Do You Know Your ‘Why’?

Why do you do what you do?

It’s important that you know your ‘why’ because your why motivates you. Your ‘why’ enables you to stand strong through tough times.  Your’ why’ is the purpose or belief that inspires you. Your ‘why’ keeps you focused. Your ‘why’ wakes you up in the morning, and pushes you out of bed to deal with the daily issues of life. Your ‘why’ forces you to see that your world is about so much more than yourself. In fact, your ‘why’ is more about other people and something much bigger than getting what you want.

Everyone has a ‘why’ but the thing is not many of us take the time to reflect on the why of what we do. Your ‘why’ must be bigger than the obstacle’ you face. Your ‘why’ must be bigger than your why not? When you know your ‘why’ how is not a problem. Your ‘why’ will keep you on the right path and provide clear direction to where you are going. Obstacles never stop a person who has the will power to push through trouble. I believe that obstacles are put in our way to see if what we want is really worth fighting for. If you want to fly, you have to give up the things that weigh you down. Without rain nothing grows and the people who know their ‘why’ learn to embrace the storms in their life. Mark Twain said that “the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Finding out ‘why’ is vital to your growth and understanding as a human being. People lose their way when they lose their ‘why.’ Your ‘why’ will keep you from repeating past mistakes and save you a lot of time and trouble.

I am reminded of a story that illustrates how easy it is to fall into habits that are unnecessary and meaningless. A young woman was preparing a holiday ham to go into the oven. Her new husband watched as she cut both ends off of the ham before putting it into the pan. This struck him as odd, so he asked, “Why do you cut off the ends of the ham?” She paused for a moment and then replied, “I’m not sure. That’s just how my mom always did it.” They immediately called the young woman’s mother to find out why she cuts the ends off of her ham before putting it into the oven. The mother, too, paused and then replied, “I’m not really sure. That’s what my mother always did so that’s how I’ve always done it.” The young woman then called her grandmother to get to the bottom of this mystery. As she shared the reason for her call with her grandmother, her grandmother burst into laughter. After she had finished laughing, the young woman asked what was so funny. “Oh my dear,” the grandmother said still chuckling, “the reason I cut the ends off of my hams was that my pan was too short and I couldn’t fit it in otherwise.”

The lesson we should take from this story is that we should always know ‘why’ we do everything we do. If we don’t know why we are doing something, we are susceptible to blindly falling into the trap of doing something only because it’s the way it has always been done. It easy to tell someone what we do and how we do it but it’s another thing to be able to explain why you do it. Your destiny is shaped not only by what you do, but why you do it. Know your ‘why’ and it could change the course of your life forever.



Giving Up Is Not An Option!

In what area of your life have you contemplated giving up lately?  It happens to all of us at one time or another but I want to encourage you to hang in there.  The temptation to give up is one of the strongest temptations you will ever face.  You might think that the best thing for you to do is to stop working on what you dream about and do something different – something a little easier. Try digging your heels in right where you are.  Change your expectations about how quickly things must happen and learn the lesson that’s right in front of you in your frustration.  Ten years from now, what will you wish you had done in this season of your life?  Will you wish you had stuck with it?

Perseverance is not usually fun, but it works. Starting over is sometimes a necessity for there is no need to continue down a path going nowhere.  In such cases, it’s best to turn back and find a new path.  However, when starting over is not a necessity then it is only a setback and often you will discover that the new thing you pursue only presents a new set of challenges. These challenges are probably no different from the ones you currently face. Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.   The reason why people give up is because they focus on how far they have to go instead of how far they’ve come. You have worked hard to get where you are now. Don’t overlook that. You have a dream and you must be willing to work hard for it. The test you are enduring right now will ultimately become your testimony.

If you give up it means you never wanted it. Unless you are dead you have absolutely no good reason to say you cannot succeed. No excuses. You are alive and you must find a way to accomplish your dream. Giving up is not an option. We all learn and teach each other. We all become better at things by trying. Be an inspiration for others and refuse to give up. Who knows what someone else can achieve by listening to your story about how tough it was for you and how you were about to quit but you never gave up and succeeded! Learn from the best. If your goal is to be successful be around successful people you can learn from and then make it happen for yourself. Next, motivate others to push themselves and do the same. The most successful people are also often the ones who have experienced the most failure. Crucial inventions in our world were accomplished by people who kept on trying even when it seemed like there was no hope at all.

A winner is a dreamer who never gave up. Giving up is the best way to show the people who told you that “you can’t” that they were right all along. Let them see you struggle but never let them see you give up! Success is built on persistence not luck. Anyone can give up – that’s easy, but to hold steady when you are pushed to the limits is tenacity.   Often when you feel that you are about to give up you are the closest to making a huge breakthrough. At any point in time, you’re always just on the verge of success. When you feel like you can’t go any further, the same strength that brought you this far will take you the rest of the way.

If you are tired of starting over, stop giving up. You only have three choices in life: give up, give in or give it all you’ve got. Make a decision not to give up until you reach your goal. In this life you don’t always get what you want. You get what you work for. Just go for it.    If you don’t go for what you want you will never have it!

Are You Committed?

What are you committed to? Commitment is what we are willing to give 100% to achieve, while putting aside personal gain and recognition. Being committed is a willingness to do whatever it takes to fulfill and follow through on a responsibility. It may not even be something we enjoy, but none the less, being committed means that you are going to do it regardless. A primary key to knowing whether or not you are committed to something is if you are willing to sacrifice what you want in order to keep your commitment.   Commitment also involves loyalty.  Do you stand by your commitment even though it will cause interruptions in another area of your life? If you are willing to show loyalty even when it costs you something that is proof that you are truly committed to that person, place or thing.

The most important thing about being a committed person is not about the recognition you receive but the courage and discipline you display.  Leaders show a remarkable amount of commitment. If a leader is not committed to the success of their goal, others will lack the initiative to be fully committed and the desired results will never be achieved. Commitment is the marker that separates success from failure. The level of commitment you have is the difference between good and great. When confronted with a challenge, a committed person will always search for a solution but the uncommitted person will always search for a way out.  Commitment is what drives us forward. Commitment is what gets us out of bed each day and what keeps us awake with excitement at night.

Determination and commitment go hand in hand.  There will be inevitable set-backs along the way to achieving success, and without the determination to overcome these road blocks, your commitment will begin to waver.  A committed person will face obstacles with resiliency and fortitude.  A committed person will accept the challenges that will surely come and take the necessary steps to work past any barrier.  Instead of viewing change and unexpected outcomes as problems, a committed person will view them as opportunities . Committed people are invigorated and energized by the chance to rise to the occasion. Being committed means you accept and perceive challenges as part of the journey toward the larger accomplishment that you are committed to. Committed people work hard even what it is hard to work. It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up!

Being a committed person will also simplify your life because you will know what to focus on and what to let go. Though, at the same time, there may be a cost for the utter dedication it takes to be committed. It takes courage to stay focused on what you are committed to. You will encounter people who will not understand your commitment. With this in mind, it will be important to hold steady and keep your goal in the fore-front of your mind. Sometimes you just might have to commit to a dream that no one else can see but you. Work hard in silence and let success make the noise. Don’t confuse your path with your destination. The path to your success may be a difficult one but everything you go through will prepare you for the success you dreamed about.

F. L. Y.

How often have you said, “I just want to be happy”? Everyone wants to be happy but how well do you know exactly what it is that would make you happy?  Would a bigger house, a new car or a new job make you happy? Many people would define happiness as having more of something that brings them pleasure, but what about the people you see who have very little but seem to enjoy every day life just where they are despite what they lack in material things? Happiness is a choice. Happiness is being content no matter what your circumstances might be. Happiness is having what you want and wanting what you do have. Having a lot of something won’t necessarily make you happy. One important key to happiness is to enjoy what you do have. Being frustrated about what you wish you had is pointless because it robs you of enjoying the present.

Happiness is an inside job and it begins with loving yourself. If I were to ask you to name all the things that you love, would you even think to include your own name? These are many things that are important in this life but nothing is more significant than loving yourself.  Everything else really falls in line behind this. Loving yourself means that you recognize that other people have opinions, anger, resentment, jealousy, fear and none of these feelings they have are about you even if they are directed at you. Loving yourself means being able to say no when someone else wants you to say yes. Loving yourself means not giving up before you get started because someone else said that you won’t be able to make it. Loving yourself means you might have to let go of some things (people, places and things) and embrace other things that you once thought were not important.   Most of all loving yourself means living in a state of forgiveness – which includes forgiving yourself.

Love yourself enough to make the changes in your life that will bring you true happiness. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to live a life you are excited about. Embrace and accept yourself including all of your imperfections. Stop hating yourself for everythings that you aren’t and start loving yourself for everything that you are. Work on loving the person in the mirror who has been through so much and is still standing. You have made it this far because there is so much more for you to do. You are special. You are unique. You have been courageous when fear tried to stop you. You have been honest when it would have been easier to lie. You have been compassionate when others were not. You have been real in a world filled with so many artificial things. You will never know how many people you have already inspired.  Love yourself and then you will have the blue print for loving others.

Learn to F. L.Y. – First Love Yourself