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When I was in my twenties, I constantly questioned my career path. I was desperate to make my parents proud of me. I wanted them to be able to speak about the wonderful things I was doing. However, I was lost. I didn’t have a true “why”. At the time, my “why” was to make a lot of money, drive fancy cars, and live in a house that would make others envious.
At the time, I would ask people why they chose the career they were in. I secretly compared their chosen career to mine. Did I make the right decision? Was their career more exciting than mine? Should I go back to school and do something else. Oh man, I felt so far behind.
I was going about this all wrong. I was searching for my “why” in the opinions of others without seeking the One whose “why” meant the most. I spent years searching for Kesha. I realized that I need to find my “why” for no one else but me and those people whom God has planned for me to serve.
Many times we find ourselves looking into our neighbors yard to find our “why”. At the end of the day, you will never find it because it belongs to that neighbor and not you.
There are quite a few reasons to find your “why”, your reason for getting up in the morning and doing what you do. Finding your purpose can be a powerful thing and it goes well beyond the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing something worthwhile. Let’s take a look at five different good reasons to spend the time to find your “why”.
You Will Have Less Anxiety and More Peace
How much mental energy do you spend trying to figure out what you should or could be doing each day? This creates incredible anxiety and it waste precious time you have actually fulfilling your “why”. When we aren’t following our passion and purpose, we aren’t happy with what we’re doing and with that comes added stress.
When your “why” is clear in your mind, you will have peace and can devote your energy to the work it will take to see your goals come to pass. You will feel calm and more relaxed about what you do and about life in general when you know where you’re going.
Get out a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. At the top of the left side, write your strengths. These are things you are good at (organizing, writing, communications, etc.). On the right side, write down your passions. These are things that bring you joy (helping the homeless, creating art, taking care of animals, etc.). When you have done this, turn the sheet over and write all the things you are doing now that you dislike.
You Will Be More Productive
I am most productive when I am working in my sweet spot. When my husband and I are working on our side hustles, we get lost. We love that work and we love the difference that it makes. As a result, we can work well into the night and typically have to make ourselves go to bed and get some rest.
Time flies when you’re having fun and it slows down to a crawl when you aren’t. Along the same lines you get a lot more productive and get through your workload in a lot less time when you have a purpose and are passionate about what you’re doing.
I’m sure you’ve noticed this in your daily life. When you’re working on something you enjoy or something that’s important to you, the work almost seems to do itself. You don’t even notice how long or how hard you’ve been at it.
Remember the list you did in the first section, take a look at it. Read over the items you put on both sides. How many items on the front side appear in the back? Probably none. How many items on your dislike lists are necessary? If you could guess, how much time are you spending on the dislike side as opposed to the side with all of your strengths and passions? We all have to do things we don’t like to do at times but if you are spending most of your time in dislike, you are likely headed towards depression.
You Produce Quality Work
I worked with a person that I knew was in the right position but at the wrong company. This person liked the role but not necessarily the company. This disdain came across in the person’s work. Projects were not only slow to get done but were incomplete. It was very frustrating but I recognized that it wasn’t this person’s dislike of the position but more for the company. The company’s mission didn’t align with this person’s passions.
When you are working in your “why” you not only do you get things done faster, but you also do everything you can to learn more and get better at what you love to do. As a result you do a much better job. Now there’s a great reason to find your why and follow your purpose.
Are you slacking off on any roles on your sheet? Where do they fall – passions and strengths or dislikes? They probably fall on the back of that sheet in dislikes. Start thinking of ways you can minimize this side of the sheet so that you can focus on your “why” and pursuing those goals.
You Get a Confidence Boost
There’s nothing better to lift your mood and boost your self-esteem than doing some good. Don’t be surprised to notice quite a bit of this once you figure out what your purpose in life is and then do what you’re meant to be doing, helping those in need.
One Friday evening recently, a friend contacted me and she was in a panic because she just found out that she was going to lose her job in about 45 days. As I listen to her, I immediately asked God to help me say the right thing to encourage her. When I opened my mouth, the words just flowed out. I told her do not take another thought about the lay-off. It was time to get laser focus on her next steps. She needed to update her resume and send it to all of her contact. I gave her some suggestions on where to look. The following Monday she texted me that she had two prospects. In just eight days, she had an offer letter.
I was so proud of my friend. She hustled and received a miracle. At first, I was thrilled for my friend but then I realized that I benefited just as much as she did. I received another confirmation that I was living out my why.
On the front side of your sheet, think about some of the activities you do that boost your confidence after they have been successfully completed and write them down. Next, ask three people who know you well what you are good at and write their answers on this side as well.
When You Live out Your “Why” You Find Your Happiness
The typical answer for happiness for most of us is to see our husbands and children happy. For some of us, happiness is keeping everyone alive. LOL! Seriously, as women, we are often so focus on other’s happiness, we don’t take time to find our happiness. This is very important to your health.
When you find your “why” the end result is happiness. You will be happier and so will your loved ones because they are experiencing your joy with you. You’ll be more fulfilled with what you do and live a more content life. And isn’t that something we’re all striving towards? Your secret to finding lifelong happiness is finding your “why” and living it out daily.
*Final Action Item:
I’m sure that sheet has information everywhere. That’s okay. I just made your mind dump. I hope you followed all the action items. Your final action item is to take everything you have learn about yourself (passions, strengths, dislikes, thoughts from close friends and family) and write a missions statement. Once you have done this, print it out on some nice paper and hang it up somewhere you will see it daily. When you find your “why”, you must remind yourself of it every day. Life will throw many curve balls, but if you can be reminded of your “why” each day, you will keep pushing toward the goal.
Did you do the action items? What did you learn about yourself?