This is my why.
It’s a picture of what looks to be a severed chicken head that has been attached to a piece of metal through two rivets. One through the eye and the other through the mouth.
It’s pretty gross. I get that.
However, this picture is what drives me to wake up each and every morning and run at my goals with everything I have.
Allow me to explain.
My Grandfather was an extraordinary man. A good soul. Much of who I am today is the result of the love and integrity he instilled in me and those in my family.
He died what seems like several lifetimes ago. Although, it’s really only been about twenty years now.
I never counted, but if I had to guess, I would say there were about thirty people at his funeral. That’s it. The youngest was my nephew, Matty. He was only a few years old at the time. And he was the last of us to know my Grandfather the way I knew him.
While Matty is now in his twenties, there will come a day many years from now when he will be the last living person to have known my Grandfather. And then when his time is up, it will be as if my Grandfather was never here.
This extraordinary man will have been forgotten.
I know this, because it’s already started.
You see, the Internet has already forgotten.
Remember that picture of the chicken head? That’s the number one image result you will find when you look up his name on Google. I don’t know why. It’s not at all related to him. I think it’s some weird performance art thing. But nevertheless, when you search his name, that is what you get.
And that’s my why.
I am terrified of being forgotten.
So, every morning I wake up with a need to make a difference. To do something that matters. Something worth remembering.
Most of the time, it’s so strong that I’m paralyzed by it. But then there is always that moment when it pushes me to do what is otherwise impossible. And when I want nothing more than to give up, I look at that picture and ask myself if I want to be remembered.
Most of the time the answer is yes. And so I march forward. Every now and then the answer is no. And that’s when I disappear for a little while and you stop hearing from me. It happens.
I honestly don’t know if I will ever get to where I’m going.
And for the first time in my life, I’m pretty OK with that. I think.
They say that it’s not about the destination, but the journey. However, what I’ve learned over the past year or so is that a big part of that journey is knowing why you are taking it.
I now know why.
And even though it has to do with a severed chicken head with rivets through the eye and mouth, knowing why has changed everything.
So, my advice to you is to take a little break from trying to figure out where you are going or how you are going to get there and figure out why. You don’t need a formula. Or a book. Or an expensive program. You just need to dig down deep and find that thing that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
That’s probably it.
And when you find it, please share it with me either privately or in the comments below so I know that this was one of those moments when I made a difference.