What’s Your Why?

by Brandon Iurato

This may be the most compelling word of all. “Why”. It motivates people to think and wonder. Children ask “why” of everything.

The reason “why” is so important in human thought is that thought revolves around meaning. If something has no meaning to us, we ignore it. When it takes on meaning, we fix our attention on it.

Without meaning, there is no internal motivation or purpose to take action and depression sets in. Without meaning, we don’t feel alive. That’s why it is so valuable to set goals for yourself. When we have a goal on which to focus, our life tends to reorganize itself around making it happen. The resources, solutions and answers start to appear.

Deep within you, you know what you are designed to do. There is a voice, a feeling, a sixth sense that tells you. We all have experienced the feeling that things would unfold in a particular direction, for a particular reason…destiny, fate.

I believe that all of us “know” our calling. We just fail to NOTICE. Marsha Sinetar wrote a book titled “Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow”. In my experience, that’s true. Things may not turn out as we originally hoped or expected, but the path is worth following.

Our interests and impulses are messages we should listen to. Follow your gut instinct. As Emerson said, “Desire is possibility seeking expression.” So, if something fascinates or fulfills you, you really should take notice. Your natural path may be calling you.

The key to tapping this growth potential is beginning the process. Take the first steps; act on your impulses. Find ways to enhance the world through your actions. Don’t start by looking at yourself, start by looking around you. What are you concerned about? How would you change the world if you could?

Growth doesn’t occur without change and reaching out. Only when you step out of your comfort zone will you be able to reach out to help others. Encourage those around you to tap into their hidden potential, there lies greatness inside all of us. Wake it up!

Your job is not to fully understand the world, but simply to enhance it. Make it better because you were here. Whether that be through an entertaining performance, a beautiful sculpture, a simpler solution, a kind gesture or a global movement. Grow where you are planted and branch out to connect with and help others.

Where Do You Look—Inside or Outside?

Goals that involve gaining something can be very powerful. Goals that involve giving can be even more powerful. When we connect with a cause outside of ourselves, we have more of an influence on others. Can you think of any of the best known businesses that did this? Apple computer was founded with the goal of making technology work for everyone. Ford Motor Company built cars that the average person could afford and use.

Disneyland was created to become “the happiest place on earth.” The New York Times informs us daily with “all the news that’s fit to print.” The great insurance companies began as a way for people to share the expense and reduce the impact of loss or disaster.

Look around you again, what do you care about? What would you change? Look wider. Examine your daily life, your community, your family, and your business. What are you concerned about? What would you change? What inspires you? Maybe you can change things for the better. Maybe the seeds of a greater contribution already live within you.

Write down your thoughts. I always say: If your life is worth living, it’s worth writing down. Notice what excites or bothers you. Think about it. How could you initiate some actions that would inspire new possibilities?

Grow where you are planted. Then branch out toward even more. Move toward your “why”, your purpose. Toward meaning. Meaning and Fulfillment

“What’s nice,” Walt Disney said to his friend and coworker, Mike Vance, “is to be grown-ups like we are . . . and to remember the kids we were back then.” Then he asked Mike, “Do you know what’s even nicer than that? It’s to be grown-ups like we are, remember the kids we once were, and to know that we have become the person that, as a child, we hoped and dreamed, someday we might become.”

“That’s called fulfillment and it’s something every human being dreams to achieve.”

Fulfillment is what happens when an acorn becomes an oak, a nurturer becomes a nurse, an explorer pursues a quest, or when a message finds its medium. You and I experience fulfillment whenever we are making a difference. If we are doing something that matters in some way, we tend to smile inside. And this shows up in the quality of our work. Not only do we feel better, but we feel better about ourselves.

We need to know that what we do counts. We need work that fits our values and talents, something for which we are suited. If we don’t find meaning in the job itself, we must bring meaning to it through the way we approach it.

Fulfillment comes when we spend our energies on what we care about, believe in and have talent for. Psychologist William Glasser said, “If a job utilizes talents, appeals to interests and relates to values, it will be fulfilling.”

People need purpose. We need to define our “why”. When we’re not planning and working towards something, our life starts to diminish, it starts to shrink. There are many examples of the fact that the more purpose we have in our life, the longer we live.

We need a definite major purpose, some reason to get out of bed in the morning. Something to challenge us. Brain research has shown that if we keep ourselves intellectually challenged and stimulate the mind we may actually cause brain cells, called neurons, to branch wildly and establish new connections. So stimulate your brain with a purpose and challenge your thinking!

We must have a purpose, because it’s the source of the life energy that makes our lives meaningful. Setting goals is so important because it gives us a purpose to live. That’s why people say you’ve got to have a dream, a vision.

Funny thing, purpose doesn’t come from outside us, it always comes from inside and it goes out toward others as some form of service or self-expression.

Are you living the life you were meant to live? When you identify the big purpose, your “why” that you want to go after in life, all of a sudden the life energy you need starts coming in to you to fulfill that purpose.

And you can do this at any age! How much you have lived doesn’t have anything to do with this. Look at examples of people who started when they were young with a clear purpose, or people who started much later in life.

We often need a cause larger than our skills in order to grow. Thinking Big, Dreaming Big is allowed and, in fact, encouraged! Remember that the last time you felt really alive—a time when you were doing something that stretched your abilities and sharpened your skills, your mind and body were very active. Your purpose or goal no doubt tested you and made you greater than you had been before.

Only then did you feel fully alive. When there is a reason to grow, there is room to grow and a natural path to follow.

Follow your dreams and pursue them with a passion.

Brandon Iurato, motivational speaker, author and trainer shows people how to get more out of life. He welcomes comments and feedback at biurato@frontiernet.net

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