What’s your why? Do you know? Your why is your reason for being, your purpose. Much has been written about “your business’ why”. In fact, I wrote on the topic from a marketing perspective a couple of years back.
I believe everyone – not just business leaders – should know their personal why. As Viktor Frankl wrote,”When you know your why, you can endure any how.”When you know your why, you can endure any how. - Viktor Frankl Click To Tweet
Frankl was dead-on. Knowing your purpose – your why – is essential to living a full, happy and mindful life. Yes, you can live a happy, shallow existence, blissfully ignorant of your purpose. But I think man was built for a higher level of living.
Humans have physical and emotional needs – which often take center stage – because they are so critical to our survival. Our spiritual need, our why, is quieter and doesn’t demand as much of our attention most of the time. In my view, it is equally important. You probably have your basic needs met. Once this happens, we often start to look around to see what’s next. Being hungry drives you, but when you are full, you aren’t really motivated anymore. This happened to me recently. My business partner bought my half of our company, leaving me adrift briefly.
After much thought, I realized that I wanted to return to what I do best and like most: writing.
What’s Your Why?
But I didn’t want to just write for writing’s sake. I wanted there to be a purpose – a why – behind it.
When you have a purpose, you know which tasks to tackle first, which projects to complete, which goals to meet. Without purpose, you are like Alice In Wonderland, as described by Lewis Carroll:
“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ was his response. ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered. ‘Then,’ said the cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”
Having a clear sense of purpose helps you face everything life can throw at you. As Margie Warrell writes,
If you’ve ever faced a significant crisis in your life you’ll have experienced the power of purpose to tap reserves of energy, determination and courage you likely didn’t know you had. Your mission was clear. Your goal was compelling. Your focus was laser-like. Your potential was tapped. The power of purpose is similar to the energy of light focused through a magnifying glass. Diffused light has little use, but when its energy is concentrated—as through a magnifying glass—that same light can set fire to paper. Focus its energy even more, as with a laser beam, and it has the power to cut through steel. Likewise, a clear sense of purpose enables you to focus your efforts on what matters most, compelling you to take risks and push forward regardless of the odds or obstacles.
I have discovered that my purpose is to be a catalyst to inspire others toward self-improvement. That’s why I started You, Improved, and why I write the types of books I do. Having this purpose is a great motivator. I want to write every day and let people know about what I’m writing because I am writing with purpose.
Do you know your purpose? Tell me in the comments section below about your why.