how.

First published March 15, 2010

“How do I do that?”

piano keysWe answer that question, many of us, with list of steps. When we are good, we give detailed steps, well tested, proofread, illustrated. We take into account the vocabulary of the person being trained. We anticipate visual learners by providing pictures. We tell people where to go for more information.

Having done all that, I don’t think we have helped people understand how to do anything. We have explained what to do.

The how to do something is about passion, about caring, about love.

  • How do you play the piano? With all my heart.
  • How do you give? Cheerfully.
  • How do you teach? With concern for the students.
  • How do you shoot video? To captivate the hearts of the audience.
  • How do you answer questions? To change the world.
  • How do you clean the floor? With an awareness of the souls that use it.
  • How do you write? Humbly, with respect.
  • How do you explain policy? I think about the most difficult audience member and I explain it to that person.
  • How do you make the donuts? By thinking about the smile a little kid needs today.

Answering the how question often takes much longer than answering the whatquestion. In fact, someone might have to watch how you do the what.

I think, in fact, that making disciples, real followers, is mostly not about what. It’s mostly about how.

That’s why it takes so much effort. That’s why it changes the world.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

One thought on “how.

  1. Such a great point Jon. This connects to Simon Sinek’s “Why?” at least in my mind. It’s so easy to get caught up in the tactics. It’s about the heart. Thanks for sharing.

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