The clock on my computer says 4:50 am. My 6-week-old sleeps in the bouncy seat beside me. I won't go on and on about how she kept me up all night, because the truth is, she didn't. She slept from 10pm until almost 4:30am, and in newborn baby land, I put that in the category of freaking amazing. And so, for a moment, as I walked to the kitchen to turn on my Keurig machine, I asked myself what I was doing. Why was I seconds away from turning on my laptop instead of going back to sleep? I have a cold. I don't feel great and my bed looked delicious as I exited this morning. It called to me like a lover. Run away with me. Sink your head into my fluffy pillows, hide under my covers and never come back.
And I swear it wasn't Shawn. He's still sound asleep next to Dillon, who apparently crawled in between us sometime in the middle of the night.
Speaking of Shawn, weeks ago he sent me a link to a video. The subject line read: "Video for inspiration". Shawn is a hardworking, highly motivated person. He's smart and has an uncanny ability to cut through the bs. And sometimes I call him the Rainmaker because he's really good at his job. He's gifted at making connections. For example, he put one of his groomsmen and my college roommate together on the dance floor at our wedding reception and said, "Scott, meet Lexanne. Lexanne, meet Scott." And they got married. Shawn knew it would happen.
So as I was saying, Shawn has a gift. But flowery words like inspiration rarely cross his lips. That's more my department. But he couldn't stop talking about this video. Perhaps you've seen Simon Sinek talk about how great leaders inspire action. In it, Sinek says people don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
They don't buy what you do. They buy why you do it. He repeated himself for effect. It worked.
Last night I was watching "American Idol", and the contestants want to be stars. They want fame and record deals and the opportunity to hang out with the likes of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. But some of them, I noticed, are connected with their why. Here's what JLo said to a contestant named Heejun:
When you go there Heejun, when you believe, when you let go of all the other stuff... which I love all the other stuff, I love all the funny and I love that side of your personality...but when you connect and you really sing to us, you move people.
Recently, I asked myself why I write this blog. In the past week, close friends have commented that I've "kicked it up a notch" and am writing in a way that makes them remember "that girl from Hanahan." And one even said "Your writing just went from cute blog to something amazing, compelling even." Cute blog? Ugh. Amazing and compelling. Much better. I accept this feedback with humility and gratitude, because they are my friends and honest critics. But it also makes me freak out a little. I ask myself, can I really keep showing up here and digging into my soul like an archaeologist? Do I have it in me to be more real, more often?
Then I tell those voices of self-sabotage (I know them well) to back off. Those voices aren't afraid of failure. Those voices are afraid of success. And success is not fame. Success is what happens when we live out our why. When I reconnect with my why (and believe me when I say it's a concept I'm still processing) I'm not afraid anymore. We don't need to be scared of our why. The why is what saves us.