Hello dears 😊, it’s been a few months since I’ve shared some thoughts on the blog. You know, life gets busy sometimes, and we tend to push things aside that we deem as less important but that are actually sources of much enjoyment. For me, one of such things is expressing myself on the blog. Spending so much time without writing and expressing myself publicly made me wonder about consistency.
It’s not new that I want to write more consistently; some of you that have been engaging with my content know that my desire to write more consistently has been around for some time already. But somehow, I do not sustain writing digital entries for a prolonged period of time. Reflecting on my relationship with writing and the blog made me wonder why I write in the first place, and why I have a desire to be consistent with this practice. This thought further expanded into wondering why we do what we do in general; our motives.
The importance of questioning motives
There are many reasons why we do what we do, why we don’t do what we want to do, and why we continue to do what we don’t want to do. We don’t need to go into the psychology of it, but regardless of our psychology background, I believe that asking the “why” question – often – is very important, because reflexivity is an important component for growth and change. When we ask questions – starting with our motives – we dare to explore possibilities that we did not even consider before. We give ourselves permission to wonder where certain thoughts and beliefs stem from. And in doing so, we give ourselves the opportunity to find the sources of our motives. When we know our motives and understand where they come from, we can be more intentional with our actions or work towards changing them with more thoughtfulness.
If we don’t know why we do what we do, we won’t be able to sustain what we do in moments that things get challenging or interesting.
If we don’t know why we do what we don’t want to do, we won’t know why certain actions affect us or why to change our actions to begin with.
Let’s take the example of me and writing. Asking myself why I write in the first place has provided me insight about my ambitions to be a writer. I write because enjoy channeling creative energy with words, I enjoy reflecting, I enjoy thinking, I enjoy storytelling, I enjoy articulating my thoughts, and occasionally (although, ideally consistently) I like to share some of the thoughts I receive, or some reflections and realizations I have had. For me, the route of least resistance to let the above intersect is by writing. Also, I have made it my life intention to help, educate, and inspire as many people as I can with what I know. So, one of the purposes of sharing stuff publicly on the blog is to also fulfil that intention – at least en part.
Even though I know my motives for writing, I still do not write as often as I want to write. I can go weeks without journaling and months without publishing content. I truly believe that I’d be more in-tune with that part of me that feels aligned with things that bring me joy and satisfaction if I were to write more consistently. Do you know those things that you know will add to your happiness but you still don’t (consistently) make the time to do them? Writing is one of those things for me. Meditating, reading and working out too, by the way.
One might then wonder, “if you know that writing makes you feel happier, why don’t you just make time to write?”🙄, to which I would respond that it’s easier to think about things than it is to do something about them (and I know you know what I mean).
More importantly, I would note that change starts with a thought💡. If given enough attention, this thought can multiply itself into actions. So I think that it’s important and actually good that I question why I do what I do, and why I don’t do what I would like to do more often.
The fact that I’m thinking about this challenge, and writing about my thoughts and this nonlinear process, to me, is already a step in the direction of writing more often. As I work through changing my habits to write more often, I share the reasoning for the desire to write in the first place. In a way, the journey becomes a testimony that I share as I’m going through it. And hopefully, it will help you in whatever way serves your growth.🤎
Conversely, if we don’t take the time to sit with our thoughts and question them, so to understand our motives, attitudes, and beliefs, I think that many of our decisions will be ego-, fear- and/or trauma-based as opposed to internally fueled desires that can bring us more fulfilling and intentional experiences.
While an external thing/event/circumstance can inspire us to do something or pursue a newfound ambition, I believe that a sustainable motive is created internally. While the acquisition of new habits (such as writing more consistently, meditating daily, or working out more regularly) is something I can learn and a process that I must take one day at a time, the underlying motives are the fuel to what will make my desired actions sustainable in the long run.
Some of us feel like we were born to do some things. We feel like we have a “calling”. While this may be true, I think that the only way we will find out if what we do with our lives (and what we’re doing with our lives) is part of this so-called calling is by questioning where our actions and desires stem from. As many people with a so-called calling know, this desire comes from somewhere deep within them. But so do desires that stem from trauma. As an example, when I moved to the Netherlands in 2013 to study International Business, my motivation was to be a millionaire by the time I’m 30. That wasn’t part of my calling – that was a trauma response. And I only came to realize this once I started questioning EVERYTHING in 2015 during my Spiritual Awakening.
Based on my experiences as a result of my questioning, I believe that “callings” are cultivated. Several factors affect this process: from our backgrounds and childhoods, how we grow and develop, how we nurture our minds and listen to our Soul, all the way to who we choose to become – these are some factors that I have identified in my own journey. What we call “callings,” I believe, become “callings” because we have attuned ourselves to the frequency of these (creative) interests (and in some cases, even world needs).
The feeling of a “calling” gives us the sense of purpose that we were born to do some things. And while this might be the case – that we indeed came to earth to do some specific things – we can only come to this realization after we have undergone the process of exploring who we truly are, what we truly like, and all the whys that make up our beliefs, desires, aspirations and so forth.
I see “callings” now as a harmonious relationship between who we are becoming on the inside – as we purge stuff that don’t serve our identity anymore – and the co-creation of our desires in relationship with the needs of the outside world. (I know, it’s a mouthful. Take your time.)
The point I’m trying to make with this I’m-back-and-ideally-more-consistently post is that it’s important to question our motives. Sometimes, what we want doesn’t even stem from our own explorations; we tend to adopt someone else’s ideas and make it ours. Sometimes we adopt society’s ideas. Sometimes our parents’ ideas. Sometimes potential that our friends and lovers see, but that are not intrinsically motivated, simply because these ideas are not the result of introspection, exploration or reflection.
Sitting with my “why-I-create-content” question after some time, has led to this post and hopefully will contribute to many more.
Sitting with my “whys” has refined for me what is important and what isn’t, as well as what has become less important in my daily activities and long term intentions.
Questioning my motives has also clarified, once again, what would add to my happiness if I were to practice and do more often, and why that would be the case.
And it is my hope that this post will inspire you to sit with your thoughts and question your motives. The deconstruction of belief systems and aspirations that are not internally established is not fun, but I promise that the clarity and sense of purpose that it can bring us can be life-changing. I hope truly that you get to know your motives and live according to your inner compass.
Thank you for your time, dear.
(P.S.: For more resources about the importance of questioning why, perhaps you could check out Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” and his concept of “Golden Circle” – he goes much more in-depth with what I’m discussing from a different perspective. As an additional resource, I’m currently reading “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. In this book, James also addresses human behavior and creation of habits. James discusses and delivers his content in such way that he will make you inevitably ponder on “why” questions and motives.)