Do you know what your why is? Your why is the driving force behind everything that you do. It’s your purpose.
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If you haven’t taken the time to discover your why, I invite you to now. This will take some time and some thought. It might not be easy. But what could be more important than slowing down and intentionally thinking through your purpose?
As you take time to reflect on your why, try asking yourself some questions.
- If money was no object, what would you be doing with your time?
- What is your dream job? Why?
- What topic could you talk about for a long time?
- What gets you fired up?
- What motivates you?
- What impact do you want to make in the world?
It can be helpful to have friends and family members who know you well give their insights too. Consider asking them some questions too.
Ask your friends:
- What makes me unique?
- What are my strengths?
- What kind of advice would you ask me for?
- What talents or gifts do I have?
- What do I love to talk about?
- What work can you see my doing?
I hope that asking these questions of yourself and those who know you well have given you a clearer sense of your why.
Another great tool you can use if you want to look further into your strengths and how they can be used is Strengths Finder (both the book and the test it gives you access to take).
As you are thinking through the questions above, resist the temptation to compare yourself to anyone else. You are uniquely gifted and have experiences that no one else does. No one can be you except you. Your why is meant for you and you alone.
“At the intersection where your gifts, talents, and abilities meet a human need; therein you will discover your purpose.”— Aristotle
As I have thought about these questions often over the years, I’ve discovered my why.
As I stood there looking at 50 beautiful women’s faces, I wondered why I had agreed to it. And yet there I was standing in front of them speaking about simplicity. There is a reason public speaking makes it near the top of the list of fears. But I had said yes because it aligned with my why.
I’ve always known I wanted to help people. However, this has taken different shapes at various points in my life. In college, I majored in sociology due to my love of people and how they interact.
I also worked in retail and enjoyed helping customers and coworkers. I was a resident advisor because I wanted to help freshmen.
After graduating, I worked at a different University in housing. I helped match roommates and then helped when some of those matches didn’t work out.
Later, I got married and helped support my husband in his goals. Then, we had kids and I focused on helping raise them.
Then I went along my own simplicity journey and wanted to help other people so I began helping clients declutter their homes. I started this blog to share my journey and help encourage more people. You can read more about that here.
I can’t talk about my why without talking about my God. He’s given me the desire to help others and He’s been with me every step of the way. My relationship with Christ is my driving force.
I want to serve others and hope that in doing so, people see Him in me. My choices have to align with my faith. I believe He has uniquely created me and gifted me in my life’s work.
Your why can change
Your why can change at various stages in your life. My experience has been that my why has been fairly consistent, but it has looked different in the seasons of my life. For others, the why itself can change.
Keep in mind that it is not about WHAT you want but WHY you want it. Is your goal is to have a lot of money? Why do you want that? If you are chasing money for the sake of money, you’ll find that to be empty when you get it.
Your specific passions can and likely will change some over time. You may not always have your dream job. But, perhaps, your current job funds your hobby which you love or it allows you to spend more time with your family.
Look for how you could be living out your why in your current circumstances.
When you are living in or working toward that purpose, you’ll feel like you’ve found your place. If you make choices that go against your why, you won’t be living in peace.
Search your soul, ask tough questions, and course-correct when necessary. Living out your life’s mission doesn’t mean everything is easy and it doesn’t take work.
Anything worth having takes work and knowing your why helps you keep going.
Why your why matters
Your why helps clarify the reasoning behind your choices. I am doing this, so that… (i.e. I’m writing this blog post, so that other people will hopefully be inspired to live their why).
You can think through this example with numerous choices you make in life. It clarifies your motivations and purposes.
Your why is what gets you out of bed. It drives you to keep going even when things get tough. Your compelling why will keep moving you forward even through adversity.
As you discover your why, you may find that it is the beauty that came out of the ashes. The difficulties that you have faced and overcome have helped you connect with others going through the same thing. Our experiences in life aren’t wasted.
After you know your why, the how will become more clear. Your goals and priorities are born out of your why.
Write your own mission statement. Businesses have mission statements so they can remember what they stand for and why they started. Having that clearly written out makes decisions easier.
My mission statement as it relates to simplicity is: To be intentional with my belongings, schedule, and relationships.
To say no to busy and to allow time for rest, for family, and for living. That my life to reflect my values and my why, which is the driving force behind my decisions.
Once you have a mission statement, opportunities or questions that come up can be looked at in light of it. Does the thing in question help support the mission or does it take away from it? A clear why makes decisions much simpler.
Your why & simplicity
Life has a way of taking over with its constant distractions and busyness. It is so easy to go on autopilot and continue living life without a thought about why you are doing what you’re doing.
I started thinking a lot more about my motivations when I began simplifying my life and clearing out the clutter.
If you are on a path towards simplifying, know why you want to simplify and how it will help you fulfill your life goals and desires.
Simplifying is clearing away the distractions so you have more time to focus on your why.
Is decluttering easy? No. Is having more of your time and attention focused on your why worth it? Yes.
What is your why? I’d love if you’d share it in the comments section!
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