Find Your Driving Forces In Life
What is driving you? Why do you work so hard? I recently had a moment of clarity regarding these questions. Allow me to share a personal story with you.
Stranger than Fiction
For the last few months I have had this recurring dream. In this dream, I have been wandering through a beautiful house, carrying a bag full of nails. This house was full of ornate furniture, wonderful artwork, and oriental rugs. Despite being surrounded by all these beautiful things, I searched on, looking for something, unsure of what it was.
I would make my way up a long staircase to reach a large balcony. This large balcony overlooked a beautiful green pasture and a small pond. My wife would be standing on the balcony in her wedding dress smiling at me. Then the house disappeared and it was just my wife and I standing on this balcony overlooking green fields. And every time I drop my bag of nails and threw my arms up in the air and screamed, “This is what it’s for!”
Sounds a little strange, I know, and I assure you that I generally do not get hung up on the meaning of dreams. This dream has come around at least 10 times in the past several months. Sometimes, it’s a little different time of day or the scenery from the balcony is different, but for the most part, it’s the same dream and more importantly, it’s the same feeling.
I see the nails as a metaphor for me building the life that I want to lead. I see the balcony as that highest state of self-awareness. I see my wife as… well, my wife. The point is that I work hard day in and day out to create a life in which I can know my wife on a deep, spiritual level and spend quality time with her and our future family. It is through this that I reach the highest state of self-awareness and happiness. It is how I make my way towards transcendence.
Challenges of Entrepreneurship
Let’s face it, being an entrepreneur is not easy. It’s even harder to be a successful entrepreneur. To get there, we work harder than we thought we could ever work. We will sacrifice on different levels in order to grow our businesses. And we will experience extreme highs and extreme lows. It is during these extreme lows that we have to be able to look to something greater than ourselves. We have to find that driving force. We have to remember why we are pushing ourselves so hard.
Putting It in Writing
Whenever you’re stressed out, thinking about quitting, and at your wits end, write down why you’re doing what you do. Pull out your pen and paper (I keep a leather bound journal for this explicit purpose), close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Take a good long look into your heart and soul and ask yourself, why am I doing this? What is my driving force? Maybe it’s your kids. Maybe you always dreamed of having the freedom to travel around the world.
Maybe you’re simply searching for that moment when you can look at something and say “I created that and it is good.” Whatever it is that comes to mind, write it down. This will undoubtedly change over time. Honestly, a year ago, I would have written that I wanted to buy any number of exotic cars. That’s not the case anymore. It has evolved and I’d be willing to bet that if you continue this practice yours will evolve too.
Don’t worry about repeating yourself or creating duplicate thoughts. The more times you write it down and put pen to paper, the stronger it will be embedded in your mind. So, go get a notebook or create a new list in Evernote and next time you’re struggling ask yourself, “What’s my driving force?”