The start of a new month is a good time to take a step back and reevaluate our goals and plans. If I asked you today, “Why do you do what you do?” Could you answer without thinking? If not, this post is for you.
Many times, we get so wrapped up in the day to day that we start to feel like robots. Does this sound familiar: get up, eat breakfast, off to work, get home, make dinner, take care of house/kids, bed…repeat times infinity. While routine can be comforting, it can also be confining.
Some of you know, I work in nursing homes providing mental health services as my day job. As a part of my job, I get to provide support (and sometimes much needed laughs) to individuals suffering from health concerns that require long term care or short-term rehabilitation. I also get paid, which helps me pay my bills and live the life I want to live. After work, I come home and spend time writing articles for women. I devote time to these articles because it is a labor of love. I’ve had a calling for some time to help women, who suffer from mental health roadblocks (anxiety, low self-esteem, etc.), to overcome them and be able to live up to their full potential.
What is your WHY?
What motivates you to get up in the morning? What do you get to do each day? (notice get to NOT have to) What benefits do you get as a result of performing your daily tasks? If you find yourself struggling to answer these questions it might be helpful to engage in a values assessment likethis one from Carleton University in Canada.
Why is your WHY important?
As human beings, we all require some form of motivation to act (we have an autonomic nervous system that keeps us alive, but that’s neither here nor there). Most of us are motivated to go to work to pay the bills so we can have the basic necessities of shelter, food, and clothing. If we look in the bible at 2 Thessalonians chapter 3:10, we will find:
For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
I don’t know about you, but I like to eat (too much) so this alone would be enough motivation for me to work. But, it’s not my WHY, and I’m guessing it’s not yours either. Your WHY goes deeper than the basic necessities in life, it goes to the level of what really matters.
If you reference back to my WHY, you will see that helping others is a core value of mine. You can see that in both my day job and in this article, you are currently reading. My WHY is clearly defined.
What if your work doesn’t line up with your WHY?
So, you’ve taken the values assessment and defined your WHY and you are feeling good about it, but you have one small problem, your daily activities aren’t in line with your WHY. Example: Your WHY is spending time with family, but you have a job that requires frequent travel. Trouble Shooting:
1. Assess whether or not changes can be made in the amount of travel related to your job. Would it be possible to do anything remotely using zoom or some other teleworking site?
2. If nothing can be done about the job, see if anything can be done about the type and quality of time you spend with family. How can you make the most of the time you do have? Once you discover your WHY and start actively working to build your life around it, you will then start to live a life of fulfillment. When you live your WHY, you are actively living not just robotically getting by. Use this article to help you discover your WHY today so you can start living not just existing.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. -Jeremiah 29:11