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Do you feel like you’re living somebody else’s life, like there has to be something more than the day to day? Do you ever wonder why you’re even here? It’s time to find your Why and define your purpose in life so you can live a life you love.
From the time we’re small children, it seems like society already has our lives pretty much mapped out.
You’re expected to graduate high school, go to a good college and get a degree or two. Then you’re supposed to get married, buy a house, have two kids and work in your field of study for thirty to fifty years.
After that, you’re allowed to retire and finally do whatever you want with whatever time you actually have left. Sound familiar?
Is that really all there is? Sixty plus years of just going through the motions. Days, weeks, or months where life is happening around you and to you.
I think Sugarland said it best in their hit song Something More,’ There’s gotta be something more, Gotta be more than this, I need a little less hard time, I need a little more bliss’.
But what about what you want? Why are you really here? What is your purpose in life? Life’s too stinking short to just go through the motions or live by somebody else’s design. Find your Why and start living a life you love now.
What is Your Why
Now it’s time to understand what a Why really is. It’s a combination of your strengths, values, and passions. It’s what you live for, what gets you excited and what makes you want to get out of bed in the morning.
Understanding your Why will help you make intentional decisions in your life. Your Why is the reason you do the things you do. It’s what gets you out of bed in the morning.
Your Why will get you through whatever your going through. Friedrich Nietzsche said it best ‘He who has a Why to live for can endure almost any how.’ – source Good Reads.
Your Why also gives you purpose and direction when setting and mapping out your goals. It provides the motivation and determination to get the rest of your life in order and organized.
Simon Sinek covers finding your Why (your purpose in life) in his book Find Your Why. These are primarily business books but very helpful in understanding the concept and importance of a Why.
In the video compilation below from Evan Charmichael, Oprah talks about finding your calling. Find your why, write a mission statement, find your passion, or find your calling, no matter how you phrase it, it all means finding your Why.
How To Find Your Why
Finding your Why is simply defining your purpose in life, but what does that all really mean. Some people are so intimidated by the thought of finding their Why and writing a mission statement that they stop before they even truly get started.
This is where it helps to remember that your Why isn’t set in stone. It’ll continue to transform and evolve as you move through different stages of your life.
For example, your Why might initially be to raise happy, healthy children. As they grow up and move on with their own lives, your mission or purpose will change.
You’ll still nurture and protect your children, but it will be in a different capacity. When you start feeling empty nest syndrome it’s time to reassess and refine your Why.
Questions to Ask When Finding Your Why
These questions are designed to help you find and define your Why.
What are you good at that comes naturally? What are the things your known for, that people think of when they think about you?
What gets you out of bed in the morning? Alarm clocks and children don’t count! Seriously, What makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning?
What do you feel passionate about? Like so passionate that you can’t stop thinking about it.
What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail, if your success was already guaranteed and inevitable?
Would you do for free if money wasn’t an issue, if you all of your basic needs were already taken care of?
If you only had 1 year left to live, what would you do that would bring you joy and no regrets?
Craft Your Why Statement
Considering the answers to the questions above, you should be able to craft and refine your Why statement.
If it helps, you can structure it with a combination of the contribution you will make and the outcome that will follow.
My Why is To ____________ So That ____________________.
Here are a couple of examples to get you started.
Fast Company quotes Oprah Winfrey as saying her mission statement is “To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.”
Maya Angelou’s was “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” according to Huffington Post.
Mine is ‘To have a positive impact on every person I meet’. That’s the reason for this blog. If I can write one post or one sentence that makes your life easier, changes your perspective, or helps you in any way, then I’ve achieved my Why.
What’s your Why?
Write It Down
Once you know your Why, write it down somewhere that you’ll see it every day. Use it as a reference when setting goals, and refine it as you move through different stages and life changes.
Conclusion: Find Your Why
Stop going through the motions of life and living just another day. Find and define your Why by examining your life and asking yourself a few questions.
Keep in mind that your Why will evolve and change as you move through the different stages of your life, and that’s normal.
Craft your Why statement and write it down. Use it when setting goals to remind you what your main purpose and goal is.
Find and define your Why so you can stop living just another day, and live a life you love.