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- Finding Your Why -

October 28, 2016

Written by: @naimjutha

"The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for." - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I read that quote just over a year ago while I was still working as a Staff Accountant in pursuit of my CPA. At first read, that quote didn't mean much to me. Nothing could bring me down, I was living the life. I finally settled into a proper routine: Figured out the exact number of minutes it would take to get to work if I went to the Tim Horton's at Leslie/16th or the one at Leslie/7; I had the same rotation of khakis and polo shirts lined up for the week; I used my brain maybe once or twice today, mostly when figuring out what to eat for lunch. My weekdays passed by so quickly that it felt like I was getting paid for nothing, I was in heaven. I was running full speed ahead en route to my dreams of money and success. That's when this damn quote popped back into my head. See, I knew what I wanted to achieve and how I could achieve it, but I had totally forgotten why. Well, did I forget why? Or did I never even consider asking myself that because all I was focussed on was "success"? I started to panic. I started to worry I was leading a life with no purpose.

Purpose: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.

Heavy, eh? How the hell am I supposed to figure out why I exist... 

I started asking myself a bunch of questions: What are you chasing? Why do you want it? What legacy do you want to leave behind? What do you want to be remembered for?

These questions can be posed in the context of what life goals you want to achieve and what career goals you want to achieve. Personally, I don't know how to differentiate between the two. I now see my career as a means of achieving my life goals, rather than my career goals being completely based on my dream salary or an office on the 34th floor (aka what I used to define as "success"). Why do my life goals matter though? Because these are things I feel like I need to achieve in order to get that feeling of true "success". It's become MY mission to achieve these and no one else's. Here's my mission statement:

To help people in need and do anything I can to empower, encourage & inspire others to help and work with each other. 

What's your mission statement? 

That's probably the hardest question I've ever asked myself. It's not a yes or no; you can't shake a Magic 8 ball; and you definitely can't copy off your friend's paper when they're not looking. Let's walk through some steps I took to determine my mission, I'm hoping they can assist you in discovering yours too. 

  1. What do you love to do? What truly makes you smile inside?
  2. Who do you look up to? And more importantly, what about them inspires you?
  3. What are 3-4 values/principles you stand for? Not your parents, not your friends, you
  4. What were some significant hardships and challenges you've had to deal with in the past? How did/ are you currently dealing with them?
  5. What cause(s) do you strongly believe in? (Charity, Organizations, etc.) 
  6. What about you makes you proud of yourself? Don't be modest, be honest!
  7. If you could deliver a message to a large group of people, who would they be and what would you say?

Once you've answered these questions, you've built yourself a solid criteria for generating a personal mission statement. As long as you've thought out your answers above, you'll be one step closer to answering: What do I really want to accomplish? Who do I want to help? What value will I create? Does what I want to accomplish have meaning? 

"You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously." - Steve Maraboli

Believe in yourself, it's more powerful than you think. 


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