Living in your Why

You are in survival mode when urgency is the constant and calmness the rare variable. Your goal is to avoid a crisis day. You let people down, you overpromise. Stress is overwhelming, the margin for error is zero. When you define your identity and purpose only with external results, the circumstances of your life will define you. You become your circumstances.

Stephen Covey said in one of his books: ”You are not a product of your circumstances, but a product of your decisions.” A study by neurologist Aron Buchman showed that people with a high purpose have two-and-a-half times lower risk of developing dementia. A starting point is to explore internally. Explore and find the WHY behind your actions, the why behind your thinking, the why behind your beliefs, the why behind your circumstances. Friedrich Nietzsche said he who has a WHY to live can bear almost any HOW.

What is the real reason why you stand up in the morning? To pay the bills, to feed the dog, to be in time for deadlines, to avoid a crisis? Or something more empowering and motivational? Rather link your reasons for standing up in the morning based on a why that makes sense to you and put the language behind it in a personal purpose statement. A personal purpose statement reflects your passions and values. It provides clarity for your goals.

An example of a personal statement comes from Amanda Steinberg, founder of Dailyworth.com: “To use my gifts of intelligence, charisma, and serial optimism to cultivate the self-worth and net-worth of women around the world” Her site Daily Worth has grown to more than 1 million subscribers. She beliefs financially empowered women are the key to world peace. Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup Company said: “I serve as a leader, live a balanced life, and apply ethical principles to make a significant difference. I believe that you can’t lead others unless you have a strong sense of who you are and what you stand for.”

Not being guided by your purpose is like climbing with long ladder against a wall and when you get exhausted to the top, just to find it was against the wrong wall! Once a purpose statement resonates with you, you need to put action behind the words. We become what we repetitively do. Habits account for about 40% of daily behaviour. The starting point is you, your uniqueness you bring to the world. Your WHY. From there you move to the WHAT, the actions, the habits. And then ways and means to get there, the HOW of things.

Living in the WHY will help you to have meaningful social relationships, having enjoyment in the right job and will give you freedom to make life decisions more independently. Values guide. Habits define. Purpose inspires.

Author

Willie Snyman
Life & Business Coach

I have a passion for people and help them getting from survival mode to significance. Real turn-around happens when people really listen, really engage to understand. I believe financial wellness is intertwined with physical and mental health. I help you to be the best you can be, and to get rid of the fears keeping you back to experience more happiness.  

My favorite author is Stephen Covey saying: “I am not a product of my circumstances; I'm a product of my decisions."

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