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.