Give Your Why

On March 7th, 2014, I sat down at my computer and wrote down some thoughts of mine that I had been harboring for a good few months. After writing, editing, wanting to publish, not wanting anyone to read it, I finally decided to send the piece into a running publication.

Vulnerability in The Details

The piece I wrote titled, Striving Through Struggle, goes through my journey as a young female experiencing puberty in a highly competitive endurance sport. I don’t know about you, but puberty isn’t the most glamorous topic to write about, anyone who has gone through it knows that. As a 16-year-old who could’ve easily been deemed a “late-bloomer,” puberty and all things “weak” was not something I ever thought I would publish for the whole internet to be able to read.

For some reason though, I felt compelled to send it to the editor of FL Runners. A big part of me wished that I had something like this to read when I was going through these difficulties – I had longed for someone to relate to and walk me through their experiences. So, with my stomach waiting to completely drop, I sent the piece in and patiently awaited the responses following publishing.

What happened next was something I never could have imagined. Comments on the post, people sharing my story, messages from female runners all over the state of Florida and beyond, even males my own age loving the article – I was shocked.

People Will Forget…

My favorite was when girls would send me their “Striving Through Struggle” story. When they would tell me, “Thank you for this, I needed to hear it.”

One girl had shared her story and then the last sentence was “…run because you love it! 10 years from now people will forget what you won, what place you got in some random race, what silly ribbon you earned, but they will never forget your attitude and perseverance.”

This struck a chord with me. People don’t remember what you do, they remember why you do it. From that day on, I made a commitment to myself that I would not let fear scare me from being vulnerable and sharing my stories with others, because if I can help even just one person discover and appreciate their story, then I have done what I strive to do.

Go Beyond The Surface

On March 8th, 2014, I made a promise that I would devote each day of my life to giving to someone. Whether it was through me writing my story – something that would provide hope or support to someone else, simple advice, encouragement, a smile – anything. I want my life to be about giving – that’s the legacy I want to lead.

The thing is, this “giving” philosophy works in all areas of life: personal and professional. In every encounter, you are trying to be remembered, you are trying to get people to purchase the idea of you. Whether others realize it or not, they buy more than a product – they purchase the ideals of the creator. It’s a fact that people buy into authenticity. People buy why you do the things you do, so what do you have to offer?

I challenge you to think about one thing in your life. Maybe it’s your job, major, relationship, extra-curricular activity, friendship – anything. Think about the aspects of this said component in your life. Now, think about your “why.”

Think deeper than “whys” like “making money” or something of the sort. Go beyond the surface. Dive deep and be vulnerable with yourself. The moment you can discover your “why” behind these components in your life is the moment you will be able to unlock a quality about yourself that is contagious to others.

Want to change hearts and minds? Give your “why.”