WHAT’S YOUR WHY?
Have you ever made a list of all the things you do in a day? Try it… I did and couldn’t believe how much I had on that list by 9 am. From the minute our alarms go off each morning (or our cute real-life alarms wake us up) we are doing tons of things. It’s just how women roll: we bear the mental, emotional, and logistical weight of the entire family.
Before I gave up making my list, I had: wake kids, help them get dressed, make lunches, find Chloe’s shoes, attempt to feed kids fruits + veggies, sign forms for field trips and get them in correct backpacks, fill water bottles, walk kids to bus, clean up kitchen, vacuum under their stools (with my fav cordless dyson vacuum) gather laundry and throw in a load, make beds, straighten bathrooms, put workout clothes on, make a grocery list, pay a couple bills, fill up car with gas for the NYC ballet trips this week, write a post, answer emails, keep up with friends, and drive to Trader Joe’s. It was at this point I just gave up trying to keep track of it all. And I’m not even counting the outfit drama I intervened in! This all happens from 7-9am. I’m already exhausted, lol. After kids are at school then starts my other J.O.B. This one!
The thing I want to point out is that we do all these things every single day… because we each have a WHY?!
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” Friedrich Nietzche
I didn’t get much out of my Philosophy 101 class in college, but this quote really struck me. If we have a why, we can get through almost anything! That’s powerful stuff. And everything I read on “finding your why” mentioned that once we identify our WHY, we are way more persuasive and our passion helps get others on board. As leaders of our families and our own individual careers, it’s our job to keep ourselves and everyone else focused on the big picture. Share your why. I write mine down many times a week so I stay focused on what really matters in my personal life as well as my career life.
It seems to me that being able to identify and express our WHY can help motivate those around us AND ourselves to perform to our potential. The more we are able to get the people around us to rally together on a common purpose and mission, the better we will all perform.
With raising my kids, I’ve found explaining the why behind my decisions has been a game-changer. For one, I’m treating my child with respect. In explaining my reasoning when saying yes or no to a sleepover, party, playdate, or purchase I’m helping them understand my WHY… and asking them if saying yes or no helps the common goal of our family. Once I do this, it opens the door for communication. I listen carefully to their whys as well… mutual respect is so important. And if their why doesn’t align with mine, we strive to find a compromise that helps both of our “whys”. I believe helping kids understand from an early age how to identify their WHY helps them have long-term, achievable goals and learn to delay gratification.
Once we identify our why, there are so many fun ways to incorporate it into our lives… while involving those around us!
If those four questions didn’t help you, here are four more specific ones I found in a Forbes article that I thought were excellent:
What makes you come alive?
What are your innate strengths?
Where do you add the greatest value?
How will you measure your life?
Obviously you can adapt the language into words your kids will respond to, but wouldn’t it be a fun family activity to help each individual identify their WHY… and then come up with a WHY (or mission statement) for the whole family. Depending on the age of your children, you could make posters for each of their rooms to help them keep their “eyes on the prize”. Posterboard with pictures cut out from magazines or printed out from the internet would add interest. I know some families even have their WHY displayed in a common area of the house; framed on a wall or stenciled in the kitchen. Keeping the WHY at the forefront of our minds will help us as we make day-to-day decisions that SEEM insignificant, but over time set the tone and habits for our families.
I read lots of examples of how differently people perform when they have a why. The example I came up with from my own life is when I’m in a spin class, and we are doing sprints, if the instructor asks the class to visualize that I’m racing towards something important in my sprint, like my child or someone I love, I’m able to put so much more passion and energy into those sprints!
If this is something you’ve already been doing with your life, I would love to hear how you’ve incorporated your WHY into you day-to-day life. Living with PURPOSE help so much when trying to focus on what matters most, among a million distractors.
I love this quote by Mark Twain: The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you discover why you were born.
Have a great day!
ps there is a huge activewear sale happening (scroll below)
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