About two months ago I stopped writing in my daily journal. I would look at it each day and not pick it up. My last entry was February 28, a couple of weeks before the whole COVID-19 shutdown started. I wasn’t sure at the time, but the feeling I had was that I was just tired. I was tired of penning my thoughts on paper. I was tired of telling God how grateful I was and listing out pages of what I was grateful for. Maybe a part of me felt that it was also superficial that if I did these things then God would see past my self-doubt and see that what I was doing was self-serving … At least that’s where my ego was going with it.
Unrelated to all this (at least initially) I had an incredible conversation with my cousin yesterday evening who I hadn’t spoken to in many years, perhaps ten years. We may have crossed paths with simple hello’s but never in our lifetimes had we shared the sentiments we shared last night.
As I listened to him, I could hear the passion in his voice about his life, his wife, his child. The promise he made to his mother as she passed away after years of struggling with cancer. I listened intently and as he shared his thoughts on his family and his belief in God, it became clear that he had an incredible driving force propelling him forward. It was his “why”.
It was so clear to him ‘why’ he did and does what he does. His conviction was unshakable. And as we spoke and shared stories of our experiences in life on a deep level, I started asking myself, what is my ‘why’? More importantly, where is my ‘why’?
Why did I get up every day and journal and list all the things I am grateful for in my life? Why did I push so hard for the people I represent in work? Why did I do all the things I did especially if I didn’t enjoy them? Why did I associate with people that did not fulfill me or contribute something as simple as good energy into my life?
If the why isn’t there, that focus, that laser beamed focus or GPS beacon is missing and we lack the drive and direction to where we are headed. Just like a GPS signal, if we have a clear direction or path or end game, it guides us. Even when we deviate and go off course, the GPS always reroutes us back on track.
Sometimes we deviate intentionally. Sometimes were taken off course because of ‘construction’ or obstacles and challenges on the road. But having that ‘why’, the destination clearly in my mind will always bring us back on track. When we lose our ‘why’, when I lose sight of my ‘why’, I/we find ourselves being incredibly busy with things that occupy the mind and distract us.
The past year (but really a lifetime, on and off) of journaling set the framework for my mind so that every day I continue to have conversations with God. The small things, the little things in life I can oftentimes take for granted, even a walk in the park are things I am grateful for. The people that have come into my life over the past year and been incredibly supportive of the work I do; I am grateful for it. The vision I hold in my mind, of my life and for the organization I work for is clear and although the waters can become murky sometimes when unexpected shit hits the fan (it’s unexpected because sometimes you can see it coming), I am passionate about what I do and what I believe in. Yes, I may have stopped journaling and not held my “why” in front of me all the time but last night made me realize it was still there and all I had to do was dust it off and bring it to the forefront.
Having a “why” clearly and accurately defined in my (our) heart and mind is imperative. It is the driving force of life. What is your ‘why’?
Its Monday, May 4th, 2020 and we are in lockdown. Has your why changed? What will be different after all this has lifted? Will your ‘why’ stay the same? Will you course correct and take a different path to get to your ‘why’?
Why or why not? This is my new journal entry!