Do you know why you are driven to do the things you do? Is it because you have a burning desire or because you think you should? Do you take action from a place of knowing and well-being or do you take action because you fear that not doing so would result in some negative consequence?
The motivation and intention behind our actions matter. If we act out of fear or from a place of should we’re usually not taking action that’s aligned with who we truly are and what we really want in life. We may also find that our actions are not that productive and that we seem to be spinning our wheels rather than actually getting somewhere or achieving something.
On the other hand, when we’re coming from a place of knowing and well-being, we are more likely to be in alignment with what we truly desire and that means what we do comes from a place of inspired action. This is because we’re clear on what we want and why we want it, so the action steps to get there become obvious and have more impact in achieving our goal.
But, how do we know the difference between taking action from a place of fear and should versus a place of knowing and well-being? It’s all about being clear on your “why” – that is, the purpose or core of what it is you want to do or be or achieve. Why do you want to have or accomplish a particular desire?
If we’re not clear on the why behind our desire, we are unable to take aligned action. We can spend days, months, even years, searching for answers or doing various other things without seeing the results we crave. So, how do we get clear on our why, our burning motivation, or as some like to call it, our life’s purpose? It’s simple – we ask ourselves a lot of questions.
- Start with the essence of you Ask yourself these powerful questions and write down all the answers. Don’t filter yourself as you do this and consider all areas of your life as you respond. Think of it as a brainstorming exercise where there’s no judgment and anything goes.
a. In what ways are you creative?
b. In what ways are you unique?
c. If money and time were unlimited, what would be your absolute dream scenario for who you are, what you are doing, and what you have?
d. Who do you most admire and why? What qualities or abilities do they have?
e. What is most important to you in life and why?
f. Imagine you are 85 years old and looking back on your life. Do you have any regrets about what you have or have not done? What are those things?
g. Now, imagine your own funeral. What do you want your legacy to be – that is, what do you want to be remembered for and leave behind when you’re gone?
- Look for common themes Look at all the answers you have written down. Are there themes or ideas that show up in multiple areas? What are they? Is there a common thread or core belief that emerges from looking at all that you have identified? Write down these recurring themes or core beliefs and take an honest look at them. This is where you find your why; the essence of what it is you want to do or be or have.
- Assess where you are right now and where you want to be Are you already fulfilling your why in some way? If you are, take a moment to celebrate yourself – this is such a wonderful thing to experience. Remind yourself of your core why and assess if there are other things you could do to amplify it.
If you don’t feel you are following or fulfilling your why, take a moment to ask the reason. In what ways are you off course? Is there a simple step you could take today to bring you into alignment with your why? There are so many possibilities for how we can align with our why and take inspired action to achieve what we want. It could be starting a hobby or rekindling an interest we had when we were young. It could be donating or volunteering for a specific cause. It could be thinking about, approaching or focusing on your work in a different way. Be open to ideas and contemplate all the options that are available.
When we get clear on our why, the motivating force that really drives us, it puts us on a path that is in alignment with who we really are at our core. Without clarity on your why, life can seem difficult and you may struggle to find what really fulfills you and gets you going each day. So take the time today to look at your why. Once you recognize and acknowledge it, you can use it as the foundational lens through which you assess decisions and take action. What are you waiting for? Your why is within you and you can access it today.
What’s your why – what drives and motivates you every day? Please let me know by sharing your comments below or on my Facebook page.