Welcome to the final post in this series. If you have not read the first three posts, what it takes to be the difference in your life, four steps it takes to start being the difference in your life, or how to handle the fear when it sets in. I highly recommend reading those before reading this one.
Let's get started on how you can keep your why in the driver's seat of your life.
Your why is the thing that drives you; it will provide you stability and direction in your life. But, the amazing thing about your why is it will also give you the courage and resilience to handle life's toughest challenges.
As I stated in an earlier article, money is not your why. Money is the result of your why that fuels the work that pays you.
See why it's so important to put your why in the driver's seat? If you are not doing something for your why then you are building someone else's why.
Your why will change during your lifetime, and that's a good thing. For example, you may be single right now, and your why is to build wealth or travel the world. Then you become a parent, your why changes to providing the best life and example to your kids.
When something in your life excites and inspires you, understand it's not random. There's a reason for that I suggest you do not ignore it, is it very well could be your why trying to get your attention.
I want to share a quick story about my life. I lost my purpose (why) for a while; my life was messy, mundane, and going nowhere. So here I was in my mid forty's feeling so lost and frustrated.
Hell, you think I would have had life figured out by now. Well, not the case (we will always be figuring life out), your why can crawl out of the driver's seat at any time if you are not careful.
It was time for me to get to work and put my why back in the driver's seat of my life.
I spent the next few months digging very deep into some of the most impactful things in my life. I did this to understand better why I was acting the way I was. For me, it was never my fault. It was always someone else's.
Damn, was I wrong! Please learn from my mistake. We are the ones in control, no one else, and when you take responsibility for everything. Life is so much better.
Here are just a few things I dug into to understand better the impact they had on my life. I suggest you get an accountability partner to help you through it, and It must be someone who will be honest and not tell you what you want to hear, or you're wasting your time.
First, we reviewed the impact of seeing a suicide at nine years old. Then we went into how I was picked on in school and called names because of my learning disability. Next was all the family trauma and experiences. Then my failed hockey career, the loss of my fiancée to cancer, and the death of my mother. Finally, we went through all things work-related and understood why things transpired the way they did.
I will tell you; this was the most challenging and most impactful self-discovery I've ever done for myself. At the same time, it was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done for myself. If you are struggling, I highly recommend doing this. I'm happy to help. After all, it's what I do.
When I asked several friends and clients why they do what they do, I was amazed by the answers. So many of them are doing it because they feel like they have to do it or what's expected of them.
Here's an example conversation I had with someone we will call Joe for conversation's sake.
Me: Do you like your job?
Joe: it's ok, it pays the bills.
Me: Is that yes, or no?
Joe: No, I don't, but I'm comfortable. (Ugh, the dreaded comfort zone)
Me: Ok, good. What's next for you then?
Joe: I'm a manager now, but I want to be a director.
Joe: Because it's the next step for me if I want to grow.
Me: You just told me you don't like your job, why would you want to stay?
Joe: It pays the bills.
Me: Another job will pay the bills, why not enjoy what you do?
Joe: I never thought about it. I'm doing what I thought I was supposed to.
It's clear to me that Joe's why is not in the driver's seat, and I'm not sure he even realizes it. Joe and I had many other conversations, and Joe finally realized his why was not in the driver's seat.
It's fascinating to me how many of you (this was me for a long time, so I'm not casting a stone) know what you do and how you do it, but so many don't know why they do it.
Knowing your why in life is crucial, and there are many reasons to keep your why in the driver's seat.
It will provide you clarity in your life, and people with clarity are unstoppable. It gives you passion and focus on achieving your goals. It will give you a deep sense of purpose in your life. As a result, you will be healthier and live longer.
Here are eight steps to help you find and keep your why in the driver's seat.
- Identify the things you can do to make people's lives better: Yes, I said other things that make people's lives better. Being self-aware is good, but doing something that will benefit other people is fantastic. Helping others is one of the most rewarding things you can do in life.
- Look back and think about the things you did where you didn't care about time: We all have things we've done in life that we didn't care about time. The reason is we are in the zone with a purpose and passion for whatever you're doing.
- What did you like as a kid, and think about your happiest times: As we get older in life, it's all work and no play. We forget to play, but it's so important for your well-being and mental state. So, get back to being a kid again, and play.
- Think of things you are willing to do even if you look like a fool: This is one of my favorites because we all have done something and looked like a fool doing it. Think back to when you didn't care what people thought. You just did it anyway. How can you do anything meaningful in life when you avoid doing things that might embarrass you?
- When people come to you for help, what do they ask you? This one is right under your nose, yet you hardly ever see it. So, what do people ask you? I think you'll be pleasantly surprised when you understand what people ask of you.
- What things are you willing to go the extra mile on? You are willing to push through whatever makes a difference, and you are not worried about failures or setbacks. These have a meaning and a purpose for you. Embrace them!
- You have the opportunity to teach others; what would you teach them? If you could teach anyone in the world, anything what would it be? We all have something to teach the world, yet so many of us hide it from the world.
- If you didn't need a paycheck, what's something you love that you could do for a living? Alright, I understand we need a paycheck to survive but let's imagine you didn't. I'm asking you to look at this because I want you to do something you love in life, so it won't feel like you are trading your time for money. Instead, you will be paid for your purpose, which is so rewarding for you and everyone who receives it.
This will require you to do some serious work internally. I promise you it will be worth it. As I mentioned earlier, get an accountability partner to tell you what you need to hear. This is your purpose to pursue, not anyone else's. Regardless of their opinions or setbacks you have, your purpose is your guide to success.
Let it navigate you.
I genuinely hope you find these helpful because keeping your why in the driver’s seat so crucial for your personal and professional life. It's time to live a life of purpose!
Thank you for taking the time – I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to share this life-changing information with you.
Paul – ZUP2U