Super Habit #18: Understand Your Why

If you want to move forward in life, you need to know why you want to move forward in life. This might sound like a no brainer, but there are millions of people in the world who have no idea why they’re doing what they’re doing. Super Habit #18 might help shed some light.

When I was younger, I had no idea why I did the stupid things I did. I just did them. I ran on impulse. By the time I reached the age of 30, I started asking myself why I was still living in a trailer and working at a mini-mart. That led to my college days. I knew why. I wanted to be what I’d wanted to be since I was 8-years old: a dee-jay.

In Order to Get Shit Done, You Must Know Why You’re Doing It

It’s really this simple. So I wanted to be a dee-jay because I thought it would be fun. And it was. I’d still love to work in radio. But radio didn’t pay the bills, at least not for me. This led to another why. I decided to become a college teacher. Why? Because it was something that seemed to suit me, and I could pay the bills on a teacher’s salary (even if barely).

If you’re making any kind of major life decision, always consider your why. Whether you’re getting married, going to college, starting a business, or writing a book, you need to know why the fuck you’re doing what you’re doing. Otherwise, you might find yourself floundering at dead ends.

Try answering these two simple questions:

  • Why am I doing what I’m doing right now?
  • Why do I want to be known for ________?

It might seem funny to ask about what you’re doing right now. But honestly, our every choice leads to something. If your goal is to write a book and you’re playing video games right now, you might need to reconsider your choices. Our current actions lead to future results.

Second, we all have an idea about ourselves, who we are, and who we want to be. That’s great. But why? Why do you want to be a lawyer, a doctor, or a circus clown? Why?

Understand Your Why and Understand Yourself

Not too long ago I had to make a “know your why” decision. My daughter and I ran into a little trouble at her school, and then the district itself. There were some things done that I don’t believe to be right. So I made some records’ requests, and I kept on the district to attempt to resolve the matter. Things reached the point of an internal investigation. However, I soon after realized that the district would likely never admit any fault.

My “why” for requesting the investigation was simple: I believed there was an abuse of power within the school system. I still do. My goal was a vain attempt to fight a system that’s a thousand times bigger than me, like David and fucking Goliath.

After realizing that trying to fight the system produced more stress than results, I had to reevaluate my why. I’ve recently come to the conclusion that even though I’m convinced there was wrongdoing against both my daughter and then me, there is no point in wasting my own precious time to appeal to higher levels. The cards are stacked against me.

Here’s the key to Super Habit #18. When we understand our why, our reasons for doing things, we’ll better understand ourselves. Success isn’t usually for those without a vision. It doesn’t come to those who have no clue why they want what they want. Success comes to those who can look at themselves and know why they do what they do. What’s your why?