I am nearly one month in to being intentionally homeless. It seems like it was only yesterday when I stripped away most all material possessions, threw a few things into my car, and took off across the country. It was planned, I knew it was coming, but that doesn’t mean that fear was not a factor.

For that matter, fear is still a factor. Not that it has taken hold of me, paralyzed me into inaction, or worse, convinced me to abandon my dreams. But it is important to note that even when you have stepped out in faith believing that you can accomplish what you’ve set out to do, fear will still make itself known from time to time. It is in those moments when you get to choose if you will continue pursuing your vision, or give in to fear and walk away. This is the reason why you hear so much about the need to have a strong “why” that drives your vision forward. What’s your bottom line, the reason why you’re doing what you’re doing?

I have a strong “why”,  and if I didn’t I would already be questioning my sanity at this point. I mean, seriously. At an age where many people are thinking about their retirement, or are deep into their decades long career, I’m out here working a dream like I’m twenty-years old and have all the time in the world. However, I have clarity about what it is I am working toward. I have ideas and plans on how to accomplish it, but most of all I know why I am doing it (to clarify, some say that you must love what it is you’re doing, and I couldn’t agree more. To me, knowing the reason behind what I am doing and loving what I’m doing is one in the same. I simply cannot separate them in my mind and heart.) I love to travel, but wanderlust will only get you so far. The “why” that drives me keeps me going when plans fall through and I have to start over. It keeps me pushing forward when I feel lonely, frustrated, when money is short, meetings don’t happen, and when other people hurl at me their opinions on what I should be doing.

So what’s the big deal, and why is this so important? It’s important because it is the only thing that keeps you moving when things get hard, and they will get hard. They will get damn hard. We hear a lot these days about being inspired and motivated. Both of those things are important, but they will not be enough to get you through the hard times. Inspiration and motivation are emotions and emotions can ebb and flow. The reason behind your actions, what drives you, will stay consistent. When you hit rock bottom and feel like you can’t go on, you can remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing and it will give you the strength to get up and keep moving.

In short, your “why” is your purpose, and it’s your purpose that will get you through the obstacles that will inevitably show up. It’s the impact you want to have in the world, and the contribution you wish to make. 

Remember, fear will always be weaker than your “why.”

I encourage you to create your own “why” statement, write it down and memorize it. Then, go after it with everything you have.


  • Keith E. Smith

    Writer, Consultant, and Dream Igniter

    Keith E. Smith is a writer, blogger, and author of four books including a debut novel released in 2016. He is passionate about writing and works hard to support, and encourage other writers. His life mission is to ignite the dreams of others and to help them achieve success in their chosen endeavor.