What’s your why? The first time I heard this question I was sitting in the audience. The presenter asked this question, then lit up the screen with a picture of his three-year-old son. He proudly stated: “That’s my why. That’s why I get up every morning and do what I do.”
Since that time this question has haunted me. I really wanted to understand my why; to understand why I have such an obsession and love for being in front of an audience and delivering inspirational speeches.
Personally, my answer isn’t so obvious. I don’t have children and no other answer immediately popped into my mind. So, I’ve searched for my answer for years and finally, I figured it out.
It’s really not the speaking that’s my why and certainly not the rush of adrenaline I get just before going on stage. Rather, it’s about helping people who are going through challenging times right now. I guess you could call it a type of Paying it Forward.
For those of you who don’t already know my story, the 2008 recession wiped me out. By 2010, I had lost my business, my savings and my home. The only thing – THE ONLY THING – that got me through that difficult time were my friends. They grabbed me by the hand and led me through the darkness, refusing to let go.
If I can do that for someone else through my speeches, if I can relieve their pain even if for a second or two, then I have found my why. I have found my reason for doing what I do.
It’s a hard question to ask, and my sincere hope is that you find your why and live your purpose. Remember, we don’t get burned out because of what we do. We get burned out because we forget why we do it.