If you want to make a difference and live a life of significance, you find your why. You need to tap into your purpose. Everybody has one. Your why is the life’s blood of your ability to achieve significance.
If you know your why and focus on going there with fierce determination, you can make sense of everything on your journey because you see it through the lens of “Why”. Once you find your “Why”, you will be able to find your “Way”. How do those things differ? “Why” is your purpose. “Way” is your path. When you find your “Why”, your path automatically has purpose. And life becomes much more meaningful and complete because you have context to understand the reason you are on the journey the first place.
Does the “Why” always comes first? Can you find your way and then find your “Why”? You may be wondering. What has to come first? The good news is that either can come first. But if the “Why” comes before the way, your ability to tap into power of significance will come more quickly and immediately be more effective.
Think of it like this. Have you ever wondered why people often find great joy in packing for a vacation? They spend weeks building up great anticipation, looking forward to those warm days on a tropical beach or trips down the slopes of their favorite ski resort. So they pick out each item that goes into the suitcase with great care.
When you get ready for a great trip, almost all your effort is focused on your purpose of the trip. That’s why it’s a lot more fun to pack for a trip than it is to unpack afterward. This concept applies more broadly to our lives. Whatever path you travel, you are going to be able to do things more significantly because you understand your purpose for being there.
When you start your day with your “Why”, you will find yourself continually doing things that inspire you. Finding your “Why” gives you the focused and driven energy.
If you tap into your “Why”, your life will open up to significance. It will be within your reach every day because you will be able to do simple things that matter. Significance is usually not a result of anything spectacular. It is based on small steps in line with purpose. Knowing your “Why” helps you to know what to do and to follow through.
Know yourself and settle your “Why”, and you will have the capacity to focus on others.
Knowing your “Why” gives you great security and comfort in everything you attempt to do That confidence and self assuredness is usually appealing and reassuring to others because most people long for it.
The first question you must ask yourself is this: How can I add value to others? If you can quiet yourself enough to listen for that answer from within yourself, you will begin to understand your why.
I have to tell you that this question has been the foundation and driver of every significant act in my life. Did you get that? Having a life that matters comes from the ability to add value to others. This is where significance starts. Let that idea stir within you.
So here are three questions you can ask yourself and which will help you to find your “Why”.
Here we go. Here is question number 1.
Question number 2 and 3, I will share with you in the following weeks.
Question 1: What do you cry about?
This first question asks you to look inside yourself and think about what breaks your heart. What disturbs you? What inflicts emotional pain? What causes you so much discomfort that you are motivated to take action and do something to bring healing to that situation?
So, what makes you cry? What makes your heart break? What touches you at the depth of your soul? Do you already know the answer? Or is it something you need to start exploring and thinking about?
When trying to figure out what makes you cry, you can look at your personal history. You can think back to your childhood. You can tap into social justice issues that get you angry. You can think about the last thing you got highly emotional about – or the thing that you always get emotional about. Any of these things can be clues to what makes you tick. And they will help identify your “Why”.
Question 2: What do you sing about?
What always makes you happy? What puts a bounce in your step? What makes you jump for joy or spontaneously break into song? Emerson said: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well”.
Doing acts of significance brings you more deep satisfaction than any other work. It fires you up and keeps you going. As the saying goes, work is not work unless you would rather by doing something else.
What do you sing about? What gives you great joy? What feeds your passion? What feeds your soul? What gets you excited?
When you ask other people “What do you sing about?” many people respond by thinking about what entertains them. There is certainly nothing wrong with being entertained or having fun. But what we really talk about is something that makes contented joy spontaneously rise up within you. It’s the kind of thing you would do for free, just because. Once again, these are clues that help you to understand your purpose and know your “Why”.