To What End (TWE)?

A question that is heard in my house time and again is "to what end?"

I've asked this of my sons each time they've wanted to start or quit something.

I've applied this litmus tests to purchases I want to make, to jobs we were considering, and even to relationships.

Each time, these three simple words have brought clarity. Sometimes that clarity is immediate, as in "I don't enjoy running around a track in 90 degree heat." Other times it's the kind of clarity that comes with time and soul-searching and a recurrent ask of "to what end" until you strip away to the truth.

Personally and professionally this question has served me well. It has forced me to revisit what I have written before pressing send or publish. "To what end" has caused me to mercilessly chop away at needless adverbs and adjectives. More importantly, because of it, I have re-framed tone to be more productive and less momentarily self-gratifying.

Asking "to what end" has made my professional life more time efficient and effective. It has forced me to reduce redundancies for myself and for the organization in which I've worked. It has made me a better grant writer from matching funders to nonprofits to the actual application.

Up until this point, "to what end" has made me for the most part eschew social media. Interestingly, now that I am launching my own consulting business, this very same question will most likely bring social media back into my life.

Whether personally or professionally, the TWE application will allow you to understand your motives and motivation, it will force you to pause and evaluate, and, as a result, it will bring a clarity and honesty to what you do and say - all of which will positively impact your life and your organization.