Why should you want to live your life in charge? What does that even mean?
If you’ve never thought about it, today is as good a chance as any.
Why bother being more efficient? Why be productive, or good with your money? Are you just adding stress, or are you actually improving your life?
Take a Step Back
I think it’s good to remember the big picture now and then. It’s easy to get caught up in the details and the work, and if you aren’t careful, you can forget why you’re doing it in the first place.
I want to accomplish my projects for fun, for edification, for the experience, for financial gain — it depends on the task — but it’s all part of life. And I want to get as much as I can out of life, rather than just waiting to see what happens.
I want to be more productive because there are so many things I want to accomplish. I want to make sure there is time to spend with friends and family — if I’m more productive, I can accomplish more with less. I want to be in charge of my time.
I want to manage my money well because there are so many things that I want to be able to afford for me and my family. I don’t want to worry about being able to send my kids to college someday. I want to take my wife on nice vacations. I want to be generous to friends in need. I want to be in charge of my finances.
I want to live a long life — one that’s enjoyable, and not full of sickness. I want to play sports with my kids someday. I want to be able to chase down a purse-snatcher or fight off an attacker. I want to feel healthy and capable, not sluggish and lazy. I want to be in charge of my health.
What are your reasons?
It’s All About the Why
I can give lots of advice about “what” to do or even “how” to do it. But if you don’t know “why” you are doing it in the first place, my tips won’t be as helpful for you. You need to find your why.
There are multiple levels of purpose, too — you might want to break the pattern of gambling in your family so you aren’t a slave to money. Maybe you want to get in shape so you can teach your kid to ride a bike. Or it could be deeper than that.
I don’t know what drives you — maybe you just like control. But without having a goal or desire (your “why”), there’s no way you’ll have the discipline to stick it out for the long haul. Doing something “because you think you’re supposed to” doesn’t last very long.
Seeing the big picture is incredibly helpful for this sort of thing. If you are just focused on “being more productive”, you’ll never feel like you’re being productive enough. You’ll probably burn out pretty quickly. But if you know why you are working hard, then you can pace yourself and recognize your limits.
Your why will get you out of bed on those mornings where all you want to do is keep sleeping.
Your why will keep you from eating greasy fast food for every meal.
Your why will make you save money for something you want later, rather than something you want now.
Your why will allow you to prioritize the important instead of always chasing the “urgent”.
It’s all about having the big picture in mind.
You Need to Know Your Why
So, what’s your motivation? What drives you? Why do you want to take charge?
Once you figure that out, the world better watch out! Your friends will wonder what happened, and you can tell them your why. A little bit of purpose goes a long way!