What is pulling you forward? What is your ‘why’? And, how do you define your ‘why’?
You have goals, you have aspirations, you have wishes but… have you thought about your ‘why’ behind your ambitions? What is pulling you forward?
And as we are about to start week 3 of the New Year understanding your ‘why’, learning how to define your ‘why”, and determining what is pulling you forward is really important if you want to see these goals, aspirations, and wishes materialize.
German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche once said, “He who has a why can endure any how.” When I first heard this I was in my early 30s and burning the candle at both ends, but this was life changing for me. I was frustrated with my job, had a bad boss, struggling with my weight, challenged to potty train my first born, worried I wasn’t spending enough time with my kiddos, worried about what everyone thought about me, and more. Sound familiar, right?
This quote was life changing because I realized if I learned my ‘why’, I could make it through rough patches. Each and every time I’d get down on myself, get frustrated, find myself at the end of my rope… the reminder of my ‘why’ was the best way for me to get centered, move through my frustration, and keep pushing forward.
At the time, my bad boss was overwhelming and all consuming. It took all that I had to work under his management and most days, I brought home the negativity and frustration too. What was my ‘why’ for staying in my job? I actually had several. I loved the job I was doing and I could see the difference I was making, I knew my bad boss would be retiring soon and things would change, I knew this job was important to my career and my future, and I knew that despite my bad boss I was learning a lot at work. My ‘why’s’ saved me and kept me waking up not wanting to go to work each day and it helped me to keep my head held high.
And my personal ‘why’s’? Quality time with my kiddos (who were then 2 ½ years and 9 months) was very important to me, so much so that I didn’t want to bring home the crap from work. I made a conscious choice that when I picked up the kids each evening or walked through the door at home, my world would be all about them until I tucked them in bed. This took discipline, but it worked.
Taking the time to define your ‘why’ is so important and I think its worth stating that your ‘why’ changes over time with different stages and circumstances in life. I’ve even noticed that I have short term ‘why’s’ and long term ‘why’s’. And, the short-term ‘why’s’ often evolve and tweak my long term ‘why’s’.
Your ‘why’s’ will be different from mine and everyone else in your life. That’s actually good.
Your ‘why’s’ are specific to you and only you are going to know your own ‘why’.
The beauty of taking the time to understand you ‘why’ is so you will have them to use when you most need it… when you need courage, when you need motivation, when the going gets tough, when you feel like you were just slapped in the face, when your life takes a different turn, when you are driven to something new, when you ambitions are being challenged, when you need to take a risk, and more.
Use your ‘why’ when you are in a dead end job, but you need the job right now to pay the bills and while you take the necessary time to find another. Use your ‘why’ to pull you out of bed in the morning to lace up your running shoes and get some much needed exercise. Use your ‘why’ to face the gossiping co-worker who drives you mad during your day. Use your ‘why’ to make the time to take your teenager out to lunch and catch up.
Use your ‘why’ and wear it out if you have to. It can take it! That’s what it’s there for.
If you are having trouble figuring out your ‘why’, I get that. It can be challenging at times, especially if you aren’t in the right head space for it.
My sincere hope is defining your ‘why’ and using it will help you as you take on life, challenges, and prioritize what is important to you.
Let me know what you thought about this topic in the comments below and feel free to share this with others in your life who will benefit from it too.