I love the times when I'm working on a project and the world around me seems to melt away.
I get so focused that time stands still and even though I've been working non-stop, producing something meaningful, I feel energized, not exhausted.
In these moments, I am working in my flow state, feeling and performing at my peak. It is in this realm where the combination of intense focus and charged creativity leads to intentional action. This is our HOW. When we work in this realm towards our WHY, we get magical results.
In Simon Sinek's Golden Circle formula, when we start with WHY in business, we are pinpointing exactly where to direct our energies and actions. If something comes up that is not in direct alignment with our WHY, we have the permission to say "no".
Because our WHY comes from the part of the brain that controls feelings, it can be challenging to put the WHY into words. So sometimes you have to start with HOW.
HOW is the action that results in your WHY. It is the place where you are working in your flow state. You are in the zone where work seems effortless, time flies by, and you excel.
When you spend more time working in this state and under the right conditions that promote this state of work, you are at your maximum peak where doing things that promote your WHY produces brilliant results.
I've put together a worksheet you can download here, to help you discover your HOWs. These are the actions you can take now to ensure you are working in your flow and making a bigger impact. But let's first define the difference between WHY and HOW and how to apply that HOW.
HOW & WHY are WHY & HOW different?
WHYs and HOWs are often mixed up because we are not used to diving deep into describing our beliefs. We just know them and feel them.
In last week's blog, Are You Asking WHY?, I defined Simon Sinek's Golden Circle formula as:
our belief; the thing that drives or inspires us; our cause; our purpose
the actions we take; the guiding principles or values we follow to pursue that belief
the tangible representation of our WHY
How do we find our HOW?
The best way to identify your HOWs, is to think back to events in your life or a time when you were feeling your best. When you were in the flow, feeling strong and at ease.
Write down those moments, events, and situations
What tasks were you doing? List them as action verbs (I was organizing an event, I was researching a client, I was writing a bio)
Pay attention to any patterns that emerge during those times
Narrow your list down to 5 direct actions - finishing this sentence helps:
I organize fundraising events
I share knowledge with others
I focus on the positive sides of a challenge
I have a vision of the future
I can simplify a process so others can understand
These 5 statements comprise your HOWs.
How do you bring your HOWs to life?
You DO them. And you do them in your favorite work environment. For me, it is either in our home studio with our big garage door wide open to let the breeze in or at a hotel cafe with a water view. Though Pay may be near by, I work by myself in my own tunnel vision.
Whether you thrive in loud fast-paced environments working on a team under a tight deadline or in a quiet sun-lit corner by yourself, set yourself up for success and place yourself in those situations. The combination of living your HOWs and doing so under the optimal conditions where you get the most done, is the recipe for working in your flow state towards your WHY.
In the free worksheet, we offer some bonus tips for optimizing your work environment so you can tap into your flow state and get more done more efficiently.