WHY do you get out of bed in the morning? And WHY should anyone care?
What makes you jump out of bed? What inspires you to do what you do? Have you ever given a thought if your career is aligned with a meaningful purpose?
Most people don’t have good answers to these questions. More so, a lot of us probably don’t even dare to ask this question. Maybe that’s why we often feel unfulfilled, restless or apathetic about our work … about what we do … about our daily lives. Today, people want to do more than to just simply make a living. We want to be part of something bigger than ourselves.
When we were kids it’s a common thing to ask “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. Even in job interviews to this day, I still come across the famous question “How do you see yourself 5 or 10 years from now?”
We often focus on the WHAT and the HOW but not quite getting our thoughts into WHY we even want to do what we want to do.
To be honest growing up I didn’t really know what I want to do except that all my life my vision was always to start a family, be a housewife and a good mother. Working abroad was never in my option but here I am living in Singapore for more than half my lifetime.
I didn’t even know what course to take when I was in college. I got in UP Diliman and remembered choosing my course BS Statistics just because my friend since pre-school is taking that same course.
Looking back, I may not have those specific wannabes growing up but I remember vividly how driven I was in school. I didn’t know WHAT I want to be but I knew for sure that
- I always needed to be on top in school … WHY?
- So that I can go to UP Diliman in college … WHY?
- Because I believed that if get to finish college in UP I can land a good high-paying job … WHY? FOR WHAT?
- For one and only one reason — So that I can help my family financially.
I came from a not so well-off family background. All my hard work as a student was all driven by that ONE goal — to be able to help my family. Back then I didn’t know if that was a right reason, but that definitely kept me going. That kept my focus intact. Every decision I make, small or big I would always think if it will affect my steps towards that goal.
I thrived working on a timetable. Even watching my favorite shows in my generation such as FLAMES, TABING ILOG, TGIS were all scheduled. My guitar practice and even sleep is jotted down in my organizer. If I needed more time to study and it means I have to sleep 3hrs I would. Whenever I feel tired and feel like giving up I would remind myself – “Arlyn, if you’re not on top, you cant get to UP therefore you can’t get a good job therefore you cant help your family”.
Even my career choice to pursue IT was mainly driven by that reason. I took BS Statistics in college and we had programming subjects. I HATED IT!. I recalled telling myself I won’t get into IT and I won’t work in a bank. The biggest prank –– my first Job was a Programmer in Equitable bank.
It wasn’t an easy road but I survived. I told myself, “just 2 years”. Then opportunity came to work in Singapore, still as a programmer. I was just 22years then, so I said, “why not? I’m still young, another 2 more years in a field that I HATE … WHY? So that I can my family more.
I wouldn’t want to get into every detail of my life’s account … maybe some other time. I didn’t know it back then but now in retrospect I realized that I have endured obstacles even the biggest roadblock of HATING MY JOB because I had a very firm and strong reason WHY I needed to do what I had to do.
Quarter-life came. I began asking myself …
Year after year every time I celebrate my birthday these questions keeps coming back and I just can’t seem to find the answer. In my early 30’s I would say that I’m way past SURVIVAL – finished my degree, went to work and managed to help my family. Somehow I did achieve a level of SUCCESS – I may have “hated my line of work”, but hard work paid off. I would say that one way or another, I’m living a life of SIGNIFICANCE – somehow privileged to take part in a cause higher than myself.
And yet somehow when Midlife came I still found myself asking the question …
This is when I realized that I’ve been too caught up in asking myself WHAT I WANT TO DO, forgetting WHY I WANT TO DO WHAT I WANT TO DO. Why am I too caught up in finding out WHAT profession do I want to pursue? Do I stay in IT? Should I explore putting up my own business? Do I pursue becoming a professional speaker?
After 20+ years, I’m still in the field of IT but along the years I have realized what I’m most passionate about.
- Beyond work, it’s how I’m able to relate to people.
- How I impact my colleagues in one way or another.
- Mentoring people and pushing them to outsmart themselves and explore their full potential.
All these gives me utmost joy. Knowing that I have a positive influence to people around me be it at work, in my family, in the church, with friends or even with people who just happens to pass by my life for a time.
Now that I have come to realize my strong WHY, whatever I do, wherever I am, i.e. if I’m able to one way or another add on to someone else … the WHAT and the HOW I believe just follows. And it brought me back to what kept me on track in my younger years.
The Power of W.H.Y.
It gives you clarity.
Knowing your WHY gives you a clear direction on WHAT you should do. It makes it easier for you to decide which road to take, which choice to make. Having a clear WHY allows you to be selective of the advice you take. When you know your WHY, it becomes easier to focus on what matters most in your life. By keeping the focus on one particular goal you are able to find your direction and stay away from distractions. A WHY provides a filter for decision making.
“Filter your decisions through your WHY.”
If you have a clear objective – you don’t get sidetracked. You know your non-negotiables.
HOW – pertains to the actions taken to realize your WHY.
Knowing WHY, gives you the creativity on how to achieve what you want to do. When your live your life with a sense of purpose, you begin living positively and start seeking out new opportunities.
NO is NOT an option.
You don’t take NO for an answer when you know WHY you are doing what you are doing. Closed doors makes you find an open window and even if the windows are locked as well. you find a way to break it to pass through. You keep on keeping on.
People who know their purpose in life are UNSTOPPABLE.
The world came to know Nightbirde from AGT audition. A cancer patient who has 2% chance of survival and yet she was full of hope. Her lines have pierced through the hearts of those who have heard and have given a fight to those who feel like giving up … “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy”. Just today a friend forwarded me a news that Nightbirde’s condition has gotten worse and she won’t be able to participate in AGT. She posted this in her social media and as expected, there’s just no stopping her. There’s nothing that can bring her down.
“Life doesn’t always give breaks to those that deserve it—but we knew that already… You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy. I’m planning my future, not my legacy. Pretty beat up, but I’ve still got dreams.”
One of my favorite BTS songs perfectly depicts the fight of someone who knows that NO is not an OPTION.
No, not today
Flowers wither eventually
But no, not today
Today is not that day
No no, not today
Not yet a day to die
Too good day
No no, not today
No no no, not today
If you can’t fly, then run
Today we will survive
If you can’t run, then walk
Today we will survive
If you can’t walk then crawl
Even if you have to crawl, gear up
Aim your gun! Ready! Fire!
Why do you get out of bed in the morning? and why should anyone care?
“If you need an extra boost to get out of bed tomorrow morning, something more than caffeine can offer, use this : PEOPLE ARE DEPENDING ON YOU.” – Daily Stoic