They are operating from a deeper gut level. They do not do what they do just to make a living, to live up to expectations, or to find fame and fortune. If they change what they do, they change because their "why" has led them in a new direction.

The brain has three evolutionary layers. The oldest layer is the reptilian layer that controls breathing, heart rate and digestion. The next layer is the limbic system that is responsible for our emotions, human behavior, decision making and our gut feelings. It controls our "why". It does not know language. The neocortex is the newest layer and corresponds with our rational, analytical thought and language. It controls our "what" and "how".

If we have a clear idea of why we are practicing yoga, our yoga can soar. Our intention is part of our "why". We need to feel our yoga to truly experience it. When yoga is done half-heartedly or as a mechanical exercise, we will miss out on the inspirational side of yoga. We miss the inner feeling of contentment and bliss. We can still experience the physical benefits but we cheat ourselves from the full package. Yoga means union. When the mind, body and spirit are involved, we are practicing the truest form of yoga.

To feel inspired and to inspire others, we have to know our why. Our basic emotions are connected with our "whys". Our deepest desires come from our "wants" not our "shoulds". If you listen to your gut and move from your core, you will have the foundation and confidence to live life to its fullest where the sky is the limit.


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  2. 灰心是動搖的開端,動搖是失敗的近鄰。..............................