Why It’s Important to Have a “Why”

It’s only natural for us to experience the ups and downs of our life on an almost daily basis. Whether it be due to financial struggles, mental health issues, or stressful work, we’ve all been there. Specifically in college, we’re often bombarded with assignments, projects and tests, while still having to face our day-to-day lives. We’re always content with our decisions whenever things are going good, but as soon as we receive a bad grade on something (or anything that’s equally unnerving), we panic. We start to ask ourselves if we’re truly on the right track, if this is the right college major for us, and one of the most common questions ever: “Can I truly do this?”. We start to doubt our ability to do things and we automatically shut ourselves down. 

As part of this process, some individuals may actually find out that they were meant to study something else, and that’s just a part of their journey. But others are left with the feeling of not knowing where their place is. If you find yourself in that position, take a deep breath because you’re not alone.

a woman holds her hands over her face Photo by Anthony Tran from Unsplash

In these moments, it’s vital that you take a step back and really think about what you want in your life. What do you want to become? What is that future, that when you think about, it brings a smile to your face? Some nice exercises you can do to help you with this process is to make a list of what you like to do and what you’re naturally good at. 

Another tip is to just sit down with someone you trust, and talk about your current situation. Ask them for advice and try to look at things from their perspective when you feel like your own point of view is scattered or unfocused.

When you have an answer, see if it aligns with what you’re currently doing. If it doesn’t, then try to inform yourself on the next steps you should take to achieve that goal. If it does, congratulations! You have officially found your “why”!

Woman in a light pink sweater sitting beside a window writing in her journal Photo by Alexandra Fuller from Unsplash

Having a “why” is what fuels us to see things through to the end, and it’s also what motivates us to put all of our effort into trying to reach our goals. If you don’t have this “why” and you’re currently in a position where you have to study or work in a field that you find no interest in, you’ll find yourself lacking motivation to complete tasks and notice how you constantly stare at the clock wishing for the day to be over. 

Now, I'm not saying that, in your journey to getting to your desired outcome, you’ll always be 100% motivatedーbecause that’s just not realistic. You’ll certainly face moments in which you will feel tired and stressed, but overall you should feel like you’re going somewhere with what you’re doing. You have this certainty that all of these hours of work that you put in mean something, and that they’ll be worth it in the long run. 

Being sure about what you want in life will also help you focus on the steps that you must take to get where you want to be. It’ll help you plan things out and actually be excited for them. You won't feel so lost anymore because you will finally have a compass to guide you through your decisions. Overall, it will clear the path for you and help you see what your true priorities should be (just like the “aha!” moments we experience after spending long hours of brainstorming). writing in book with cup of coffee and croissant Photo by Cathryn Lavery from Unsplash

There will be no room for hesitation or for drawing back. With a purpose comes strength to persevere, even if things get shaky and overwhelming. After having a better idea about what it is that you want to do, you’ll know what the possible obstacles are going to be, and you’ll be better prepared to face them.

Even though finding your purpose is really important, know that there is no specific time in your life where you should have already found it. Do not let what society tells you to do affect your notion of what you feel comfortable with achieving and doing in your own time. There is no time limit. We’re all constantly changing and learning more about ourselves as we go. Just make sure that you enjoy whatever it is that you are currently pursuing, and your purpose will eventually become clearer to you.