Business strategist Jason Burnham says, "Your why is your purpose. Every individual has a purpose. While you may not have been able to identify your purpose just yet, it does not mean it does not exist. If you are constantly stressed, demotivated, unfulfilled at work, pessimistic of the world, or feel your life lacks meaning then these are clear indicators that you are not living your purpose. And if your company does not appreciate its employees, possesses a negative culture, focuses just on increasing margins, and operating in silos, it means your company has not yet aligned around a common purpose. The good news is that it is never too late to find your purpose. I just found my purpose less than five years ago. Although once I did, I can honestly say I have never been happier and life has never been more fulfilling, both personally and professionally."
When you are living in alignment with your why you'll find that you have more energy, more determination and more courage. You will have laser-like focus as your efforts are zeroed in on what matters most.
As German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche said, "He who has a why can endure any how." Knowing your why is an important first step in figuring out how to achieve the goals that excite you and give your life meaning and fulfillment.
Another way to look at this is to ask yourself, "How will you measure your life?" Does how you will measure your life include taking a stand for something and then living your life in alignment with it? Living with purpose, with meaning, with intention, with alignment, means focusing on things that matter to you the most.
So how do you find your why? Here is an exercise you can do to help zero in on your why. First, write down the things that are really important to you in life. Next, write down the things that you love to do. Now ask yourself why are these important in my life and why do you love it? Now make a list of the things you are actually doing. Throughout this process, challenge yourself to discover what you want to be doing instead of what you feel you should be doing.
It can be easy to fill up our lives with things that we really don't want to be doing. Certainly some tasks that we perform may be necessary, even though they aren't high on our list of things that are important or that we love. The goal though is to minimize this list as much as possible and to find the deeper meaning in the ones that remain. Even if needed finding the meaning within a job that on the surface doesn't seem to align with your why.
Remember, we are all 100% disciplined. The important question is...what are you disciplined to? Is it the things that are really important to you? Is it the things that you truly love and enjoy? The trick is to ask ourselves how we can spend less time doing unimportant things and more time doing the things we love. Stepping away from society's expectations and focusing on your own expectations. Believing in your why, and aligning with it is powerful and impactful.
As civil rights leader Howard Thurmon once wrote, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive, then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” :)