The article concerns the following question – What Is Your “Why” And What Drives It?
What Is Your Why?
I sit and talk to many people and ask them “why” are you doing what you do, why do you get up in the morning, why do you go to work every day and why is that your why. I recently started rereading the book by Andy Andrews called The Travelers Gift. My goal for the next few weeks is to bring to you my understanding and meaning of the book, how it makes me feel and what impact it can have on your life.
As you sit and think about your why over the next few days, I want and need you to peel away all the “elevator pitches” that you may consider your why, I am going to need you to dig deeper, look for the root of why you do what you do. I am going to ask you to be completely honest with yourself, understand yourself and accept and recognize the burning desire that drives you.
In chapter one of The Travelers Gift; David is portrayed as a businessman that had been a passionate man about his career and being able to provide for his family. A man that had poured countless hours, tears, and even blood into a career that he felt would give him and his family the lifestyle he had always dreamed of and one that would be there far into the future. This career was one he felt would get him to a lavish retirement and one that would allow him to spend more time with his family after sacrificing years in the beginning. David was 46 years old and he had been just introduced to a world that he never thought would happen to him or his family and now he is rethinking his “why”.
After 20+ years of being in management and feeling that this was his life, spending 12-15 hours a day at work and missing out on life, he was forced into a life of unemployment, leading to mental disgust with himself and the grotesque feeling of being a failure. His dreams were always controlled by someone else, but in his mind and many like him; he felt in control, believing if he did a good job and work hard, he was living the dream.
In this dream he was doing everything he needed to; to provide for his family, but on the night of him beginning his new life as the unemployed he arrived home and watched his daughter sleep. While watching her sleep he realized that the day before was his daughter’s birthday, she had hit the tender age of twelve. He had missed his daughter’s birthday, was she mad at him, did she have a good birthday, and did she miss him? These are questions that he wanted to ask her but were afraid of the answers, answers that really she could only give him.
In that moment he knew his “why” has been changed, but to what extent? Was this a window of opportunity to re-evaluate his “why” and look inward, deeper than he had looked before, was this his chance to search his soul? Was there something that he had been over-looking for more than 20 years, a passion that had been masked by a lifestyle that he thought would bring him and his family happiness, a passion that was actually bigger then himself?
David is now pondering his life, what it has meant for the last twenty years and how many of the decisions he has made has changed him and his family in a way that cannot be undone.
I am asking you today to look inside you and ask yourself “why”, listen to and feel the burning desire deep inside of you, what is your “why”. While you may not feel that you have a internal burning desire that is driving your why, I recommend you come back and read about my understanding and interpretation of chapter 2 in David’s story.