German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche once said, “He who has a why can endure any how.” Your why is the thing that motivates you to get up every morning and work a little harder to get a little better. It’s the thing that pushes you even on the days when all you want to do is pull the covers over your head and hide from the world. Your why may change throughout your life, but the questions you have to ask yourself in order to stay focused and overcome all the obstacles you will inevitably face remain largely the same.
Once you understand your WHY, you’ll be able to clearly articulate what makes you feel fulfilled and better understand what drives your behaviour when you’re at your natural best. Seven years ago I had this epiphany. I decided to leave my career as a teacher in pursuit of a full-time career in fitness. Though I had worked in the fitness industry on a part-time basis since the age of 16, I had never entertained the idea of starting an actual business until I began soul-searching and reflecting on this very topic. What was my why? How could I begin to feel more fulfilled in my life? My answer was to leave teaching and start my own business.
Identifying my ‘why’ provided me with a point of reference for everything I did going forward. I was able to make more intentional choices about my career and my life.
Are you at a cross-roads? Here are a couple questions to ask yourself that will help you move forward on the road to finding your why…
What Am I Most Passionate About?
Skill and passion are often confused for one another, but they aren’t at all interchangeable. You can be really good at what you’re doing, and not only not be passionate about it, but also totally loathe it. So, ask yourself if you’re passionate about what you’re doing and, if not, what you are passionate about. What excites you? What gets you going and motivates you to keep going?
If money were no object, what would I be doing?
I love this question… One of the main reasons why people are afraid to pursue what makes them happy is money. To some degree money is a driver for all of us. So, look at the job you’re doing every day and ask yourself if you’d still be doing it if money was no object? If it’s not, then it’s time to move on.
In order to get somewhere, you need to define your end goal. That is essential. And the sooner you define it, the clearer everything else will become. A life without a purpose is a life without a destination.