We spend a great deal of time talking to you about ways you can improve your life. We share insights as to how to grow your financial independence, we help you create spectacular relationships and preach about the ways you can integrate all the things you want to do into your schedule.
Now we want you to answer the most important question. The one that so many of us approach with short breaths of trepidation or avoid altogether.
One word. One small little word. One gigantic question mark.
The question is “why?”
Why do you want to be in this relationship?
Why do you want to learn this new skill?
Why do you want to lose weight?
Why do you want to get a promotion?
Why don’t you have peace of mind?
Why don’t you get along with a certain person?
Why don’t you have enough money to pay your bills on time?
Why don’t you feel confident in a room full of your peers?
Is anything we do in our lives of any value if we can’t answer the question of why we do it?
No time of year is this enigma truer than January, the month so many people attempt to adapt to new behaviors and adopt new life strategies. All to often, resolutions fail, and people resign themselves to the outcome with a feeling of guilt and failure.
They deride themselves for not following thru. With a battered ego in tow, they limp into the corner of their life and say…maybe next year it will be different. But it won’t. Unless they answer the question of why.
Why. The REAL reason you do something. It’s the highway to purpose, contentment & happiness.
Why is what sustains us when the road gets tough. When faith is exhausted, and we can barely muster the courage to believe…it is our personal why that compels us to take one smaller step forward. Our why is so rooted in our primitive brain, that when we can’t think and we’re overwhelmed with emotion we continue on.
But to not know it, is to act against it. These are the times in our lives where we feel the most conflict. These are the precursors to depression, anxiety and resentment.
So what can we do about that? We can start by doing what your parents probably told you “only crazy people do.” We can start talking to ourselves and answer back.
Why. It’s fundamental and grows roots way beyond personal achievement and goal setting. It’s the foundation of our existence.
Let’s look at the two most significant places where this shows up in our daily lives:
Work. If you are saying “why am I doing this?” You aren’t alone. 80% of Americans say they don’t love their job. If this is you, there’s never been a better time to find answer why. Many will say compensation, but the truth is more often than not, that’s just a quick, convenient and incorrect answer. People who love their jobs often say, “I’d do this for free.” Why?
It’s because what most of us really want is a job that makes us feel like we are contributing. We want to feel appreciated. We want to understand how we fit into the big picture and take pride in seeing the fruit of our labor.
If this is you, talk to your supervisor. Get a better understanding of what you do and the why behind it. Look for ways to see and appreciate the outcomes of your effort. And if you want something else or aspire to more, then start making a plan to grow in new directions. Find a way to monetize your passions. Look for a new career or an organization with a more supportive culture that prioritizes answering the question of why.
Relationships. Even the strongest relationships go thru rough patches. If you are struggling with your partner, a family member or a friend look for the real reason why. Look for the patterns. When (person) does (action, inaction, reaction) I feel (result). Then answer the question of “why does this make me feel that way?”
Often times, we don’t even know that we are feeling resentful, competitive, disappointed or angry with someone until these patterns have taken a deeper root in our subconscious. Then one small unrelated issue tips the scales, and it all comes bubbling out into our emotional responses. Talk with that person about the patterns, talk about why.
When long term relationships grow distant, it’s often because the partners have habitually gravitated away from reiterating why they are together. People can and will change. We evolve. Looking for the why in each other every day is what keeps our passions fresh and connections strong. When we are secure and comfortable, we take the “why” for granted and deprioritize looking for it.
Answering the question of why gives you an incredible control mechanism for protecting your sphere of influence. Why am I spending time with this person? Do they positively impact my life? Are they a negative influence? Why? Your circle should lift you up, not drag you down.
So, let’s make a promise to one another. Today, and for the rest of our lives, we ask “why?”
Let’s remember that the light of our intentions is inextricably connected to how and when we answer this question.
Shine light on your reasons for being. Shine light on the things that you’re doing.
And if you aren’t where you want to be, shine light on your path to becoming.
Living Every Minute,
CEO, Dr. Tim International