Why do you get up in the morning?

Why do you do what you do each day?

Is what you’re doing making a difference that means something to you?

Is there a purpose to your choices and actions?

When you stop to ask yourself these questions do you like the answers?

Let’s be honest, most of the time you’re so busy doing the doing you don’t have time to sit and ponder on such things.  And let’s also be honest and say that if you did you might be like most people and find perhaps that your answers aren’t as inspiring as you’d hoped (unless you’re one of the lucky few who does have a clear sense of purpose).

The Covid pandemic has asked questions of all of us.  It’s forced us to focus on our most basic needs whilst also challenging accepted norms, like the need to work in an office.

Although we have all had limits placed on our freedom, those who’ve been hit hardest have lost loved ones, their own health, jobs, or feelings of security.

It’s easy to lose your way in such times.

The search for meaning

From the moment you were born, you’ve needed to find meaning in your experience of life.  Just think of a child asking its parents questions like:

  • Why do people die?
  • Where did I come from?
  • Why do people get sick?
  • How was I made?
  • Why do I have to go to school?
  • Why can’t I stay up as late as you?
Young girl and boy sitting reading books to find out why things are the way they are

Just like those children we need to make sense of what we’re experiencing.  We want to find a meaning for what we’ve gone through because for it to to be meaningless is not an option.

It may be wise to mention at this point the words of the Greek Philosopher Epictetus who said:

 “Man is troubled not by events, but by the meaning he gives them.

Sometimes the meaning we give things can get in the way.  More about that another time.

Every human being searches for the meaning of their life, it helps us make sense of what we experience, it helps us to know where we ‘fit’ in the great scheme of things.  It gives our life purpose.

As the Austrian Psychotherapist Viktor Frankl observed during his time as a prisoner of war

“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’”

What does ‘success’ mean to you?

I used to plan the supply of Petits Filous which was made in a factory in France.  Each week I would tell the factory how much of each product we would need in the following week based on our current stocks and the sales forecast, and by what day.  Considering Asda could decide to promote the product without telling us simply to price match Tesco for example, or as often happened the people of France would go on strike, coupled with the fact I could only hold a couple of days worth of stock because it was a fresh product, the fact I managed to maintain a customer service level of 99.25% could be seen as a success!

But what did it mean in reality?  It meant that maybe a few more harassed parents may not have to endure their children’s cries of dismay if their favourite pudding wasn’t on the shop shelf.  Helpful, but not exactly life-changing is it?

Finding your purpose

Simon Sinek has written a book all about the importance of finding your purpose, he called it ‘Start With Why’.  Kinda takes you back to that curious kid you used to be, doesn’t it?  

Simon tells us what once you know why you do what you do (clue, your why will be linked to helping others – but more fulfilling than making sure yoghurt pots are available!), you can explain how you do it and be clear about what you do (the results).  Once you understand those three things you’ll not only inspire yourself to keep going through any adversity, but also inspire anyone you get the chance to explain it to.

When you have your Why figured out, you will be able to achieve meaningful success.

So how exactly do you find your why?  Handily, Simon has written a book about that too which he called ‘Find Your Why‘, in which he shares a process to help you do precisely that, with the help of a willing partner.

How Values help

If you’ve visited my blog before you may have read my posts about the Value of Knowing Your Values.  Your Values form the basis of your why, and just as your Values have a unique meaning to you, so will your why. 

Your Values are the framework on which you can build a life filled with purpose and meaning.  Once you know what yours are you can use them to guide the choices you make, and the conversations you have.

Your values come from the wisdom of your heart and as the very wise Jack Kornfield tells us

We must make certain that our path is connected with our heart.

Success when linked to things that can be taken away from you such as money, fame, awards, feels empty in comparison to success from following your heart.

If you want to find heartfelt answers to these questions then let’s connect.

Why do you get up in the morning?

Why do you do what you do each day?

Is what you’re doing making a difference that means something to you?

Is there a purpose to your choices and actions?

Why do I do what I do each day?  To help you live a life that feels true to you, one that’s connected to your heart.