"Why" is a pretty powerful word. It ascribes motivation and meaning, versus the word "what" which is merely a description based on observation.
Simon Sinek has a TED Talk where he tells us about the power of why1. Check it out if you get a chance. I'd like to give you my "why's" – first "why do I swim" and second "why did I create Firebelly".
Why do I swim? I've been swimming competitively since age 7 which makes for over 40 years of YMCA, college, and masters swimming. Why do I still get up every day and go the pool charged up for yet another workout? I think a lot of it has to do with the challenge and excitement of "seeing what I can do". What if I change my training? What if I improve my stroke, my nutrition, my sleep? Will it help me improve? I'm excited to try and I'm excited to see the results. And if it doesn't work I'll try something else. I think that continues to drive me season after season.
Now, why did I create Firebelly? I've always had a quick answer to this question - my two passions in life are technology and swimming and Firebelly was a chance to combine the two. I still believe that but I've come to realize that there is a deeper and more complete answer.
When I was a kid, for awhile I wanted to be an architect. The interest passed and I dove into technology and computers. I've come to realize however that my underlying motivation was the same for both – create things that can help people.
A huge part of why I created Firebelly is that I want to help people improve their swimming and help them have fun doing it. For people new to the sport of swimming, I hope that Firebelly will deepen your enjoyment of the sport. For those that have been involved forever like me, my goal is for Firebelly to add a new dimension to your swimming and reinforce your passion. I also hope to advance the sport of swimming by improving the way we train (is that too big of a goal?).
Steve Jobs said: "Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."2 I left a high paying job at a tech company to create this product and bring it to market. That isn't a decision that your head makes. It was one of the heart.
My "why" was calling.
Tell us about your "why" in the comments - swimming related or other.