2020 has been in equal parts a year to forget, but also one we’ll always remember. For better or worse, the strange year of 2020 has forced us to re-evaluate parts of our life, and really work out what’s important.
So, as we look back on the year, it’s a great time to think about finding your why. Why do you do the things you do? Why do you prioritise certain things over others? Why are some things more important than rest? Here’s some thoughts to take into 2021.
The importance of understanding your why
Understanding why you do what you do has a multitude of benefits. It gives you clarity on your work, increases passion for your goals and also helps keep you focussed. Basically, understanding why you do things gives you the strength to push forward even when times get tough. It gives you confidence that everything you do has meaning, or that you’re working towards something important.
When you have a clear understanding of why you go to work every day, everything feels like less of a chore and you can pursue your goals from a solid starting point.
What brings you happiness?
One of the biggest questions to ask yourself is what brings you happiness. Now, while people gain varying levels of enjoyment from the work they do, most would admit they’d rather not be working. So, what is it that actually makes you happy? Is it spending time with friends and family? Being in the outdoors? Or do you get a thrill from closing big business deals?
When you discover what really makes you happy, you can begin adjusting your work life to suit that. If being with your family is number one, find ways to work from home, or even consider working towards owning a family business where you can work together. If you love the outdoors but work 9-5 in an office, are there ways you can turn your love of nature into a career change? Even if you don’t like your job much, but your passion is travel, making the link that your work pays for your travel adventures can give more meaning to what you do.
Do you find meaning in your work?
So, now we move on to exactly that. Finding meaning in your work. Most people enjoy their jobs a lot more when they find purpose in what they’re doing every day. In our culture, we seem to think that finding meaning is all about doing something charitable. Such as, leaving your corporate job so that you can work with those less fortunate. While this type of meaning is obviously admirable, it’s not the same for everyone.
Finding meaning can be simple as having a goal in mind. You want your children to be able to attend the best schools, so you pursue a job that allows you to give them that. Alternatively, it can also be about learning. You might have a final career goal in mind, but you need to start at the bottom and work your way up. When you’ve got a purpose, everything becomes a lot easier.
Do your talents match your passions?
Finally, do your talents match your passions? In November of this year, the NBA’s number one draft pick revealed he wasn’t really passionate about basketball, but it’s just what he did. Anthony Edwards, prior to being taken as America’s top young basketball talent by the Minnesota Timberwolves, confessed that he’d rather be playing football in the NFL. He still loves basketball, but that career choice is more about what he’s good at, rather than his passion.
The fact is, a lot of people find themselves in jobs they’re pretty good at, but it doesn’t really line up with what they’re passionate about. So, if you can find the right balance where you can earn a living doing something you love, then you’ve definitely found your why.