“He who has a WHY to live; can bear almost any how.” – Frederich Nietzsche
A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the ‘WHY’ for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any ‘how.’ – Viktor E. Frankl
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy WHY you do it.” -Simon Sinek
The Why, How, What model is actually grounded in biology (not psychology).
If you were to look at a cross section of the brain from top down, you’d see that it corresponds perfectly to the golden circle.
Starting at the top, our “newest” (evolutionary) brain, our Homo-Sapiens Brain, called our Neocortex – it’s our what, it’s responsible for all our rational, analytical thought, and language.
The middle two sections make up our Limbic brains, which is for feelings, trust, and loyalty, it’s also responsible for all human behavior and decision making. It has no capacity for language.
In other words, when we communicate from the outside in, yes, people can understand vast amounts of complicated information, features and benefits and facts and figures, it just doesn’t drive behavior.
When we communicate from the inside out; we’re talking directly to the part of the brain that controls behavior, and then we allow people to rationalize it with the tangible things we say and do.
This is where gut decisions come from. It’s why you can give someone all the facts and figures and they’ll say that they know what all the facts and the details say, but it just doesn’t ‘feel’ right.
Why would they use that verb?
Because the part of the brain that controls decision making doesn’t control language.
Sometimes we say we’re leading with our heart, or our soul. That’s all happening in your limbic brain.
The Golden Circle
Why? Answering this question is not only good for a corporation; but it is the single most important question you can answer before making a choice or decision.
- Neocortex – our “newest” (evolutionary) brain, our Homo-Sapiens Brain – it’s our WHAT, it’s responsible for all our rational, analytical thought, and language.
Your conscious mind is your objective or thinking mind. It has no memory, and it can only hold one thought at a time. This mind has four essential functions.
First, it identifies incoming information. This is information received through any of the six senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, or feeling. Your conscious mind is continually observing and categorizing what is going on around you.
The second function of your conscious mind is comparison.
The third function of your conscious mind is analysis, and analysis always precedes the fourth function, deciding.
- The middle two sections make up our Limbic brains – it’s our HOW and WHY, referred to as the paleo mammalian cortex, which is for feelings, trust, and loyalty, it’s also responsible for all human behavior and decision making. It has no capacity for language. The limbic system is a set of structures in the brain that controls emotion, memories and arousal. It contains regions that detect fear, control bodily functions and perceive sensory information (among other things).
Let’s first take a moment to consider the fact that your subconscious mind is like a huge memory bank. Its capacity is virtually unlimited and it permanently stores everything that ever happens to you.
The function of your subconscious mind is to store and retrieve data. Its job is to ensure that you respond exactly the way you are programmed. Your subconscious mind makes everything you say and do fit a pattern consistent with your self-concept, your “paradigm.” Your paradigm is your set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that have been imprinted on your subconscious mind – your way of perceiving reality.
Your subconscious mind is subjective. It does not think or reason independently; it merely obeys the commands it receives from your conscious mind.
Just as your conscious mind can be thought of as the gardener, planting seeds, your subconscious mind can be thought of as the garden, or fertile soil, in which the seeds germinate and grow.
Your subconscious mind is an unquestioning servant that works day and night to make your behavior fits a pattern consistent with your emotionalized thoughts, hopes, and desires. Your subconscious mind grows either vegetables or weeds in the garden of your life, whichever you plant by the mental equivalents you sow with your conscious mind.
WHY did I just go through all of that? Precisely!
The WHY is your belief, cause, intention, mission, or purpose? The question that should be asked and answered before any action is taken. It is what goes on inside of you; these are the most important things in your life; where your value comes from.
Deliberate action turns knowledge into practical wisdom. © 2016 Russel Steffy
Deliberate action: The conscious intentional process of doing something.
Practical wisdom: the actual repeated application or use of valued ideas, beliefs, or methods; as opposed to theories.
Deliberate Choice (done consciously and intentionally); every moment you choose what you see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. You choose how to move your body. You also get to choose value to what is happening to create an experience.
Do you do it consciously and intentionally? If you do not make a deliberate choice to control the input, you will go into automatic mode and accept input from outside as valid. Then Religions, Political Parties, TV advertisements, and etc. get to program subconscious intention; they create your beliefs for you.