Why do you do what you do?
Knowing your why makes it easier for you to carry out your daily responsibilities. It makes those too-long meetings, the town you’re not thrilled to live in, or your mundane tasks a bit more tolerable. It creates a driving force that inspires you to show up for life when you’re not feeling the motivation to move forward.
If you don’t know why you do what you do, you might find yourself wondering, “What’s the point of all of this?” How do you keep going when your motivation isn’t there? Why work at a job you can’t stand or live in a city you don’t like?
Do you ever wonder how some people seem to have an endless stream of dedication that keeps them going? These individuals know their why. They have a firm grasp on their long-term plans. It keeps them motivated in the moments they find themselves worn down by the day-to-day monotony.
If you don’t know your why there’s never been a better time to uncover it. You have more opportunity for self-reflection now than you’ve ever had before. Read through these 4 steps towards knowing your why and start taking action toward finding your direction today.
What Does Knowing Your Why Mean?
Simon Sinek gave a TED Talk titled “Start With Why” in 2009 that brought more attention to the idea. It’s been viewed more than 7 million times over the past 10 years, inspiring people around the world to look into knowing their why.
Knowing your why isn’t a new concept, though. Sinek increased awareness of it but philosophers, writers, and more have acknowledged it for centuries. Viktor Frankl drew from the works of Nietzsche in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, writing, “He who has a why can bear almost any how.”
Your why is the reason you do the things you do. It’s the reason you wake up every morning, you go to work during the day, you keep moving forward. Your why can be a person, such as your partner or child. It can be a cause you believe in and want to raise awareness for. Your why might be the side gig you run with the hope of building it into a business in the future.
Knowing your why encourages you to stay focused and remain hopeful. It should be something you can think of that inspires you to keep going when it feels like you’ve lost all motivation. Ready to figure out what your why is?
4 Steps Towards Knowing Your Why
Your why can be whatever you want it to be. As long as it’s something that gives you the push to get started or keep going, it’s an effective why. Follow these four steps towards knowing your why and finding your direction to uncover what it is that drives you.
1. Write out a list of things that are important to you and pick ONE.
Take a moment to write out a list of things that are important to you. There is no rule for what you write. No one ever needs to see your list. But they need to be things that give you a sense of purpose. Some ideas to get you started include:
- Important people in your life (family, spouse, children, etc.)
- Causes (mental health awareness, veterans organizations, social justice, etc.)
- Long-term goals (move to a new town, start a business, travel destinations, etc.)
2. Consider why this particular thing is most important to you.
After you pick one thing from your list, take a few more moments to write about why it’s important to you. Why do you want to raise awareness about the impacts of PTSD on veterans? What untapped idea do you have that you believe can change the world? Do some writing to find out how this force can drive you to keep moving forward.
3. Create a reminder of your why.
Create something that reminds you of your why and keeps it at the forefront of your mind. Set your desktop background to rotate through images of your dream travel destination. Print some of your favorite pictures of your children to keep with you at your office. Write a proposed timeline for building your side gig and post it somewhere you’ll see it every day.
4. Take small steps daily to build your sense of purpose.
Once you know your why and clear reminders of it in front of you, start taking the small actions to reach your why. Focus your attention on work during work hours so your kids can have your undivided attention in the evening. Find ways to shave unnecessary spending in your day so you can save the money for a down payment on a house in your dream location. There are small things you can do each day to focus on your why and keep you engaged with life.
Finding Support Along Your Way to Why
Knowing your why is an important factor in feeling more confident in your daily life. You’re less likely to question what you do once you know why you’re doing it. Your 9 to 5 job feels less difficult to work through when you’re building your own business after hours. It’s not as painful to skip eating out a few times a week once you have a solid idea of what you’re saving for.
Knowing your why helps you keep going on the days you don’t feel motivated to. It leaves you with a sense of fulfillment at the end of the day knowing that you’re one step closer to your goal. When you know why you do what you do, you’re less concerned about others’ opinions of your decisions.
Having support while pursuing your why is important, too. Friends or family members who encourage your passions make a massive difference. Incorporating a life coach is another great option when you’re pursuing the path of a long-term goal. Your life coach can serve as a qualified sounding board and guiding force as you press forward towards finding your direction and purpose.
Knowing your why is the first step but having support along the way keeps you centered. Are you interested in learning more about how a life coach can help? Sign up for a free video consultation and find out whether a life coach might be a beneficial part of your journey toward finding your direction!