Taking a big leap and starting something new is scary. It takes a lot of energy, passion, motivation, and time to figure out what on earth you’re doing and how you can do it successfully. Yes, you can read 100 motivational quotes on Pinterest telling you to be your best, and you can learn about others who are crushing it like you want to, but if you don’t have one key thing pushing you through and fueling this dream every single day, then you’ll be dead in the water. You need your why.
Your why is the deep, underlying reason behind taking action. It’s sound and solid and something that comes from your hopes and dreams. If you want to quit your job and become your own boss, your why isn’t to not sit at a desk all day. You why would be to feel independent, to feel in control of your future, or to trust in your own abilities. It’s is a big, crucial element in the decision to start and your success, and it’s important to nail it down before you move forward.
How to Define Your Why
Defining your why might be easy, but if you’re struggling to get the right words written down, here’s a couple of ways that might make things a little clearer for you. Go through these questions and see if you can get it realized and set before you take on the world.
The 5 Whys? Root Problem Analysis
The easiest (and not going to lie, sometimes most frustrating) analysis method for figuring anything out is the 5 whys. Mainly because why is already in the title, but also because it forces you to go further. A simple surface answer isn’t good enough for this one. Start with either what you love or whatever project you are starting and answer these simple questions:
Think about what you love doing
Why do you love doing it?
Why does that make you happy?
Discovering what deep down drives your passion is your why. Understanding that underneath it all this is the reasoning behind your passion will fuel your actions and add so much clarity to your direction and purpose.
What do you want to be remembered for?
I think this is an important question that gets forgotten a lot in everyday life and when we’re planning. What’s your legacy? What will you be remembered for? This big picture question really makes you think of what is truly important to you and what you want to act upon. No one will remember that you watched the entire Stranger Things season in one Saturday, but they will remember the book that you wrote, the store that you opened, the charities that you dedicated yourself to.
Write it out & repeat it.
After spending some time now answering about these questions coming to conclusions, you need to write it down. Just like your goals are more successful if you write them down, so is your why. Writing it down creates a permanent bond between you and your reason. It’s set in stone (well, paper) and you’re going to dedicate yourself to it.
Place this piece of paper somewhere you’ll see it everyday. I put mine inside my closet door, so every day I see what should be fueling my actions and decisions. I put it right next to my goals so that those two really are connected and it helps me start the day off with a sense of purpose.
How to Live Up to Your Why
Use it as a compass
Anytime that you are stuck, unsure of what to do next or where to put your attention, have your why in the back of your mind acting as a compass an helping steer you in the right direction. Sometimes your current self won’t see the value in getting up early to put in the extra hour or turning off the tv to focus, but this underlying reason will be there to add some extra motivation.
Use it to say no
I think saying no is one of my favorite things for 2017. I mentioned in before in my post about focus, but it’s true here too. This will help you to say no to things that are off your course. Things are keeping you or pulling you away from your why. If something doesn’t align with your why, then it’s time to move on and say no.
Use it to set your short term goals
Long-term, yearly goals are important, but your short-term goals are the only way that you can accomplish the big ones. If you think about your why every time that you set yourself a monthly, weekly, or quarterly goal, then you can make sure that you’re staying focused in the short term too. That way, all the little steps are still heading in the right direction and will stay on course.
Hopefully after making it through these pass 800 or so words and questions, you’ve been able to narrow down your why and use it to fuel your fire every day.
What’s your why?