Who Are You, and What Is Your WHY?


Aside from the name assigned to you at birth, who are you, and what is your WHY? As human beings, we are all born with natural gifts and talents. We tend to improve and maintain these talents/skills unique to us as we progress. We develop interests and passions and envisage how we will utilize them in the future.

A while back, I had an insightful conversation with a family member who asked me the two questions posed above. At the time, I wasn't quite sure of the answer. In a moment of full transparency, I'll admit that I'm still not entirely cemented in the response that question yields for me to date. But that's alright. I'm adamant on the idea that just because I don't have the precise answer I am looking for at the moment doesn't mean I'm a failure or I'm "lost in the sauce." It's alright to still be in the process of figuring it out in your twenty-somethings. Through quite a bit of self-reflection, I've learned that I didn't possess the answer to that question at the time because I have been in a perpetual state of growth and maturation. I was undergoing what felt like internal conflict — a fiery clash between my desires vs. my needs. Who I was and the WHY I owned a few years ago are no longer.

The world has a powerful ability to barge in and pressure us into applying our God-given talents to unintended places. If you're not careful, it can catch you by surprise. I was a casualty of this phenomenon because I wasn't aware, nor did I know better. I let "outside" claim jurisdiction over me inside. While I was in college, outside told me life would be better if I pursued a particular career  my attitude in chem lab said otherwise. Outside told me that money is the source of happiness  well, how come handing out that dirty piece of paper to people in need feels better than the direct deposit itself? Outside also said I needed a master's degree to land a job. I overachieved and earned two so that I could stand a better chance at landing a call for an interview with the government agency of my dreams that only acknowledges one (even though the degrees supplement eachother). Help me understand that, Sway?

I am aware, and I am a lot more mindful now. I reclaimed the driver's seat, and I'm cruising with the top down, at the speed of my desire. Some days I'm heavy on the gas, while other days, I coast. I proudly let it fluctuate because I am in control. Outside is now looking at me from its proper position, the outside.

It's easy to succumb to external pressures that know nothing of your plight. Be firm in protecting yourself from the projection of other's goals onto you and your decision making. Your WHY is not for anyone else to influence or dictate because they don't have to live with the results of your decisions. You have one life to live, and you should live it in the manner that pleases you most when you gaze at yourself in the mirror. My circumstances, my environment, and my perspective have reconstructed a new ME and a new WHY. My WHY is no longer tangible because the world can physically take it at any given moment. My WHY has now become a feeling — a feeling of fulfillment that brings peace and satisfaction. Life is too busy and demanding to chase external pressures. That's the quickest way to experience aggravation and burnout. So I now pose this question to you. Who are you, and what is your WHY?

Happy New Year, everyone! We made it through 2020 and all of its essential lessons it provided us with (I hope you didn't let them go over your head). May this new year be a fruitful year for you all. God speed to you and yours. Cheers to 2021!

"If you don't take time away from the world around you, you're going to get pulled down by the world around you." - Erwin McManus