I found out about this exercise through a podcast with Simon Sinek. This is transcript of that conversation.
Find a friend you love. Someone who you know will always be there for you. You could call them at 3 in the morning and they’d always take your call. Not a spouses/partners or siblings, they’re too close.
Ask them this question: “Why are we friends?”
They’re gonna look at you like you’re crazy. “What do you mean why are we friends?”
They can’t really answer that. So to get to why, switch to the questions What?: “What is it about me that I know you’d be there for me no matter what?”
They’ll struggle. “I don’t know”. It’s not that they don’t know. But they struggle because you’re asking them to put into words what is stored in the limbic part of the brain. The part that doesn’t use words. So, they’ll start to “eeh” and “pffff”.
They’ll struggle but will come up with something. You can’t help them. They’ll start describing you: “You’re reliable, funny, smart, trust you, always there for me, etc”
“Good, that’s the definition of a friend. What is it about me that I know you’ll be there for me no matter what?” -> Play devil’s advocate! Keep drilling deeper!
And they’ll repeat this: They’ll continue to describe you. This might well take a while.
But at some point, they’ll give up and stop describing you and start describing themselves!
“I don’t know Simon, all I know is that I don’t even need to talk to you, I just need to be in the same room with you and I’m inspired.” <Tijmen here, this was the case for him, not necessarily for you>
The moment they’ll say something that gives you an emotional or physical response, like goose bumps or that you start to well up, you’ve got it! That’s your why!
I’m curious about your experiences! Let me know how it goes and what you discover!