I’m back with more notions. I feel like I can endlessly produce them. At this point, it might be pontificating, but I’m enjoying myself nonetheless. Still, it’s not all sunshine in my days, as I think most people who know me will attest to. I am frequently tired or burned out emotionally. This week, this happened at exactly mid-week.
I took my Wednesday coffee break from work (at home, in my small bedroom) and picked up my phone. I stared at my Instagram messages, seeing my friends and strangers contacting me about my writing with only kind words. Still, I found that I felt… nothing. If anything I felt a confirmation that I don’t write for validation. This realisation came with its own void. Why bother then? Why work during my lunches, film after work, edit chapters in bed until the early morning hours? I am sure that my body would deeply appreciate the extra sleep if I just stopped trying so hard to do it all.
My mind instantly rejects that idea, almost vehemently casting the thought away. In puzzlement at my own mind (a state I am regularly in), I remembered something my cousin and friend told me once. We walked through a forest trail together one sunny Essex evening and he glanced back at me.
“I think your life will be special,” He told me. When I raised my eyebrows with no shortage of skepticism, he smiled a very genuine kind of smile. “Yes, I do. Because you’ve already got your why.”
“My ‘why’? My life’s purpose?”
“No. Your purpose probably change a lot over your life. To me, your ‘why’ is a combination of passion and a unique story.”
I mused on this for a few moments, thinking hard. My passion in a nutshell is communicating with others key messages that improves lives. My unique story? Well, that was a little more hazy to me.
My cousin had a clearer picture on my life, like most people who peer into our lives from the outside.
“Your outlook on life is unique, your experience as to why is unique. All you need to do is sell it to yourself and enjoy the ride.”
I rarely have nothing to say, but this had stumped me. He was right, of course. By default, we are all unique. By default, we all have a why. It was simple maths; passion + unique story = a why.
“Why do you class that as a why?” I asked, the thought occurring to me after several more minutes of strolling down this forest trail. My cousin fell into a gentle, thoughtful silence before coming to a conclusion.
“A why is a reason you keep moving, a source of joy. A feeling that helps you understand why you were born.”
Suddenly I understood. To my cousin, a ‘why’ was why we work hard, why we wake up in the morning with excitement, not just acceptance of our lives.
The concept became much clearer to me then. A why could be anything. A need to care for others, to inspire masses, to love a single soul wholly, to live creatively and see the world. A why keeps us moving with a goal, just for the experience of living.
In truth, I think that many of us have multiple whys and share several. Perhaps the most obvious is that many of us get up in the morning to experience love. The love of our children, partners, parents, ourselves.
So, today, in this tense time in our world, channel your why. Love deeply and widely, always beginning with yourself. If you have read this and have come to the conclusion that your why is not your 9-to-5 job and paying the bills, then I invite you to imagine your purpose to be outside the realm of what you are doing and more so about what you are being whilst doing it.
For me, I have always had an intense focus on productivity in my life. I love journalling, writing to-do lists and having a plan. To some, this is difficult to understand. Yet, whilst I am moving from task to task, I am being utterly content.
Are you living a fear-based life? What about a love-based one? Perhaps to do all things in love, in kindness, would make every single action purposeful, no matter what the importance of the action. Then, our why, would simply be to live.
Imagine what it would be to live without the expectation of having to live a certain kind of life? What if every life, no matter how it was spent, was not wasted? That is my why. To inspire a belief that all lives are worthy, all whys notable.
Try, I invite you. Try to embrace this thought in the little ways of your life. At the very least, you will invite a new calm into your mind. At the very least, your entire path on this earth will be altered for your own good.
Wishing you a peaceful life,