Finding your “why” in life is the most important thing you could possibly do for yourself. Having a clear understanding of your why is finding purpose in your life, and that’s more powerful than any material reward, verbal praise or passion.
To know your why in life is to give yourself a direction in life and that direction provides confidence when you make decisions.
You’re no longer confused as to why you’re doing what you’re doing, why you want to do certain things and why you would refuse to do certain things.
Finding your why instantly solves any existential crisis lingering at the back of your head. It gets rid of doubt. It gets rid of past issues in life. It gets rid of many common problems that make people give up on dreams and lose hope on achieving goals.
Many self-help gurus touch on this matter, because they all recognise the importance for a person to have a purpose when trying to achieve bigger and better goals in life.
It’s hard justifying early mornings, late nights, sore muscles or any other inconvenience your path to success brings you when you don’t have a why.
It’s easier to convince yourself to push things off, delay decisions or to stop all together.
Why wake up before the sun is up when you could sleep in? Why work so late when you could be having a good time with friends? Why get yourself in a sweaty mess when you could be chilling on the sofa?
The answer is, there’s no good reason for it if you’re still thinking about instant gratification and superficial comforts. It will only ever start making sense to go through all these inconveniences once you have a why in life.
A reason that’s bigger than yourself.
A reason that helps you create fulfilment in your life.
The purpose of life is a life of purposeRobert Bryne
A reason for being alive.
Okay, so that sounds a bit melodramatic. But I’m very serious on the need to find reason to live. Just because you’re not proactively trying to end your life, doesn’t mean you’re going through each day with defined purpose and meaning.
Without clearly giving yourself a reason or purpose, every goal you have is never urgent to fulfil. Every decision, opinion and action of yours is questionable without it.
How do you find your why?
Your why in life should be an underlining belief, which you can use as a reference point when going forward in life. The first step to finding your why in life is to first identify your values in life.
Everyone’s values are different because our values have been shaped and moulded by many aspects, such as cultural background, upbringing, religion and even big world events.
Identify your values:
Step 1: List out everything that is important to you. Things that would give you a lot of pain and hardship if you didn’t have them in your life. This could be your house, your family, your friends, your car.
Step 2: List out everything that brings you joy. Things that make you excited and happy. This could be things like a holiday, a dinner date, a social gathering with close friends.
Step 3: Group all of these items into themes. Are many of your items associated with security? love? novelty? Put them into groups and identify the theme of each group. These are your values.
Step 4: Narrowing down your list of values into your core values. Rank your values by importance and then use your top ones as your core values.
This whole exercise should take you a few hours, but by the end of it you will have a set of core values nicely written on a piece of paper for you to clearly see.
Once you have this, you can begin to shape your why in life.
Creating your why in life
List out every dream you have or had in life. Write it all out and identify a trend. Most people will have dreams that follow their values in life and a trend is easily spotted once you write it all out.
If you do have a trend, then that particular value of yours should have appeared among your core values. If it does, congratulations you now have the value you use to create your why with.
If it doesn’t, then you need to go back to your list of values and start asking yourself more questions, to determine if your list is accurate or not.
At times, people may also find there is no trend among their dreams in life. This happens for many reasons. You might be still young and your values are still changing as you learn more about yourself and about the world around you.
You might never had any form of guidance in your life, making you extremely impressionable. Your dreams have always reflected a big influence in your life at that particular time and never yourself.
Whatever the reason, if you cannot find a trending theme among your dreams then you need to start dreaming right now.
Envision your end goal in life. Your perfect life. Not perfect day or perfect evening. The perfect life.
What would you like to have achieved in life? What are you doing in your free time? What type of people do you have in your life? What type of lifestyle do you live?
Envision, envision and then envision some more until you know exactly what it is.
Then ask yourself this: Why did I envision, what I envisioned?
What is it about that dream life that makes you want it so much? What about it that makes me feel happy, fulfilled and content?
Get the answer to the above and cross check it with your list of core values. Are they the same or similar? If they are, congrats you have the value needed to create your why.
Take that value you’ve worked so hard to identify and start building off it.
For me, it’s family. Family in terms of people that are irreplaceable in my life. That I trust wholeheartedly.
It’s the idea of having a group of people I can give back to, provide for and help grow.
This is my why.
So you went through all that trouble to identify that, which in all honestly doesn’t seem like much.
Your why isn’t going to sound super impressive to anyone else but you. If you do the above all correctly then your why will give you an “ah-ha” moment in life. I’m not joking, it did for me when I figured it out.
From here, I can identify my what, and my how.
My what in life is what I want in life, which is financial freedom from the use of passive income. It answers my immediate life needs while freeing up my time and emotional energy for things I care about the most. Family.
My how in life is my life-by-design model I created; 360 balance, which helps guide me on how I will achieve my what.
And every time I feel doubt, feel tired, feel a little jaded or feel like giving up. I just need to go back to my why to get back on track. Ruts are just moments, failures are just bumps along the road and haters are just noise.
That’s the power of having a clearly defined why.
The last thing you want is to wake up one day and realise everything you currently have is not what you want. And you have to start from scratch again to build your life that actually reflects what your want.
Yes, it’s never too late to start your journey, but why start it later than need be.
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Other resources you should check out:
- Simple steps to realistically gain freedom in life
- Learning the importance of self-belief when you’re doing something unconventional
- Find out why you put off making decisions you know you shouldn’t and how to stop
- Live life through the eyes of a traveller to never feel bored