Change is hard. We don’t like it when someone moves our cheese, even if that someone is ourselves. If you are trying to make a big life change and just cannot seem to persevere through all the difficulties, distractions, and painful realizations there is one thing you MUST do. Ask yourself this question: What is your Why?
In other words why change? Why should you go through the hardship that changes entails? Why persevere through the times it feels like you are standing still? Why keep going when you stumble or fall flat on your face? Why put yourself through that?
What’s in a why?
“Why?” being the fundamental question to ask to get amazing results has been well documented and codified. I highly recommend you check out the following TedTalk by Simon Sinek or reading his book Start with Why. He discusses how great leaders and innovators manage to do or create things that seem extraordinary. The difference between these great people and the others attempting the same feats is not money, or time, or background. It’s the fact that they do what they do knowing their Why. Simon Sinek explains that in order to succeed at the impossible you must ask : “What’s your purpose. Whats your cause? What’s your belief?” i.e. “What’s your Why?”.
While this talk is specifically aimed towards leaders and companies the same theory applies to our own lives. In order to do the extraordinary in our lives we MUST know our Why. Otherwise what is there to inspire us or keep us going? You can’t be in pursuit of the end result or the riches and expect to get through the hardships. You have to believe in your Why.
For example someone may say they want to lose 20 lbs. They may even think they know their why. Perhaps because they want to fit into a specific dress. Or to be healthy. But if you watched the video you know that they are coming at this from the wrong perspective. Now take someone who decides that their health is a huge priority in their life due to a medical diagnosis. They decide that their family is important and they want to be happy and healthy for when their daughter walks down the aisle at her wedding. Their Why is they want to feel good, be healthy and be there for their family. How are they going to do that? By losing 20 lbs. Who is more likely to lose the weight? Who is more likely to be healthy?
Why We Need a Why >> Our How
As I explained before making any life change it’s best to understand your why. The bigger the change the more important that why becomes and knowing and reminding ourselves about our why can help us maintain that change, even when it becomes difficult.
Our family is in the middle of a HUGE amount of change. We’re selling both of our homes, and doing all the miserable stuff this entails from massive cleaning, to home improvements. It’s not fun spending money on a house you are trying to get rid of! We are trying to buy our new home and transportation in the form of our Airstream/Charlie and our Truck/Clifford. Having never bought, let alone lived in, a RV before we’re making the decisions the best we can with our limited knowledge. Are we doing the right thing? Who knows!
We are trying to get rid of 95% of our belongings. Moving from a 1600 sq. ft house to a 200 sq. ft Airstream means a major downsizing. We could rent a storage unit and let our stuff sit while we travel but honesty nothing we own is worth spending money for it to sit and do nothing. That money could be used for our family to go out and do something memorable. So 90-95% of our stuff must go. Are we keeping what’s important?We think so.
We are completely changing our life path/career plans and going against society’s expectations to boot. To most our life is going great and according to plan (goods jobs, good marriage, nice homes) and we’re about to rewrite those plans completely. We’re going to be moving ALL THE TIME. We don’t plan to move every night by any means but once on the road we’ll be moving locations about every two weeks. Luckily our home will be moving with us but everything else will be changing regularly.
This is A LOT of change even for the two of us who have willingly embraced change in the past. Sometimes it’s absolutely overwhelming. Whenever I feel like I might have a panic attack because of all the change I remember our WHY. So here goes. Why are we giving up almost everything we know to travel the country in an Airstream? What made all these changes our How?
We know we deserve happy, healthy, purposeful lives.
We believe in prioritizing our family over our careers.
We know our time is much more important than money.
We believe in the happiness that comes from experiences not things.
We know we deserve joy not monotony.
We believe in our choices over expectations ( of ourselves or others).
We know that we can make anything work through flexibility and our joy of new experiences.
We believe in the power of nature to ground us, awe us, and inspire us more than any new piece of technology.
We know that by sharing our story, our challenges, and our beliefs we can inspire others.
We believe in our family, our dreams, and our choices.
We know not everyone will figure out their Why and decide to sell almost everything they own, retire in their 30s and travel the country in an Airstream. That plan aligns with our Why. Everyone’s joys, purposes and passions are different. We strongly believe with all out hearts that as long as you are living your Why you will be happy. (Obviously not 100% of the time. You cannot have happiness without sadness but that’s a post for another time). We would love to hear about your journey to live your Whys. For those who want to share tag your journey as #liveyourwhy on Instagram or comment below.