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Become friends with your ‘why’

The other week I was chatting to a friend of mine who has travelled an relocated a lot through her life. She’s now about to set out on new adventure and I could not help but ask her “Why are you embarking on this new path?”.

Where many people might get defensive about being asked ‘why’ and start to justify the whole thing with all the reasons they can think of as if their back was up against the wall, she instead went quiet for a little bit and then met my eyes. “Because I have this drive inside me to see new things and explore new places. Because it keeps me balanced in life to follow my own path, not one that others have decided for me. Because I don’t want to die with regrets of not having lived life to the full and followed the opportunities that have been presented to me“. Her answer was so sincere, honest and important to her that it silenced me.

We chatted for a bit and the more we talked, the clearer her ‘why‘ became. It was a truly beautiful picture to share with her.

Many people who travel, relocate and explore don’t know exactly what their ‘why’ is, just that they need to keep going. We are all driven by different things, but there is a true purpose to know what your ‘why’ is. Because you’ll need to get very close to it when the going get’s tough. You’ll need to remind yourself of the ‘why’ that started it all when you start to doubt your path.

Your ‘why‘ is your driver, the thing that keeps you going, the feeling something will give you or something you’ll be able to have in the future because of the things you do right now. Make sure to become good friends with it. And also make sure to know it in as much detail as possible. Not just a shallow acquaintance you catch up with from time to time. More like a true friend and constant companion.

How then can you find out your ‘why’ if it’s not clear to you right now?

  1. Ask yourself: ‘For what purpose am I doing x?‘ Keep asking the question a few times to get to the core. An example of how you might do this:
    – ‘I’m travelling to explore and get to know new people’.
    – For what purpose would I like to explore and get to know new people? ‘To learn more and grow as a person’. – For what purpose would I want to grow and learn more as a person? ‘To feel free and balanced in my life going forward’.
    – The more times you ask the ‘for what purpose’ question, the closer you get to the core of your why.
  2. Some great clues to our ‘why’ is found in what you value. Read last week’s blog post on values to find out more about how to check this with yourself.
  3. Connect your ‘why’ to the bigger picture. If your ‘why’ under point 1 was to live a life of freedom for yourself, how can you connect that to others? Is it setting an example for some other people in your life on how they can find a way of doing something they really love?

When your ‘why’ is connected both to yourself and to how it serves others, it takes on a much stronger form and becomes something you can lean on when times get tough. So become friends with your ‘why’ and bring it along on your travels, it’s a fantastic friend to have!

Have you thought much about your ‘why’? Do you find it less confronting to ask ‘for what purpose’?