Relief is probably not a word you would associate with the bro’ marketing advice of finding your ‘why’.
For as long as I can remember, it’s been a phrase that many marketers and business coaches mention; ‘find your why’ they say because it all comes from there.
Ohh money! Most of us reply. Lots of it, please!
Cue law of attraction and other visualisation techniques along with 90-day challenges. “I want to make a gazillion bucks, be a best selling author, sell my amazing widget!”
But is that really your ‘why’?
I thought I’d found mine.
I wanted to write. Simple.
But…I don’t adore writing, and sadly I’m not one of these people that has to write, no, I can quite happily bunk off from bleeding daily onto the page.
Yet I was really struggling with this whole writing ‘thing’.
I’m building a serious career as a freelance writer and I was doing all the ‘right’ things, but something was missing. Something intangible, something I couldn’t articulate but I knew ‘it’ wasn’t there.
I would wake up every day questioning if this was right for me, do I really want to be a writer? I’d feel sick, unsure and just what the blazes am I doing?
Until today, when I decided to sit with myself and ask the question, “why do I want to be a freelance writer?”
I asked this question over and over again in my head, and then I allowed all the emotions and feelings to surface, and what emerged was quite fascinating.
Warning: it’s going to get a tad ‘woo’ — so buckle up.
I asked this question with Dr Joe Dispenza’s Box Meditation playing through my headphones. ( If you’ve not checked out Dr Joe — do.) I let the emotions and visions I was having simply come up, I didn't try to fight them, second guess them; I simply allowed.
Not surprisingly there was an image of me as a small girl, loving reading, loving that feeling of being immersed in imagination and playing with words.
But there was nothing for being a freelance writer.
Having done Dr Joe’s meditations many times before, I simply stayed with it and asked, is there any part of me that wants to be a freelance writer?
You can imagine I was beginning to think that I’d messed up yet again, with yet another life choice.
Until a big black wave came up out of nowhere with this huge desire — it felt as if it had been waiting my entire life to be let loose, and it was being a writer because I like to explain stuff. I love to explain, to explore and I love to play with words to help other people understand things.
I found out there’s a huge part of me that’s want to be a teacher, but I had never really thought I could become a teacher, as that spot in my family is already taken by my sister.
Which is when I realised that my ‘why’ is teaching through my writing.
As I had this realisation, my entire body relaxed, and I was flooded with the feeling of relief.
And now I get it.
Your ‘why’ is your North star. The business guys are right.
Your why is that guiding light, principle, whatever, but it's the road sign saying drive down this road, this way, to your desired destination, because it's your fuel.
It wasn’t enough to simply want to be a writer. For me, there has to be a driving force behind the writing, be that fiction, non-fiction, poetry, whatever it is.
There is something deeper we are connecting with when we connect with the ‘why’.
I thought I had the destination already in the GPS — freelance writer that earns a good living. I had worked it out intellectually, but I hadn’t brought the entirety of me on board.
I was always called out for daydreaming.
I was even taken to the opticians because my head was high in the clouds I’d trip over stuff, but as a result, those parts of me were hidden away, and although I said I wanted to be a writer, and indeed I write and do all the things one is supposed to do — I hadn’t dug down to the why — why do I want to write?
What’s the emotional pull behind this?
For me, it’s to play with words and explain things.
Finding your why is true for all walks of life, not just for writers. Time and time again we hear of people jacking in careers for pastures new because the old job didn’t align with the ‘why’ of their lives.
Because I’ve now locked onto my why, I know the kind of articles I want to write, how I want to write and who I want to write for; and the relief is bloody brilliant.
So, maybe not so woo after all?