If I asked you what you did today, most of you would be able to give me a detailed list of the things you did, where you went, the people you spent time with, and tasks you completed. What if I then asked why you did all those things? Would you have a good response? Do you do things just to fill time or are they meaningful and purposeful?
I began to question my own 'whys' after listening to Simon Sinek’s ‘Start with Why’ Ted Talk. Initially, I listened to make a connection to my user experience design work. He explains how people don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it. As a UX designer, I’m not just creating a product (the what), I’m designing an experience to improve a user’s life (the why). After realizing how important this concept is to my work, I thought, “ This same idea could be applied to my own life.”
Questions I Began to Ask Myself
Why do I wake up every morning?
Why do I go to work?
Why do I train at the gym every day?
At first, I didn’t have great answers to these questions. A lot of the things I do throughout the day are solely based on habit and routine. It’s easy to follow the crowd and do similar things as those around you.
When I put some serious thought into my daily habits, many of my ‘whats’ consisted of dancing around and weren’t rooted in purpose. I needed to reevaluate and realign myself with my future visions and goals.
Discovering My 'Whys'
It was time to think deeply about my ‘whys’. I chose two areas of focus: Why do I wake up every morning and why do I train at the CrossFit gym 2-3 hours a day?
1. Why do I wake up every morning?
- Bring value to others
- Be a light
- Experiencing new things
- Gather new perspectives
- Experience honest and connected relationships with others
- Broaden my knowledge
- Challenge myself by taking risks
- Do things I thought impossible yesterday
- Be an inspiration to others
2. Why do I train for 2-3 hours every day?
- Stay healthy and active (stay functionally fit)
- Test my mental and physical capabilities
- Improve my mental toughness
- Be an inspiration to other women (strong is beautiful)
- Be a part of a team/community
- Win the Games as a team
Understanding why I do things allowed me to find a new perspective. I can confidently say no to activities and relationships not aligned with my 'whys', because I have a clear vision. It’s time to live a purposeful and fulfilling life!
This exercise shed a new light on my life and I know it could do the same for you!