What's your why?
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that they “have no idea about what they want to do with their life”, I would be a rich girl. Today I had lunch with Damon Klotz, former “HRockstar” now digital mastermind, and we finished the conversation discussing where we would be in a year’s time. I mused that perhaps we represent everything they say about Generation Y – always looking for more. Damon disagreed and made an excellent point: for everyone who is questioning how they can get more out of their jam packed lives, there are heaps of other people contently cruising along in their own world.
Now don’t get me wrong. If you are happy with the path you are taking, that’s great. Absolutely no judgment here! However, as my blog has grown and developed I have realised that so many people are seriously looking for more, but are continuously being held back by that million-dollar question:
“What am I going to do with my life?”
The truth is, I went through a similar process myself (which, of course, you can read about here). However, six months on, I am proud to say that these days things are dramatically different for me.
So what changed?
I stopped beating myself up over individual questions about my career, goals and life and started exploring my purpose. What’s my why?
Having been through this process, I was super excited to see an entire chapter in Lisa Messenger’s book Daring and Disruptive titled “Know Your Why”. I highly recommend this book – it’s a motivating, inspiring and personal collection of stories from an amazing woman with huge goals, and the drive to really get things done. Can you tell I’m a huge fan?!
In my humble opinion, there are so many reasons why you should spend some serious time pondering your why.
Knowing what motivates you to get out of bed in the morning helps to focus your efforts on what matters to you. An article in Forbes goes as far as saying that “only when you know your ‘why’ will you find the courage to take the risks needed to get ahead, stay motivated when the chips are down, and move your life onto an entirely new, more challenging, and more rewarding trajectory.”
For me, knowing my why has also provided an overarching framework for making decisions. These days most of us are busy, with so many things on – when different things come your way it helps to be able to immediately identify if it’s something that you want to focus on. On the flip side, if you are trying to develop your career, network or skills it could also help focus your attention and set your goals.
“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction” – John F Kennedy.
Knowing your why is also invigorating.
For Lisa, finding her why filled her with such a sense of purpose that she became magnetic; people gravitated towards her and her new sense of direction. Megan Dalla Camina also puts it beautifully: “When we are living on purpose, we love our work, it is our calling, it ignites our spark and fuels our passion. And it helps us to integrate all of the areas of our life as we live and work with meaning.”
Heaps of my why is channeled into my blog. And, although it is a completely personal project of mine and technically has nothing to do with my “work”, it has had a huge impact on my career.
Finally, when you are on track with your purpose, you attract likeminded people. People will gravitate towards you who are interested in what you are doing, and why! Your purpose reflects your passion… and when you know your why you can be the person with the energy and enthusiasm that lights up the room.
And just in case you are wondering, what is my why? At the moment it is inspiring people to make the most of their lives and careers, pushing myself to grow my blog and share important stories, dreaming big, meeting awesome people and getting more out of every day. But who knows, this could be subject to change!
(Steve Jobs quote image from Pintrest)