Finding out why we do what we do

John J. Scherer, talking at the European Organisation Development Network conference in the UK earlier this month offered what I thought was a profound insight.

He said, for those considering their development and future – “You do not need to change yourself, you need to come home to yourself. That changes everything.”

Or putting it another way, clarify and define the fundamental things that “get you out of bed in the morning”. Why you do what you do. John said our need is to understand “what calls me” in order to fulfill our potential.

John tells a compelling story of his life and his journey to focus on five key questions that we should all answer. John’s site is

John had a key experience during the war that had helped him understand the answer to his “what calls me” question and he encouraged us to debate this in the room. Later, one brave person piped up with a question maybe half the room was wondering – what if I’ve not had an experience like this and I don’t know the answer to the “what calls me” question?

So I was wondering how other people have found their answers to the question about what calls me. It’s neither easy nor obvious to answer this question. Questions that may help include:

  • What are the high points for me so far at work and home; why are they important to me?
  • When I feel “in the zone” – operating at my best – what factors are present that speak to my underlying purpose?
  • Looking back, what’s made me happy, fulfilled and satisfied?
  • When I have had a “good day at the office” what’s been going on?
  • What am I looking forward to? What things excite and challenge me that appeal to something that’s not about capability but about why I come to work?

I wonder what questions other people have found helpful to address the why question, or what experiences have been instrumental in helping them to address the why question?


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.