Have you ever heard of the concept of “why” when it comes to motivation and success? If you haven’t, I’m really excited to share it with you. I truly believe this small, common word has the potential to change your life. If you have heard about this before, but are unsure what it means or how it can work for you, keep reading. Your why is your reason for wanting a desired outcome, and it can drive you forward during tough times like nothing else can.
About Your Why
The idea of “your why” is one that is common to career and personal development, but it can be used in many circumstances. It’s particularly helpful during times of uncertainty, transition or crisis because it helps to ground you, gaining focus and clarity with regard to your purpose and your direction. “Your why” is the deep, meaningful impetus for your goals. It shouldn’t be superficial, and it should always be personal. Let’s consider an example. If you should find yourself unemployed, finding a new job can be a time-consuming, disheartening and exhausting task. It’s easy to find yourself falling into despair, perhaps even depression. During such a time, your why can be used to push you along even when you feel like you can’t keep trying. Your why should go further than, “I need money to live,” although this is certainly true. Let’s explore ways to find and develop your why.
How to Find It
Using the above example, you would think that survival and needing a job in order to live would be sufficient reason to provide motivation to keep trying to find work. Unfortunately, this basic message can get distorted or lost. It’s too general and not personal enough. Everyone needs money to meet their basic needs. What is it you, in particular, desire with regard to finding a job?
Ask yourself some more in-depth questions in order to discover a more compelling reason to keep going even in the darkest moments. Take time to brainstorm and jot down some ideas to help guide you to your answer. One of the simplest ways I’ve discovered to uncover the ultimate why is to just keep asking myself, “Why?”. I know this is groundbreaking stuff, but seriously sometimes the simplest shift can make a world of difference. Let’s see this in action with our example.
You do need a job in order to make money to live. But why? Because you want to take care of your family, for instance. Okay, why? Because you feel it’s your job to be a provider and that you have an obligation. Yes, but why is that? Because you want your loved ones to be proud of you and you want to feel like a productive citizen. Keep going until you feel you’ve sufficiently reached your unique and underlying catalyst for wanting to find a job.
Use Your Why to Motivate You
Once you’ve determined that reason, write it down in a cohesive statement. From our job example, your why might be, “I want to find a new job in order to support my family. It’s important to me that my loved ones know they can depend on me to take care of them. I feel like a productive citizen of the world with a meaningful contribution to give to society when I am gainfully employed.” You may wish to create another why statement later that can help you to determine the kind of work you hope to find and why such a position matters to you, along with how it will make you feel to hold that type of job. However, for now, we’ll stick to the basics. You can pull out this comprehensive why statement whenever you’re feeling low or unmotivated, when you think there’s no reason to keep trying. Being reminded of the deeply personal intention behind your goal is often just the kick in the pants you need to try again.
This concept may seem rather simple, but I can tell you from personal experience that it’s one of the most powerful motivators I’ve encountered in my pursuits. Try taking some time to create your own why statement and practice using it when things seem impossible. You may just find this simple idea gets you through some pretty rough stuff, too.
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