What’s Your Why?: Inspiring Positive Change from the Inside Out by Joshua Garrin

“You are entirely up to you.” ~ Anonymous

“What’s your why?”

At first glance, it seems like such a strange, awkward question to ask. But if you’ve ever cared (and dared) to ask, you may have realized just how empowering a question it is. Surely, it’s not just “any” question. It’s a question that makes us think. It’s a question that makes us feel. And it’s a question that might just make us do.

In so many ways, it’s the ‘question’ that has all the ‘answers’.

When I became curious about my “why”, I discovered my passion for creativity—I’m driven by a deep desire to create music that moves people. I also discovered my passion for spirituality—I have a seemingly endless desire to hike mountains, walk beaches, and take advantage of every possible opportunity to commune with nature.

Oh, exploring my “why” also made me realize just how passionate I am about mentorship…if that’s not already obvious.

No doubt, passion drives our “why”.

As I continue to explore my “why”, I also continue to realize that I’m obsessively passionate about self-motivation. No, this type of motivation doesn’t come from people, places, or things in the external world. On the contrary, this kind of motivation is like a yearning, burning “inner fuel”—a self-generated “fire” that drives us to aspire ever higher. (No rhyme intended!)

Throughout my journey, I began to pay attention to the elements that fueled my inner fire. And when I did, I discovered seven inner motives that not only fueled my motivational “engine”, but that also enabled me to survive many challenges in life and, ultimately, to thrive in their aftermath.

As you start to rev your high-powered motivational “engine”, I’m on a mission to help you discover your high-test motivational “fuel”—the kind that burns from the inside out.

• Autonomy
◦ The idea that we can affect positive change in our lives isn’t just motivating—it’s very freeing. As we gradually acquire the tools that help us to independently achieve our goals, we’re less likely to depend on things like “luck”, “chance”, or “fate” to dictate our path. Freedom is free when it comes from within.

• Competence
◦ We strive to master specific tasks in an effort to become more effective at our craft. When we feel competent about our abilities, fear and insecurity transform into an unstoppable force of confidence—shifting our mindset from “I hope I can”…to “I think I can”…to “I know I can”…to “that’s right—I did it”.

• Achievement
◦ Our self-esteem can impact our will to push forward…and can make or break our belief that we are worth the effort expended. The higher the price tag we place on the person we see in the mirror, the more likely we are to push forward across the finish line. The more we achieve, the more we believe…in ourselves.

• Identity
◦ Identity is ever changing—an element of our development that continually adapts, transforms, and evolves throughout our lives. Like a mosaic, we’re driven to gather expertise and collect experiences that greatly contribute to our sense of completeness. Clearly, we are not “one thing”—we are “every thing”.

• Integrity
◦ When our sense of self is strong, so, too, is our desire to filter out the fiction, ignore the irrelevant, and simply be who we are. When we value our sense of uniqueness, we’re less likely to try to be someone else. And why should we, when, according to Oscar Wilde you should, “Be yourself; everyone is already taken.”

• Coherence
◦ The life path we choose should feel authentic (not fake). It should feel true (not false). It should feel real (not artificial). And when it does, we feel calm. We feel clear. And our actions resonate with our true desires. When we choose a coherent path, we’re more likely to remain true to that path—and to ourselves.

• Potentiality
◦ As we become more autonomy seeking, competence focused, achievement oriented, identity shaping, integrity driven, and coherent beings, we clear the pathway to realizing our true potential…one that leads us to the best version of ourselves.

We can hang out in the most inspirational spaces. We can have access to the coolest technology. We can have the most supportive network of people behind us, cheering us on toward the finish line. However, if we solely depend on external “stuff” to motivate our efforts, we could have a problem. Why? Because external motives tend to lose their power over time. Despite their short-term potency, the impact of “outer” motives can, and often does, fizzle out over time.

But as we begin to “magnify our ‘why’”, we soon realize that the firepower we need to become the best version of ourselves isn’t “out there”.

It’s in here.

Given motivation as “fuel”, it’s no wonder why gas tanks are located on the inside (and not the outside) of vehicles…

Yep, the motivation to achieve our goals is already in our “tank”.

And luckily for us, our tank is full.

jgarrin-biopic-2About the Author: Joshua GARRIN is one of Your Monthly Mentors, an Award-Winning Health Psychologist, Author of “The I-Way to Well”, Personal Trainer, Health Coach, and Self-Motivationalist. He holds a Ph.D. in health psychology, an M.S. in cognitive psychology, and a B.S. in general psychology and journalism and currently resides in the Hudson Valley region of New York. Following the completion of his doctorate in 2014, Joshua was the recipient of Walden University’s Harold L. Hodgkinson Award for Outstanding Dissertation Research for his inquiry on health beliefs, outcome expectancies, and stress appraisal in college seniors. Read More… 

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