Your Life and the 4 Simple “W”

This post is a longer version of my Toast Master’s speech.

One day when I thought about how to become happier: what should I do next, where should I go, and who do I want to have around. I came up with the W-factor to serve as guideline for my decisions and actions.
In the beginning, there were 3 Ws: WHO, WHERE, and WHAT.


Who is WHO? In the hit American TV show “Grey’s Anatomy,” a series about the life and work of fictional surgical interns and doctors at a hospital in Seattle, Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang referred to each other as “my person.” When they talked about serious medical cases, they commiserated about their boyfriends, exes, breakups. They had each other when one was near-death, and the other got a bit insane. The “my person” and “your person” kept recurring through the show, and the term stuck with me.

I’d like to extend the definition of “person” to include a family member, a friend, a co-worker or anyone in your network who has knowledge to share, skills to teach, or wisdom to advise.

It doesn’t have to be just one person. It can be a group of persons. You can call them your support network; cheerleading crowd or whichever; just make sure that you have someone.

You can’t do it alone in this world. You can be independent, bold, daring, self-starting but eventually at some point, you will need to rely other people.
So who is your person?


But there is still another W.


It’s the WHAT. So what is WHAT?
WHAT is, of course, the WHAT: what you do, what you like, what you think, what you have, what you say, what you read, what you hear. WHAT is the thing.

As I examined my life from way back, I saw a repeating pattern. I rarely liked my WHAT, didn’t enjoy it as much or didn’t know how to enjoy it.

I wondered if we could have all elements at the same time: WHO, WHERE, and WHAT.
And if we can’t have all three, would it be ok with just two? Which of the combination of the two: WHO-WHERE, WHERE-WHAT, or WHAT-WHO?

If we can only choose one, which one should we pick?

Many people in my family and my friends are WHO-oriented. They don’t care about the WHERE or WHAT as long as what they do, where they are have some connection to the WHO in their life and the WHO who matter to them.

Other people, especially those I’ve met in my vagabonding years were more WHERE people. They don’t give a damn about whom they’re with or what they do. They would do whatever as long as they can be in the place they want.

Some care more about the WHAT, what they do and what they have.

With that in mind, I’ve tried to integrate these 3 Ws and make sure that I have at least one favorable W when I make decisions and take actions.
But still I felt unsatisfied. I felt that it was not good enough.

I didn’t know why though.

Which brought me precisely to the next W, the missing W.



The WHY is why we do the things we do or not do? Why do we go to and stay in certain places? Why are we with some people and not others?

One of the most watched talks on TED, Simon Sinek “Start with Why,” centers on the concept of WHY.

By clarifying the WHY, you make sense of the WHAT, what we choose to do or not to do? It guides you to the WHERE you will go, the optimal place for your physical and mental states to do the WHAT. And by knowing the WHY, you will find the WHO, who share your goals and purpose and with whom you find the meaning of what you do.

Do you have the WHO? Are you surrounded by the WHO?
Are you in your WHERE? Are you looking for your WHERE?
Do you enjoy your WHAT? Are you even attempt to like your WHAT?

But most important, do you know your WHY?

And lady and germs, that is my theory about the 4 Ws-factor and what to do with your life.

And lady and germs, that is my theory about the 4Ws-factor and what to do with your life.