A person should have aspirations and objectives. These give you a sense of direction and fulfillment as you advance in life. I have heard this ever since I was a child, and I have wondered then just as I am asking now: but what if they don’t?
Aspiring to different things, whether they are possessions or feelings, can come with a lot of disappointment as well. Or, in some cases, with a very dissatisfactory success. And then what? Where do you go from your highest aspiration’s achievement? To a wheel of infinite spinning? To a sabbatical year, decade…life in search of your truth until you give up on it and return home to just hang in there?
Maybe, just maybe, we are not doing this goal-setting or goal-getting thing well. I found in one of the books I was reading the following quote, belonging to Friedrich Nietzsche:
“He who has a WHY to live for can bear almost any HOW.”
Until then, I thought this whole WHY theme is quite a recent issue that Simon Sinek discovered and built upon it. But it seems searching for a WHY has been a struggle that may as well have been here since the beginning of reason. It may have started as a sense of utility, but it has slowly evolved in an inner guide towards what is our authentic purpose.
To be honest, I don’t have a recipe and I do not believe in 7 magic steps to find your “WHY”. Your purpose is closely connected to your identity, so the starting points in searching for it are introspection and reflection.
Pay attention to what motivates you so strongly that even after hours of hard work you feel like your batteries are not drained but recharged. Seek within what inspires you most. What kind of people do you feel better after interacting with? What are the things you spot and appreciate most in others or in yourself? What is your biggest dream, without bringing it down to earth due to your current situation? When you close your eyes and you imagine living your dream, what are you surrounded by?
Try to answer a few of these questions then connect the dots, and go back to introspection. For a few very lucky people this purpose shows itself very early and remains very clear. For most of us, our WHY is something we need to work on constantly so we don’t lose track of it as it might change.
When I was in high school, I had a glimpse of my WHY and decided that I would like to study psychology. I was, however, strongly discouraged by those around me. At that time, we knew no specialist that had a financially comfortable life by practicing in this field. 1-2 years later I joined an NGO and was formed to be a Trainer of Trainers for peer education. I discovered another glimpse of my why, but when I started my university studies in Communication I got partially disconnected from it, but never completely. When the recession hit my field and I lost my job, I went back to training and created a workshop and a few fun-shops. That was my fallback. But even then, I did not see it completely, so I soon returned to marketing and kept going with my career.
It took me over 15 years until, after quitting a job that pushed me close to a burn out twice and taking a moment to listen, I saw it. And guess what? It was there all along! My purpose is to support people in getting to their dreams. I coach, train or consult those who are passionate and dedicated to making their dreams true. This is what I have done my whole life, just in a different way. I have always stood by those dedicated to building, but needed a hand or shoulder. And the amount of happiness and energy I take from doing this is incomparable.
But most importantly, when I started Coach4Marketing I had this full-hearted feeling, like when you have had a fun but very long journey and you finally return to your comfortable, made for you, home. I believe that feeling is worth the search, and I truly hope everybody gets it in their life.
The reason why I am sharing my journey is that you might be searching for this WHY and still haven’t found it yet. And that’s OK! As I said, it doesn’t get lost, it just evolves with you. Just keep paying attention to yourself and keep doing the things that make you blossom. Because sometimes it might pop right from under your habits, your everyday life, from the things you have already done or seen a million times.
Invest in your passions, be kind to your flaws and practice the lesson I am still learning: give yourself time!
Every day adds to your story. And I am sure it is already a hell of a story!
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