Know your Why


“He who has a ‘why’ to live can bear almost any ‘how.’” (Famous line from the opening section of Nietzsche’s Twilight of the Idols (1889).

Even back in 1889 Nietsche already knew and proposed that to excel at Life, successfully navigate it´s hardships and challenges, it´s ups and downs (Life is Suffering), you need to know your why.

So why do you do things? What is the reason for your suffering?

Why you need to know your why

As mentioned in the introduction, Life has it´s ups and especially it´s downs. Buddhists believe Life itself is suffering (Life is Suffering).

May it be that you boss is a dick head and you have a hard time getting out of bed every morning to get ready for/ to work. Or may it be the drinking with your frenemies last night and your head feels like it´s going to explode.

Or may it be that your spouse or a child recently died and you ask for the reason, ask God or Allah or your Spirit guide for help to get through every single minute of the day and asking yourself why you should continue to live.

All of this is suffering, as are many more examples. Some more horrible than others.

But all of them are united in one way: Without knowing your why, those times feel unbearable.
Many people don´t know their why and end up like a ship on the ocean without a port they want to go to. They float around, feeling lost, without a sense of purpose or accomplishment.

Some might look like the fat person in their TV chair, balancing a bucket of hot wings and a six pack of beer on their belly, trying to watch TV around it.

For some it is punishing themselves in the Gym, unable to let go even a bit and enjoy even a spoonful of chocolate cake.

It certainly will look different and be personal for you.
And this is okay.

But I want to raise your awareness for your(!) missing why.

Don´t get me wrong, knowing your why will not fix your issues magically, it is not a silver bullet. Things and Experience will still suck and hurt.

But by knowing why you do things will make it suck and hurt less.

An extreme example

Mark Manson presented an extreme example, yet I believe it is on point(1).
He tells the Story of John Fox, pinned down behind cover when on August 1st, 1966 Charles Whitman shot people from the University of Texas tower.

John suffered unknown terror and when crawling under a nearby bush to saw Clair Wilson, a pregnant woman, who was shot and laying on the street, barely surviving.

Even as John suffered himself, he decided to do something, trying to rescue that woman and her unborn baby.

He risked being shot for it. He decided that rescuing this woman was the why that got him going, gave him courage.

You are likely not in such an extreme situation (at least I hope. If you are please seek professional help!). Yet it might inspire you to search for your own why, looking deep inside you.

Your why could be that you are dealing with this dick head boss because your job allows you to provide for your family like other jobs can´t.

Or if you lost someone recently it could be that your why for continuing your Life is that you realized others are experiencing the same or worse situation and you can help them. Or it could be educating people about e.g. the risk of drunk driving and preventing losses.



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