The Secret Society of WHY

Kids ask the question. A lot. All day, sometimes, it seems.


Why is the sky blue? Why does your tongue stick to the pole when it’s cold outside? Why do I have to eat my vegetables? Why do people yawn?

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Sometimes out of exasperation and fatigue, we might exclaim, “Because that’s the way it is!”

If you’ve tried it, you know that answer isn’t going to satisfy a kid.

Comfortable Misery

Fast-forward to adulthood where people have stopped asking WHY. They’ve accepted “because that’s the way it is” as the only answer.

I’ve used the term “comfortable misery” to describe a state commonly found in corporate environments, but certainly not limited to them. Unfortunately, people are often unfulfilled either at work, at home or both with their career and their personal lives.

People who are comfortably miserable do a lot of complaining, but don’t do anything to change their situation. In fact, they get intensely threatened when change is even suggested. They’re miserable, but they’d rather stay where they’re comfortable than risk the unknown.

Are you ready to leave the land of comfortable misery and join the Secret Society of WHY? I joined the Secret Society of WHY when I hired a coach.

I had come to realize that all of the world’s high-level performers, from Tiger Woods and Wayne Gretzky to Oprah Winfrey, got where they are with the help of a coach, mentor or guide (sometimes many of them).

And so I thought, maybe there’s something to this!

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The surrender begins

When I first hired a coach I was looking for a structured, formal recipe for success.

My background, experience and schooling had created that belief and expectation. It’s what I knew.

You figured out what you wanted and then created a step-by-step plan to get it. Except the coach I hired didn’t work that way.

Her approach was far from formulaic, far from structured. And thank goodness, because I needed time to shift my beliefs – to surrender.

Instead of step-by-step instructions, she gave me questions to answer. WHY do I do what I do? What is my purpose? What is the meaning behind it? What legacy do I want to leave? How do I want to serve the world? What is my calling?

Looking back at my lifetime of previous career choices, my coach pointed out that even without step-by-step plans, I had returned over and over again to the types of careers and positions that reflected the WHY answers I was only just starting to define.

Now, I give myself permission to focus on the WHY and let it happen. Just like it always has.

Here are your instructions for joining the Secret Society of WHY:

W – WHY is the only question that matters. To create a fulfilled life, you have got to be connected to the purpose behind your choices. Act with the intention of manifesting that purpose, rather than acting out of the fear that you might lose something you have been hanging on to, especially if that “something‟ is making you miserable.

H – The HOW will take care of itself. Don’t get tangled up in making plans and mapping out HOW you’ll get what you want. When you forget and begin to struggle, let go and watch things fall into place again. When you’re fully alive and passionately connected to your WHY, decisions are easy and resources appear when they are needed.

Y – YOU are joining a secret society of people. Not everyone is ready for this message and some will question your new beliefs out of fear of losing what they know. Watch for others like YOU because when you are living this way they will drift naturally and magically into your life. Support and validate each other.

The Gem – Know what you want. Let go of HOW it will happen and focus on WHY you want it to happen.

Your Piggy Bank Payment – Write down in one sentence what your WHY is. Post it somewhere you will see it every day, such as a mirror, computer or fridge. Read and feel your WHY every day.

On the Write Track – Every morning, write down 3 things you will do today to support your WHY.

For more inspiring and life-changing ideas, watch The Sugar Free Shawn Show at

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