How to Thrive in Chaos: Find Your Why

Chaos and Order are two sides of a coin. If you experience chaos, you can flip that coin to find order.  Photo courtesy: Shutterstock

Chaos and Order are two sides of a coin. If you experience chaos, you can flip that coin to find order.

Photo courtesy: Shutterstock

By James Woodard 

Do you know what your “why” is? That single idea that motivates you in every thought and action, and that drives you to succeed? If you don’t, it’s time to start thinking, lest you risk losing your purpose all together in the chaos of today’s information overload. Allow me to guide you.

At this point in the 21st century, the number of stimuli experienced by the human mind and body is greater than at any previous point in human history and is exponentially growing. This is due to the global proliferation of digital technology, big data, and large population centers. Minds and bodies are expected to intake, register, analyze, diagnose, recalibrate, transmit, and store at a speed comparable to the expansion of the Big Bang. As if that is not difficult enough, the mind and body are expected to perform this same sequence on differing yet simultaneous tasks with complete flawlessness, 24/7/365, while interacting with millions upon millions of other minds and bodies also experiencing this same state of chaos.

As would be expected, successfully living up to this expectation is improbable on the best day and simply impossible on a normal day. The mind and body typically end up doing one of two things: try to keep up, but eventually slow down and stop dead under the weight of inputs; or, remove itself as completely as it can from this environment—basically fight or flight. However, there is a third option available for the overburdened mind and body that offers the potential of greater reward, and it is one of deeper and narrowed focus. The mind and body have wants and needs, and, when met in a disciplined way, while all other signals are ignored, they succeed in satisfying them. The way to go about identifying your most important wants and needs and determining your focus area for success is to ask yourself a single question: Why do I do what I do?

The “why” is the heart of this question, a question which many people do not consider, and many do not comprehend. Those that do comprehend this question and answer incorrectly potentially set themselves on a path leading to the previously mentioned alternatives if not corrected soon enough, while those that answer correctly find their niche in the ever-growing entropy, neither fighting the growth nor hiding from it. They find deeper meaning and overall health in their own life and only seek others that have similar answers to theirs, similar reasons “why.”

Now, the way to go about finding your answer to the why is, at its core, very simple. It must be an answer that makes the mind and body feel alive when mentioning, and that you know instantaneously. It must be a concept that is easy to instill in your every thought and every action. It cannot be purely driven by the desire for money or fame. All answers that conflict with these guidelines are to be discarded, and individuals that cannot follow these guidelines are to be avoided.

The chaos of life cannot be stopped, avoided, or contained. But through proper filtering and selectiveness of what arises from it, the chaos can provide one with everything needed to sustain and develop greater. It can provide the completeness sought by many and only found by a few. In closing: Embrace the chaos, but on your own terms.

What’s your reason why? Do you remember the moment that you found it? I would love to hear about it in the comments.