People lost in the long-run not because they don’t know what to do, but because they don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing.
Why are you running a business? What is your goal? Do you want to prove something? Is that something you dreamed of? Do you want to help? To sustain your family? Or get rich?
Why are you in that job? Do you love what you do? Is it congruent with your ideals or passion? Does it contribute to your growth? Or is it because of the pay?
Why are you studying that course? Is it because your parents want it for you? Is it because of peer pressure? Is it align with your passion and highest ideals? Or do you want to compete?
Why are you auditioning for The Voice or The X Factor? Do you want fun, challenge, entertainment, or you want attention and fame?
Why are you searching for an old rich man on dating sites? Do you want true love, or you want to become instant rich and have more freedom?
Why are you helping unfortunate people? Is it because you care, or you want to be recognized?
We have different reasons — a goal or something personal. So, there’s no right or wrong answer. Who cares? Maybe you want to learn that skill, or you want to experience something new, or you want to achieve greatness, or you want to earn more for your family or for your startup, whatever.
The point is, you know why you’re doing it.
If you want to be rich, then you need to admit that. But why? What would you do with the money? Are you willing to sacrifice and work harder to be rich? Would it be worth it?
If you want fame, you need to admit that, too. But why? Aren’t you happy living a private and peaceful life? Do you know the downside of being famous?
If you want freedom, ask yourself, “What does it mean to be free?” What kind of freedom you want? Freedom to decide? Freedom to do the things you love? Freedom to travel anywhere? If so, then you need to find a way to make that happen.
But whatever you do or whatever you plan to do, you need to know why. Be intentional. What do you really want to achieve? If you don’t know your true motive, chances are, you won’t persevere. You’ll get confused. You’ll quit.
“Starting with why,” as author Benjamin Hardy wrote, “creates the vision.” Without vision, you’re throwing darts in the dark. Imagine waking up every day, showing up in school, or your job or business, only to find out you don’t know why you’re doing it — why are you there?
Your “why” will allow you to see a bigger picture — it keeps you on track and motivated.
At times, I ask myself the reasons why I keep writing, reading, and sharing the lessons I’ve learned. What’s the point? Why I’m doing this?
My Why: I write and read so I can learn and understand things that may help me (us) live a meaningful life. And I share what I’ve learned hoping it would help people change the way they think, the way they handle challenges, and the way they live their lives — the way it changes mine.
Wouldn’t it be great if we all live a meaningful life?
But remember, always remember, if your approach to achieve your “why” doesn’t do good to you and to others, I suggest, change it. Because no matter how meaningful your “why” is, if you intentionally hurt people or the environment in order to achieve it, then you miss the point. How you do it, in some cases, is much more important than what you do.
I know we have different whys — we all want something. But I believe it would be much better if our whys aim to bring real value to people or make the world a better place.
In everything you do, always remember the values you stand for. Would you hurt people to achieve fame? Would you destroy the environment for the sake of gaining more profit? Would you learn new skills for selfish reasons?
And this boils down to a conclusion: Whatever you do, even if you already know why you’re doing it, stay human. Care. Love. Empathize.
So What is Your Why? And Why You’re Doing It?
It doesn’t matter where you are right now, find time to reflect why you’re doing what you’re doing, or why you want to do it. Why are you working towards that goal? What would you do with the money? What would you do with fame? Do you want it badly? Why?
“The most important thing in life is to know why you are doing what you’re doing.” — Derek Sivers