When you find your passion and your purpose and live out your “why”, your work becomes a labor of love. Work is what we do by the hour, while Labor sets its own pace. Living out your mission, you tap into a creative stream that allows you flow — an intense focus and crisp sense of clarity that others notice. Simon Sinek has a TED video with more than 12.6 million views on YouTube in which he explains the importance of finding your “why”. He points out that “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”
What is your cause? What are your beliefs that drive you and get you out of bed every morning? Why should anyone care? Most of us can explain what we do. Most of us can explain how we do what we do. But can you articulate your “why”? Are you passionate about solving problems? Are you driven by continuous improvement? Does helping others succeed drive you? Are you trying to make the industry more professional? Do you love being part of the creative process and watching an idea germinate, blossom and flourish? Find YOUR Why and live it courageously. Steve Jobs said, “the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. Don’t settle.”
It is your responsibility to discover your “why”. Once discovered, center your life on it and allow it to flood meaning into your life goals and daily activities and become an everyday source of integrity and pride. Your purpose should be rooted in love, not fear; aligned with your fundamentals, your passions and desires; something that moves you emotionally and not just mentally; be energizing and nourishing; inspiring and worth building a life around.
Here are two ways to help you find your “why”.
- You’ll find it inside. You already know the answer, but you will find it close. So step back and look inward and then trust your gut. Let go of self-interest and control and reflect with honesty on your values, your beliefs and the things that matter most to you. Ask yourself if your life serves something of value in itself and not just what you think you can get from it. If you can direct your energies in the service of creating a greater good, it will return to you. Allow yourself to have moments of “awe” that put you into the moment. Watch the leaves change color and drift to the ground. Stare at the fire and smell the smoke and hear the pops and crackles. (Hopefully around a campfire or fire pit). Get up and watch the sunrise and see how the colors of the world change and hear the birds greet the new day. And then, listen. To yourself. The answer is inside of you.
2. You’ll find it by working at finding it. Steve Pavlina suggests that anyone can do it in about twenty minutes. Begin with an open mind and a commitment to work at it until you get there. On a blank piece of paper or a new document file if you’re more of a computer person, write “what is my true purpose in life?” Write the first answer that pops into your head. Now repeat that with each new answer that you think of. When you get to the one that makes you cry, you have found it. It could take you one hundred, two hundred or even a thousand answers but when you hit one that hits every emotional nerve in your body, you will have found it.
Will finding your “why” help your business? It will if you make the decision to live it, love it and be it.