As children, we’re always asking, “Why?” We are curious, we investigate, and we naturally want to know why. However for some reason as adults, we lose the urge to ask why. We know what we do and who we are, but we do not fully know why we do something. The most powerful question you can ask yourself to help motivate you and drive you to always getting things done, is to know why you do something. You should almost be a little obsessed about it.
Knowing why you do something gives you the purpose to get out of bed early in the morning, to stay up late when you need to, and not quit on your goals. It is the most powerful tool for your success. When we know why we do something, we can overcome all obstacles and challenges that face us. When we don’t know why we do something, we lose our will power.
Take New Year’s resolutions as an example. We start out with a general idea of losing weight, a goal of going to the gym every day, and after a while when things get a little tough or boring, we quit. Why? Because we never clearly define why we want to lose the weight. Wanting to lose 10 pounds is a goal; it is not why we work out, run the miles, and say no to the desserts. When you choose to work out because you are tired of how you feel and look, this becomes the why that drives you through and helps you to take the action to lose those 10 pounds.
Asking yourself, “How do I become a successful actor?” is the what we are trying to do—the goal and not the why. Instead, we need to find more of the why we are doing it, the why within ourselves that drives us to do everything in our lives. And once you know why you want to become a successful actor, that same why will help drive you to do everything else in your life.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Why do I want to get up early in the morning or stay up late to accomplish something?
- Why do I put my heart into a project?
- Why do I do the jobs that are not acting that allow me to create and tell stories as an actor?
It might be a little scary to ask that big why. You may even cry or get frustrated when you work out the why, because it is that compelling and energizing. That’s OK, but it’s important that you have identified it and know it. In fact, knowing it may be so compelling that it is hard to forget it. You can then lean on it when projects become hard or when life becomes challenging. If we can find and define that inner fire—that inner drive—for ourselves, we can move ourselves to greatness, and most importantly, find immense satisfaction in everything that we do.
When you’re tired and it’s 5 a.m. and you need to get up in the morning, what is more compelling:
I want to become a successful actor.
I am going to prove to myself that I can be what others said was impossible!
Only you can answer your why, but it’s worth the time and energy to figure that why out. Once you know, you will find the strength to take on risks, move your life forward, and stay driven to accomplish all your dreams.
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” —German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche
Tweet me @DouglasTaurel with your questions.