If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard me train, or at the very least mention, the importance of having a why. The things worth having in life aren’t always easy to get, and having a reason for putting yourself through the necessary work is essential in pushing through adversity you will undoubtedly face.
And while your why will be there to hold you accountable in the tough moments, I want to emphasize that life shouldn’t always feel like a grind. When you are chasing a huge goal or crazy dream, it’s important to enjoy the journey despite the struggle. Otherwise, by the time you reach your destination, you could be too burnt out to fully relish in the joy of making it.
That is why it is important to connect with what internally drives you, what motivates you not from a place of accountability but of joy. For example, my why is my family and I have clearly known that for many years. I would do any amount of demanding work if I knew it would serve my family. Having my family as my why is the reason I’m able to push through the moments that make me want to give up. But if that was the only thing motivating me, I would end up fatigued and resentful of the people I love the most. To make sure that doesn’t happen, I get clear on the parts of the grind that feel so good to me that I no longer consider it a grind. And as I strategize and plan how to achieve my goals, I make sure to hold space for those driving factors to keep me moving in the direction I wish to go.
Today I’m going to share some of the things that drive me along my journey in hopes that you can get clear on what drives you, and together we can incorporate these things more and more.
There have been times when I worked simply for the paycheck. I cared less about what work I was doing and more about how much I could make. As a young 20 something with college tuition to pay and already in credit card debt, all I cared about was getting the bills covered. As a 20 something, I made that work, but even then I knew there was more to life. Just take a moment to think about how miraculous it is to be alive. To be a human who is breathing, with eyes to read these words and a brain to understand what they mean, as we float through space on a little globe full of indescribable beauty. Why would all of this creation exist, if only for me to sit at a desk and take orders from a boss man? There’s a reason why so many people are unhappy at work, dragging themselves out of bed in the morning and watching the minutes tick by until 5:00. The reason is, we are meant for more.
I think the missing factor for a lot of people is the element of service. If you don’t feel like you are making a difference for someone in your work, then it feels like simply trading time for money, and long term that never feels good. When you know that your work can change someone else’s life, or even just their day, you will be more motivated to get out of bed and the days go faster because they are more enjoyable. Perhaps you just need to step back and take a look at your work, reminding yourself of the difference it makes. Or maybe you need to find different work, work that without a doubt has meaning and fills you up. When your work is rooted in service, the work feels more joyful and you feel more motivated and inspired.
There are a lot of professions out there that are completely service oriented, but don’t pay nearly what the work is worth. Teaching is the first example that comes to my mind. Teachers are literally forming the minds of our coming generations and their pay is not even close to reflecting the importance of their job. It’s important to find meaningful work, and it’s also important to know what your work is worth. I’ll use the example of a woman named Anna DiGilio. Anna taught second graders for 23 years, and for more than a few of those years she had to work a second job to support her family. That’s a second job on top of a teaching job which averages 60 hours of work a week. Anna was creative and she knew her work was worth more. She began exploring her entrepreneurial side by selling her lesson plans and learning resources through an existing platform. Within a year, her sales were equivalent to half of her teaching salary and two years later, her sales were double her teaching salary. Anna now has her own subscription service for second and third grade teachers where she offers activities, lessons, guides and more. Oh yeah, and it’s a multi-million dollar company now. Anna made the decision to increase her income while still doing the work she loved. If you love what you do but don’t love how much you make, it is within your power to literally create a new stream of income. No dollar amount can capture your true worth, so never feel like you have to settle for a salary that doesn’t suit you.
One of my most effective drivers, for several reasons, is travel. Experiencing a place for the very first time, being immersed in a different culture, it’s a magic experience that will never get old. The first reason travel is on my list is because of the reset it can offer amidst crazy seasons of life. Sometimes when you’re facing a block in the road, stepping away for a few days of travel can give you the exact clarity you need to overcome whatever you are facing. Like I said, these driving factors are necessary to prevent burnout and that is exactly what travel can do. Travel can also represent something you see off in the distance, something that fills you with excitement and you can’t wait to reach. For me, I see Australia off in the distance. I know that once I partner with leaders in Australia, I will travel there and experience a new country that I’ve dreamed of seeing for years. I am so driven to attract the right people into my life in order to make that dream a reality.
One of my top love languages is receiving gifts. I just love when someone has thought of me with such a level of intention and care. I’m lucky enough to work for a company that has given me so many gifts as I’ve reached new levels in my career. They’ve given me trips (making the travel we just talked about possible), Tiffany glassware, Maui Jims, and so many more. I would do the work to advance my career regardless of whether I received gifts or not, but again, these drivers are all about making the effort joyful. Knowing how much it fills me up to receive thoughtful gifts, I do the same for my own teammates, making sure they know I see them and I am proud of them. If you don’t have anyone in your life giving you gifts along the way, guess what…you can give them to yourself. Maybe your goal is to lose 100 pounds. That’s a huge deal and the effort it will take deserves recognition. So how about after ever 25 pounds you treat yourself to a healing sound bath? What better way to honor your body than soaking in the vibrations of crystal bowls and healing chimes? No matter what you are working towards, incentive gifts should be a part of your road map, letting you celebrate the journey itself.
This final driving factor is very closely tied to growing your income, but I’m listing it separately because it is so important to me. The amount of money I am able to give philanthropically grows in direct proportion to how much I grow my overall income. I know that if I put in the work to double my income, I can double the impact I have on the world. I believe I was called to tithe and I do so faithfully. A lot of people have hang ups about making too much money, because money is the root of all evil right? That’s not the case in my life. I am not bashful about making more and more money, because at the end of the day, I know the impact my money has, which makes me feel that much better about the work I do.
Do any of these driving factors resonate with you? I encourage you to get clear on what exactly drives you and assess if you have enough of those driving elements in your life. I would love to support you in that entire process and beyond. Sending you many blessings!
I would love to hear from you!