Work Backwards

This is my confession. Of all mistakes I made at work and in life, the most tenaciously detrimental was the one caused by hastiness.

That’s when I worked on something just because the work came upon me. That’s when I worked on something without thinking the alignment with my ultimate goal. That’s when I began working on something out of fear (most commonly the fear of missing the deadline or losing).

I learned the hard way that why is much more important than how or what. I had to pay my dues in full whenever I worked on what and how first and tried to retrofit the why. In fact I could almost always figure out what and how when there was a strong why, but hardly ever without it.

I think figuring out why is about visualizing what you desire to see happen. It’s almost akin to creating a small piece of art which immediately gives you joy and grace merely by catching a glimpse of it.

That’s why understanding why you do what you do requires a level of honesty and courage. You need to put yourself before a mirror and see what’s being reflected without faking and airbrushing.

Work backwards. Start from why and then get to what and how.

Do not ever let fear overwhelm you. Stay firm on your ground until you can literally “see” why. If you’re lost, take a deep breath and believe you can break out of the chain.

And you don’t need to be a Plato to realize this is your life that’s the game of how honest you can be with your own why.

Thanks to Mikael Pernu for reading the draft of this post.

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