Ever since I have been working with coaches, they have impressed on me the importance of knowing my WHY behind the WHAT I do.
They might not have always used that word. After all, I have formally been coached, one way or another since 1999. And…have invested in countless programs, classes, certifications and training before and during that. Words like, “Know what drives your mojo, create your mission statement, discover your superpower, all the way back to what makes you truly tick…have been at the heart of keeping me motivated, given me clarity, and kept me on track with how I show up in the world, serve others and create my life.
Knowing our why keeps us from drifting. It keeps us showing up on purpose, it plugs us into devotion and practice and passion. It reminds you WHY you get out of bed each day and do this stuff when it feels too damn hard.
But that doesn’t make it easy. Nor, does that mean I function with pure clarity one hundred percent of the time. I believe it is a lot like the verse in the bible from 1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.”
Getting to know ourselves and our BIG WHY is a lot like peeling away at the layers of a very large onion. We peel away one layer, only to discover there are more, exciting, translucent layers below.
I am a work in progress, just as you are, just as we all are. I see myself dimly, though some days, I have a sense of wiping away a bit of the fog for even more vibrant clarity.
Today was one of those days.
I was painting, the music playing softly in the background, and a question asked from one of my art mentors strolled leisurely in my mind as the color filled the page.
“Do You Know Your WHY?” I heard her voice in my mind. “When you know the WHY behind why you paint, all of your other questions will make more sense.”
(It’s true, I am a woman of many questions.)
Why paint? Why write for that matter? Why coach? Why work with Deb on designing websites and books and writing novels, and why, oh why have I filled countless careers, volunteer positions, hobbies and classes, interchanging them all for the next more creative and fun and helpful thing?
My mind started to drift back through an abbreviated journey of some my adventures.
I got pregnant at sixteen and became a mother.
My mom said, “You have to have a trade so you can support yourself and your child…become a hairdresser, everyone needs their hair cut.” So, without any thought as to whether I liked cutting hair or not, (I didn’t) I got my hairdresser’s license. I found out that included COLORING people’s hair. I went to special training and became a coloring specialist. For 20 years, I did special techniques, fixed people’s botched home jobs when no one else could, and LOVED working with color, and choosing the exact right shade for people to match their skin tones and personality. I loved showing them how they could be transformed, how with the right color, their inner beauty glowed. I watched them go from drab to alive and vibrant. Full of life.
Fast forward to my next career. I was a pre-school teacher of three-year-olds. My favorite part was teaching them art. Though, as I look back, they really taught me, taught me how to paint fearlessly, with IMAGINATION, with JOY and LOVE for the paint, the process and not the perfect outcome. It was always the best part of the day, being arms deep in paint, clay, mud. Didn’t matter. I felt FREE.
Fast forward again. I became a Real Estate Agent. My favorite part of the job…Staging people’s houses for the sale. Creating a vision, staging a dream house, with color and imagination, art on the walls, decor on the tables, bright and alive where buyers could come in and feel the imagined experience of living in this dream space where everything was cheerful, easy, happy. Full of love. FREEDOM.
Fast forward to now. Writer…Coach…Artist. What do I do? I transform frustrated realities into visions of FREEDOM, the lives people want to live, show them what it can look like in vibrant color.
What does it all have in common? FREEDOM, Vibrancy, Matching living fearlessly with possibility, with a path. I think…my WHY has been there all along, fixing people’s drab, sad, hopeless feeling with possibilities, and assurances of LOVE, FREEDOM, IMAGINATION, and showing them how they can get there.
Color…Paint…Words…Coaching… Art…They aren’t the WHY, they are the HOW.
I really think I am on to something here.
How about you? Do you know your WHY? In the comments, share your WHY behind your HOW. And if you liked this post, share it with your friends and spread the inspiration!