Often, we spend so much time talking about strategy, that we neglect some of the fundamentals. So I'm going to spend a few minutes today talking about one of the most important things in your career, your motivation behind your goals, also known as your why.
Your why can look a lot of different ways. You can be passionate about something. You can identify with something. You can have a dream or a desire or a love. But if you've been working on a project or goal for a while, chances are your why has gotten buried a bit under the day-to-day demands. The problem with this is that when we aren't connected to our why, it gets harder and harder to do the things we need to do toward our goal. We feel unmotivated and we're not sure why.
So here are five steps to reconnecting with your why.
- Go back to the first time you wanted to do what you're doing. It could be the first time you ever wanted to act or write or direct or paint or produce. Visualize that moment in time. Where were you? What were you thinking, feeling, doing? Who were you with? Close your eyes and recreate as much of that moment as you can.
- What did that moment call up in you? A desire to do what? Put that into words as clearly as you can.
- Was there a change you wanted to make? A contribution? Something you wanted to give or to share?
Put this altogether into a paragraph. This paragraph is only for you, so don't worry about how it sounds or making it perfect. The paragraph can start something like this...
I act because... I make movies because... I write because...
And then it can continue with:
And with this gift I want to... or, And with my gifts I am compelled to...
And then write down the change you want to effect or the contribution you want to make.
Again, this paragraph will not be perfect. It will be a work in progress. It's only for you, but it will give you the tools to reconnect with your Why and to share it with others. It will give you a tool to get inspired and to inspire others.
And it will give you a way to connect with your Why when you feel down or feel like giving up. Because if you're up to something big, you'll face big obstacles. And the most powerful tool you have to overcome obstacles is getting reconnected to your Why.
Shawn Tolleson is a director, writer, career coach and mother of four-year old twin girls. You can read more blogs at www.entertainmentcareerstrategy.com and learn about her upcoming feature film Saturn Returns at www.saturnreturns.net. She tweets @shawntolleson.