“Let’s try to make every single person we pass smile.” I was walking through the streets of Prague with friends a few years back, and this was our goal for the day. Each person who passed, we had to figure out a way to make them happy. Whether it was a scream, a joke, or some absurd act we’d do that people would pass and laugh at, we made sure that everyone’s day got a little better when they passed us.
That was our why – to make people just a little bit happier than they were before.
Simon Sinek’s Start With Why explains that before we choose the “how” and “what” that drives us, we must first develop our “why” for what inspires us. We all need to understand the exact motivations that drive us to do what we do. There has to be one thing that we wish to accomplish, that we wish to share, or that we wish to learn, that trumps all others and leads us on the path we take.
Every time we make a choice, every time we sit down to watch TV, every time we pick the food we are going to eat, every time we decide we’re gonna have too much to drink, we must ask ourselves: Is what I’m doing right now in line with my overall why?
If the answer is no, then it may be wise to reconsider that Big Mac or put down that 6th, 7th, or 8th drink.
Believe me, I understand how hard this sounds, and that’s because it is. We will never be the absolute best versions of ourselves until every muscle we move, every thought we have, has a deliberate and well-intentioned why attached to it. Once you have decided your why, surround yourself with it.
Some people want to make a million dollars, some people want to make a million friends. I want to influence a million people. My why is adding value to the lives of others without expecting anything in return.
When I was 7-years old, my friends and I had a lemonade stand. The only catch was that all of our proceeds went directly to local families who were affected by 9/11. From a very young age, I’ve had this desire to improve those around me. It’s what drives me, it’s what makes me feel special, it’s my why.
It’s what has led me to engage in civic engagement projects, to focus on non-profits, and to leave the corporate life in pursuit of something much greater. It’s not for everybody, but it’s what I have decided to do, and sometimes, it is difficult for others to fathom.
Embrace the Skepticism
The most difficult part of my journey has been absorbing the skepticism, the questions, the looks, the uncertainty. “What do you mean you don’t have a job?” “You need a career. You need financial stability.” I hear this constantly.
Remarks like these are sometimes difficult to handle. I understand where other people are coming from. They have a preconceived notion for a standard life path that I should be on, and it is hard for them to comprehend how or why I am deviating from that path. Understanding that skepticism is rooted in an objection to a norm has been monumental for me.
But I don’t want the norm. I never have, and finding my why has further solidified that. Rather than allowing criticism to deter my pursuits, I use it as fuel. Every skeptic, every cynic, every hater, presents another challenge that I am forced to overcome. I welcome these opponents with open arms. You should too. Because finding what inspires you to do the things you do in life is of utmost importance, and the sooner you do it, the sooner you will be able to live the life you deserve.
Getting COMFY, specifically, is a 5-step morning routine to energize the body and soothe the mind.
Getting COMFY, more broadly, is a movement based on Getting COMFY waking up in the morning, Getting COMFY in your own skin, and Getting COMFY with the rest of your life.
Getting COMFY: Your Morning Guide to Daily Happiness, is a book coming out on January 31st that highlights these ideas.
Call to Action
Become a part of the community at: http://getting-comfy.com/
And follow us on Twitter and Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/getting_comfy/