Whether it’s in your business or your personal life, you can easily find yourself disillusioned, uncertain, or simply unhappy. Every day, we’re confronted with tasks, responsibilities, and pressures that are all about what we have to do in order to make it through another day, get to the next paycheck, pay the bills, and care for ourselves and our families.
But how often do we ever take the time to ask why we’re doing all of this? We can trudge through each day and keep doing the things that we have to do, but without a why, it can seem like we never get anywhere. We’re just getting through another day and another set of tasks and responsibilities just to face more of the same tomorrow.
This can leave us feeling like we’re on auto-pilot and living an uninspired and unfulfilled life. Worst of all, as we keep moving through this daily cycle, precious time keeps slipping away, and we may be missing opportunities to live a more meaningful and rewarding life.
It might seem impossible to break this cycle and start working and living according to a clear purpose in your life, but it’s much simpler than we think to ask ourselves why and to take the first steps toward finding and applying a purpose in everything that we do.
The first step is to ask yourself why you’re doing what you do every day. If you’re working for a company or you’re running your own business, think about the real reasons that motivate you. Sometimes you have to keep asking why, as entrepreneur Katherine Keller did when she sought the motivation to drive her toward achieving her business goals.
Keller set a goal of eventually making $10,000, but she found that the goal and the money were not enough to serve as motivation. She had to ask why this goal was important.
On further examination, she concluded that $10,000 per month would be enough to pay all of her bills, set aside funds for family vacations and activities, and still have money left over to save for her future and her children’s education.
But why were these things important? She kept asking why, and, when she eventually arrived at the answer, it was an emotional revelation that brought her to tears.
She realized that her son, who was her eldest child, was 10 years old and only eight short years away from adulthood. She had never been able to give him the kind of childhood that she had wanted, and she had only a limited timed to make good on her dream raise her children in the safe and fun environment that she wanted them to experience.
Tapping into this emotional purpose gave her all the motivation she needed push through her daily challenges and make her why the focal point of her professional and personal life.
You can likewise find similar purpose and motivation by asking yourself why you do the things that you do. Why are you getting up every day? Why are you working and pursuing your career? Why are you doing the things that you do for yourself, for your friends, and for your family?
You can also begin by identifying the things that matter most in your life. Note the things that you really love to do and what’s most important and meaningful for you.
Then refine your list by asking that why question again. Why do you love to do certain things? Why are they important or meaningful to you? How much time do you devote to them? What would you need to do to make them a priority and to make your why the central purpose and focus of your work and life?
As you work through these questions, you’ll begin to develop a clear picture of your why and see the basis for defining your purpose, your core values, and the goals that guide you.
At PlanPlus Online, we provide a simple way to help people organize their thoughts, define their purpose, establish their core values, set personal goals, and start taking daily steps toward success—no matter what drives them.