Studio Notes Vol. 1 - Start With Why
What are we all here for if not to inspire one another?
Welcome to #StudioNotes!
I hope this letter finds you safe and healthy at home. I am writing to you under precarious circumstances which is why I first want to thank you for being here and for allowing me the absolute honor of serving you through words during this otherwise isolating season.
This week’s theme is Start With Why. In case you haven’t watched my recent video post, the reason WHY I’ve decided to reach out like this is because:
I want to connect in a deeper way with the online community beyond the usual feed and story posts which tend to keep us on the surface.
I want to serve more concretely through my creative pursuits and share with others what I’ve learned along this journey.
I love writing and one day hope to publish a book.
Basically I figured—what are we all here for if not to inspire one another? I’ve got a hunch you signed up because you too have felt the urge to be more creative, to live more fully, to connect with others, and to express your unique talents. I’m here to encourage you that regardless of your current practice, job, age, or confidence levels, it is possible to discover your creativity and your purpose—your personal Why.
This week’s theme was inspired by one of my favorite books-slash-TED-talks of the same title by Simon Sinek. I’ll link resources below but in a nutshell his profound concept looks like this:
We must first clarify WHY we want to do something, which then clarifies HOW we will achieve this, which then clarifies WHAT we must do. For example:
WHY: Bea believes in inspiring others.
HOW: The way Bea can inspire others is by creative writing.
WHAT: Bea shares her writing through an online newsletter.
When we start with why, we begin to think from the inside-out. Our actions align with our deepest values. Our work becomes an extension of our purpose. We feel less disconnected, our days carry more meaning. In return we are happier and more fulfilled, which in turn creates happier relationships, families, companies, communities, and ultimately a happier world.
Of course that’s what we all want. But it’s also exactly why it could be painfully difficult to realize we have not been living according to our Why, or to feel anxiety over not having met this Why in the first place. Perhaps you haven’t felt connected to some grand purpose yet, and that’s completely OK. Or maybe deep down you have a dream but it feels totally scary to admit it even to yourself because life always inevitably gets in the way.
I get it. I’ve been there not just once but several times and I’m sure I will arrive at this insane question (WHY???) a hundred or so more times in this lifetime. But here’s the good and bad news: your Why can change.
This is good because it means you can always change your mind. “No matter what has occurred in your life up to this point, it should have no bearing at all on how you live your life from now on.” (Kishimi & Koga) But equally, this also translates to “bad news” because change is universally terrifying.
“You mean I have to give up my job and current lifestyle? How will I make a living off some vague Why?,” might be some violent reactions your brain comes up with right about now. Relax dude, nobody said you have to make drastic changes. Chances are, you'll realize you’ve actually already been living according to a purpose—maybe your Why is believing in serving others, raising a happy child, or even supporting your closest family members. Why does not have to be vague. Discovering your Why, examining your Why, or even changing your current Why is practical because in the long run, unhappiness is unsustainable.
So here’s my parting question for you—yes you already guessed it—my friend, Why? Why do you get up in the mornings? Why do you do the work that you do? Why haven’t you dared to dream further for yourself? Why have you settled for less? Why are you happy? Why are you unhappy? Why do you love what you love? Why is your Why important to you?
Above all, do not judge your answers. Judgment is not allowed in this space. Simply let it take root in your mind this week and give yourself permission to dream again.
Start with why, and the rest will follow. I promise.
With love & intensity,
PS. Feel free to share the artwork below & tag @polipaints!
PPS. Here's where I drop my recos for the week!
Thank you for your time! Whether you loved, hated or felt nothing towards this issue of #StudioNotes, I want to hear WHY (lol) Reach out via email, IG DMs or Twitter. Stay healthy and with any luck I'll see you again next Friday! xx
Read my next letter, Vol. 2 - Pay Attention.
The artist, elsewhere: