Oscar Funes' Blog

Starting with why

January 29, 2019

Recently I read Dan Abramov’s posts on how he prepares for a talk. He mentioned why having a “why” is so important.

He made me remember Simon Sinek’s TEDx talk about starting with why.

I’ve had to tales to talk about starting with “why” serves in the long run. Lately, I’ve been doing more introspection and realized one thing. Most of the time when I started something I didn’t have a strong why. Besides the novelty of the moment.

I thought about streaming last year but couldn’t find myself able to even start after buying all the gear to do it.

The novelty had faded after the shopping spree, and no more interest was left after that.

And like that, I’ve had similar stories related to other types of creative outlet. Because before, I wanted to do something because it seemed cool from the outside.

But there’s a lot of work we don’t see, to reach a certain level of skill. With specific tasks like photography, streaming, podcasting, writing, etc.

This year, I started journaling. Because I’ve felt for the past few months like my mind is cluttered with a lot of ideas that I end up forgetting due to other more “important” ones.

This pouring thoughts out on paper has relieved me. I feel better and full of confidence and resolution.—Diet Eman, Things We Couldn’t Say

I’ve been writing all my ideas, thoughts and feelings as I’ve experienced them. At the end of the day, I can retrospect on them.

Before, when finishing my day, I had felt tired of so many things floating on my mind through the day. Only to feel guilty the next day, because I remember the feeling of thinking something that could help in a specific situation.

Now, I end up with a more peaceful mind, like I had flushed all my thoughts. Thoughts get written down and I can address them later.

The few things that have remained with me all this time in my life are because I had a “why” even without acknowledging it correctly. Like the software engineering discipline, which I enjoy a lot.

For the longest time, I was the type of person that “started” things for novelty and never saw them through in much of the cases.

I always thought that this was a “bad trait” of my personality type (Myers-Briggs ENFP). And while you can find youtube videos talking about how ENFP’s struggle to finish tasks.

This problem gets less acute when having a “why,” understanding where you want to go, doing small steps that you can reflect upon. And definitely understanding that nothing will happen from one day to the next.

The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand. —Vince Lombardi

I hope that starting activities with a clear “why” in my mind will let me see them through. Let go of the ones that don’t make me happy or don’t understand why I’m doing them.


I love distributed systems, software architecture, emotional intelligence and how they intersect.