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What is your "why"?
If you've encountered any self-help book, guru, or Instagram page in the last decade, you've likely come across this question. We're obsessed with the concept of "why" we do things particularly as they relate to our so-called "passion."
The "why" is the reason -- the essence -- behind our motivation for doing the right things on a daily basis. Yet, have we ever really thought about what our "why" says about us.
Think about -- why do you really get up in the morning? Is it because you can't wait to jump out of bed, have your feet hit the floor, and start another fantastic day?
Or is it more because it's your routine, you have to fight traffic, you have a family to support, and you need to make money? Oh yeah, and the only way to make said money is to pump out another 50,000 TPS reports today?
Your "why" needs to be so much more than a cliche if you ever hope to get out that day-to-day drudgery. The last thing you want to do is become numb to it and descend into the pit of "whatever." That's a life sentence chained to a desk from 9-to-5 you will never escape from!
What are we to do? Well, take a look at how I've reworked my life to more closely align with my "why." It will take effort on your part, but it's definitely something you can work towards every day.
What I want to do here is show you how to find your why. To do this, allow me to teach you through my life's examples. I trust you'll find it helpful, but please send any specific questions my way!
Here's what I decided and what is working for me today.
I can't tell you how many times my wife and I screwed up in the money department. We are suckers for eating out constantly and it just killed our budgets.
But, it wasn't until we decided "why" we needed to make and save more money that our financial lives began to change. We're the type of people who need goals to shoot for, otherwise we don't make things a priority. Our "why" is that we want to be financially free and have me work my own business.
We made the difficult decision to ditch the overpriced house in the overpriced part of the state. And we moved to a cheaper (but even nicer) house, in a better neighborhood, and in a more cost-friendly part of the state (and even the country).
It's done wonders for our budget and long-term wealth plans.
I also "location-hacked" our income in a sense. We live in a cheap area, but I decided to make the commute for my job to an area that pays more. So, I'm saving on one end and making more than I did in my previous area. That's how you do it.
Furthermore, I also make money with this blog. This, in turn, has allowed us to pay off debt and pad our savings. We began CD laddering and also plan to invest in rental properties in the near future.
Yes, it's been a tough road to get to this point, but we've learned so much about ourselves. We've also been tremendously blessed and we're so thankful for that.
Learn how to start your own blog and begin making a side income.
A few years ago, my weight as around the 225-lbs. mark. I didn't do anything, I ate like crap, and my thyroid was out of wack.
I was truly at a breaking point, but wasn't sure what to do. Fortunately, I married a woman who lights a fire under my butt and has a great head on her shoulders.
She suggested I sign up for a half marathon and also made me an appointment with a personal trainer to help me get in better shape. I trained for and ran my first half marathon in 2014. Then, I committed myself to running my first marathon the following year in 2015.
Running is the only endeavor where I've found myself to have the strength to accomplish my goals again and again. It's how I've learned to overcome my mind and take on a renewed sense of determination.
While I've completed a few more half marathons over the years, I've lessened my commitment to running since my son was born. There's just not enough time to do it all and the dedication it takes to run these long races does take its toll.
So, in late 2017, I decided to begin lifting. I use the gym in our neighborhood and found a program perfect for new weight lifters like myself in 2018. I've been lifting 2 or 3 times per week (for the most part) using this program since March. Further, I've started adding in running again and it's certainly helping me keep the weight off.
Something else that's helped is intermittent fasting coupled with eating better on a regular basis. All in all, I'm keeping my weight around the mid to high 180s right now. My plan is to get into the 170s later this year.
So, while my "how" of getting there has changed from year to year, my "why" for losing weight and getting healthier hasn't. I don't want to have health problems later in life and I'm tired of being overweight. I refuse to let my thyroid issues prevent me from leading a healthy lifestyle.
I get so sick of seeing and putting up with lazy parents. It annoys me to no end.
Granted, I'm not the best father in the world. I certainly make enough mistakes of my own with my kids, but I strive to be the best parent I can be.
Unfortunately, we have people in our life who don't seem to care. They don't watch their kids closely and don't spend much time with them. In fact, it appears they actively avoid spending time with their kids and remain in perpetual adolescence.
That is not the type of parent or person I want to be. I rather be a role model for my son and daughter.
I want to be the father that puts his own wants and needs aside. I want to be the parent that truly sacrifices for the good of his family. I want to emulate what my Lord does for me and put myself last.
I don't do this all of the time. Not even close. But, it's a huge part of my overall "why."
There's so much more I can do. And as I get older, I'll have even more of an understanding of how to be that better father.
Until then, I'll keep placing my family above my work. I'll always prepare a day off with the children than a full day by myself.
Yes, I always want the break, but I never want my children to think their Daddy doesn't want to be with them.
It's hard. But, the little hugs, kisses, laughs, and smiles make it worth it.
I'm not sure if you're a Christian or not. But, I am and it's an important part of my life.
Truth be told, I'm an Orthodox Christian who converted from Catholicism a few years ago. My wife lead me to it after her own faith journey took her there.
For the longest time, faith wasn't an important part of my life. But, my wife suggested that I pray one day and give it to God. I was at a point in my life where I was at my wits' end.
That decision to include God in my life again and decide to acknowledge Him again set me on a path that really changed my life. A few years later, I was that guy going to noon mass at the local Catholic church during my lunch break. I wanted to learn about God and wanted to be in His presence.
Sure, I had peaks and valleys on this journey -- and continue to do so. But, I know keeping God at the forefront and making His will part of mine will allow me to accomplish anything.
I still have a great many struggles and am not the perfect Christian. However, I know the main things I need to work on and with His help, I'll get there.
The main goal here is make Him a part of my plans. Do everything I can humanly do, but realize that all things work for His good and are done on His timeline.
Honestly, the times when I've stayed in faith and we gave our troubles to Him were the times when our family was blessed the most. This is especially true when we had our financial troubles and had to relocate. God gave us the courage, resources, and opportunities to make a difficult situation turn out the best and then some.
That's why even when it's hard, I appreciate my wife reminding me to place my trust in Him. It really does make all the difference.
Have you ever thought about what your daily actions amount to? They total up to equal your life.
I'm talking about all of those daily interactions, the things you did and did not accomplish, how you treated others, how you think about yourself, and so on. They all add up to account for your legacy.
Well, what do you think your legacy amounts to? If you were to leave this earth today, what would people say about you? What would you leave behind to your children in terms of lessons, money, faith, ideas, love, etc.? Are you leaving this earth a better place than when you found it?
Be honest. Your legacy at this point probably sucks. I know mine is far from where I'd like to be.
My anger, bitterness and resentment take their toll on me and those around me. I complain a lot. I hate my job. I want my side hustle to take off faster. I complain that God doesn't make things happen faster. I get annoyed with the kids. I regret not taking different opportunities and chances as a younger lad.
And what does all that bull accomplish? Absolutely nothing. It's all focused on the past and not on how my present affects my future and my children's future.
I'm doing myself and my family a disservice by focusing on it. And it does nothing to craft a legacy to leave behind.
Instead, my "why" is to leave this world better than I found it. I want my children to inherit their father's faith, but a deeper faith. To have money, but turn it into more. To have relationships, but treat others better. To build a family, but one that follows God's will more closely.
I want my kids and their kids to be better than me. That's how you leave a true legacy. This, in turn, leaves a true impact on others and the world as a whole.
What legacy are you leaving?
I know it can be a daunting task to think about all this. Our lives are multi-faceted and there never seems to be enough time to actually do everything let alone think about it.
Nevertheless, essential tasks like this crave our time and attention. While it's easier to brush it aside to next week, the time we waste by not doing it compounds.
That's when we're left with a live we didn't choose and a legacy we didn't plan to leave. So, figure out that why and pray about it.
You may find yourself on a path toward living a life beyond anything you could have hoped for. And isn't that what we all really want for ourselves, our spouse, and our children?
Now go for it.
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