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What makes us tick?
How are we motivated in life?
What’s the carrot dangled before us as we move into our future?
For many, it’s fortune. Fortune in finances, fame and love. These can lead our choices and decisions and alter our life path, particularly in relationships and business. And yet, we can “have it all” and still feel something is missing. What more could there be when there’s a roof over our heads, money in our pockets and someone to share our life with?
Can we “have it all” and still feel like something is missing?
Often, the missing critical piece that speaks to us on a level we find hard to describe is purpose…our big WHY. The core motivation that comes from a place deep down inside. The one that nags at us when we don’t respond to it, when we choose activities that take us further away from it. It calls out to us, sometimes as a whisper, sometimes at a thundering volume.
What is our big WHY? How do we know for sure? And what do we do about it once we know what it is?
Our big WHY is the core purpose that we identify about why we are here on this earth. Why we do what we do. Why we spend our time with the people and on the activities that we choose. When we know it and live in alignment with it, life flows with more ease and we feel fulfilled.
Some feel they’ve “always” known their purpose. That even as a kid, they knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grew up and they’ve lived their life marching toward that goal and they feel good about it. They are in alignment. For some, they started down a road at some point and stayed on it. They married someone, took that promotion, made that financial investment because it seemed like the right thing at the time. In hindsight, these same people often realize that it didn’t “really” feel right inside, even when it seemed like the thing to do to everyone else looking in as bystanders. Something was slightly “off,” not quite in sync.
Some will never realize they’re out of alignment with their purpose. They just experience that slight feeling of missing something, like they’re never all the way there in spite of apparent outward successes. True purpose operates on an internal success plane. You have to go inside to check it.
So, how does one get there or even find out that they’re not there already?
Many will say this comes from introspection. The kind of inner processing that comes from being still, quieting the outer noise, breathing, meditating, practicing mindfulness. For, that’s when we listen to what comes from inside. That barometer of happiness, satisfaction, purpose. It’s quiet. It’s there. We need to uncover it, listen and make a decision to follow it or ignore it.
When we recognize that thing we love to do. You know, the thing they say you would do with joy, even if no one paid you to do it. That is our gift. That is our purpose. That is our big why. When we share that gift, we feel good. We feel it’s what we were made to do. It brings us peace and joy and motivation to do it more.
When we start to find it, it comes even more into focus and we can begin to dig a little bit deeper, asking but “why?” to get at the inner core of it.
I’ll trace mine back for an example.
My “surface” big why is to help people get their message out into the world in a polished, professional way.
But why is it my why?
Because I can do it with ease and it helps others.
So, why else?
Because people need help with that and will hire me to help them with it.
But why do you want to get paid for that?
To have the means to support my life and to have life experiences.
But why do you want to do that?
To be with my family.
That’s my big why.
So, when the little whys get in the way: Sharing my gift through work; getting paid to help others with their messaging; doing the work that others need — I always need to check — is this serving my big why? If the work requires me to be far away for long periods or to be so stressed that I’m unpleasant to be around, then am I really serving my big why? Probably not.
But the mind is a beautiful thing and having awareness allows us to shift our perspective and realign and brings things back into a system that works. One that carries out our gift and remains aligned with our big why.
When we know our why, our purpose, our true driving force, we make can make
decisions that lead us to live out our why. We practice our gift through
our work and our friendships and our families. We donate our time and
talents to other causes that align with our big WHY. We serve. We
celebrate. We truly live.