In a world that is driven by work, productivity, success and results it can be very difficult to slow down from the rush of it all and ask ourselves one of the most important questions of all questions- WHY? Why am I doing what I do?
What is the driving force behind all of the actions I am taking on a daily basis? The question of why is a rarity in the rat-race and yet it is one of the most powerful questions to lead us deeper into what our true life purpose really is. For a number of years I wrote government grants for musicians. I would spend hours and hours of my time filling out forms, making phone calls and writing proposals on behalf of artists, to convince a jury of professionals that they should fund my client’s upcoming sound recording project. (Yes, in Canada our government is an incredible supporter of the arts and culture and actually offers government grants to musicians and artists). While working as a grant writer, I quickly realized that these skills were very lucrative and soon enough I was collecting more income then I had ever seen before while still slugging it out as a singer/songwriter. It was a very easy way for me to earn a living and still continue to be an artist. After about five years of intense paperwork I began to feel myself burning out. I would get calls to write grants and my chest would tighten up and my eyes would droop at the thought of having to stare at a computer screen, cut and paste files and write monotonous paragraphs of gibberish for the juries to assess. There was something in me that just didn’t feel right. I felt stuck because I did not know how I could possibly stop doing what was earning me the majority of my income. Have you ever found yourself up against these walls before, where you feel trapped in something you don’t want to be doing?
It was during this period of feeling stuck that I discovered one of the most powerful tools in shifting me out of the place I was in. I asked myself WHY? Why am I doing what I am doing? I sat with this question of WHY for several weeks and was shocked at how many answers to this questions came up for me that I did not want to initially acknowledge. It turned out that underneath my “doing” (writing the grants) I was actually unconsciously doing them because I didn’t believe that I could earn the same kind of living being exclusively an artist. I also realized that one of the major reasons that I was writing grants was because it was an easy escape from truly going towards what I like to call “the edge” of my life. “The edge” is that place that scares us to go towards but is truly the place we need to go in order to grow and fulfill our soul’s purpose for being on the planet. What I really was avoiding was diving in deeper towards my career as an artist and motivator. Upon realizing the answer to the question of why I was writing grants, I realized that my reasons why were just not strong enough to stay in this position. It took me a bit of time to diffuse the grant writing business and start diving in deeper towards being an artist but the final result is that I am SO glad I did. I now ask myself Why do I want to be an artist? The answers that have come up so far make me realize that I have no choice but to do this work on the planet. It is really my life purpose (despite how edgy it can be at times). I want to be an artist because I have the ability to inspire people, connect people and share experiences of transformation together. I want to be a channel of inspiration to assist people with living a happier, more fulfilled life through both music and words.
I have found that focusing on the “why” has really started to fuel my “doing” and as a result there is more alignment and fulfillment again. I leave you this week to ponder the question Why are you doing what you do? and if you are reading this feeling stuck in any part of your life right now, all the more reason to ask yourself; why are you doing what you do? If you don’t like the answer remember that you can change what you are doing to align more deeply with a WHY that fuels and inspires you.