A powerful question. If you want to achieve something, knowing “how” is important, knowing “what” is important, but knowing “why” is the make-or-break question.
If you currently are working, why are you working? The most likely answer is that someone pays you to do some form of work. If suddenly, the manager of your workplace informed you that beginning tomorrow, no one would get compensated in an way. Everyone would become a volunteer worker. Would you keep working at your current job?
Are you a marathoner? Why? What drives you to run 26.2 miles? Is it because you find enjoyment and fulfill a sense of purpose when you run? Why do you feel fulfilled when you run?
Why do you drive the car you drive? If it is a new car, why are you driving a new car? A ten year old car will get you where you need to go. You drive your specific car because it fills a need, whether it is social need or has capabilities that other cars lack.
If you own a home, why? There are certainly apartments that you could rent or condos to own, but you own a home because it offers something that other buildings don’t
If you are losing weight–or want to lose weight–why?
When you know WHY you need to do something, you will also have your motivation. Webster says that “motive” is “an emotion, desire, physiological need, or similar impulse that acts as an incitement to action.” A motive incites action. It isn’t something that you are assigned. It isn’t a societal standard. It isn’t a wish, or hope, or dream, or prayer. All those are passive. A motive must lead to an action, otherwise is a merely a thought.
I read often on LoseIt, “I need to lose X pounds. Please motivate me!” We can’t motivate you. We can inspire you with our personal success. We can suggest courses of action. We can provide encouragement when journey gets rough (and it will get rough.) But we can’t tell you WHY you want/need to lose. If you don’t know why, you have just placed a large obstacle in your path.
Do you need to lose weight for health reasons, like me? Then your motivation is to regain your health. Do you want to lose weight so you can fit into your favorite outfit? Then that dress/suit/whatever is your motivator. Do you want to go on a flight and not need to ask for a seat belt extender again? (That happened to me in 2005. It was bad, but not enough for me to take action.)
Everyone has a WHY. You need to look inside and honestly ask the question “Why am I doing this?” When you have your answer, you have your motivation.
However, the next question is “Is my reason important enough to make permanent changes?” That special outfit might not be enough of a reason to take action. That too-short seatbelt was an embarrassment, but it didn’t make me change my actions. After all, you can buy a larger suit. You can ask for a seatbelt extender. (I didn’t…but I could have.)
But you can’t take back that stroke. Or heart attack. Or the loss of a toe to diabetes. You can’t ask for a do-over after the fact because you were too big to play football with your children, or too embarrassed to go on the beach with your family while on a once in a lifetime vacation.
When you know your WHY and when you know your why is so important that nothing else can stand in your way of success, you will achieve success. Until then, you are just dreaming.
I told you my “WHY”. What is your “Why?” Tell us below.