How to Thrive in Chaos: Find Your What

Life is chaos, a juggling act; a concept the picture above attempts to illustrate. But the author argues that we can thrive in spite of the chaos by finding not just our "why" but our "what."  Photo courtesy:

Life is chaos, a juggling act; a concept the picture above attempts to illustrate. But the author argues that we can thrive in spite of the chaos by finding not just our "why" but our "what."

Photo courtesy:

By James Woodard

You know your “why”, but do you know “what” you actually need and “what” your goals are? The next step on this journey is to understand “what” you need and “what” you will provide or be known for to society to differentiate your “why.”

You have your newfound why in hand. Now, back into the chaos of the 21st century your mind and body go. Your mind begins to filter out the noise of the ever-proliferating digital age to decide on your next steps—fulfilling your wants and needs. Or does it?

Did your mind and body ever stop to ask if the very thing it is gravitating toward is truly “what” you want or need? Or if that very thing is actually what is going to help you achieve “what” it is you want? Now you’re confused. Finding your “why” was supposed to make life easier. Instead, your mind and body are at odds with each other on elements of your existing routine and this newfound sense of purpose for your life. Well, as the old saying goes, “Nothing in life worth having comes easy!”

Finding your why makes it easier to live your life at its best, with the best purpose you can find for yourself for the rest of your life. Getting there and staying there is nothing short of a miracle of effort on your part. Changing your life and developing the discipline to stick to the new lifestyle that’s required to fulfill your purpose will push your mind and body to and past the limits as you shed the confines of your prior existence. To get there and stay there, you must understand what your new wants and needs are, and the results you want and need. This is where the what comes in. “What” do you want/need, and “what” are you trying to achieve?

The “what” is how your mind and body knows when it has the required resources to pursue fulfilling the vision and ambitions of your “why.” Now, the “what” that is needed/wanted includes the necessities we all know: shelter, food, water, and air. But it also pertains to requirements for stability and peace of mind, which include love and support from family, friends, significant others, and colleagues; self-awareness; love of self; control/discipline over that self; proper regime for and maintenance of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health; and as minimal negative stress as possible to undertake maximum positive stress from the pursuit. The minimal quality of each can be subjective, as everyone is different and thus has different standards. However, the key to knowing when you have “what” is needed/wanted to begin pursuing your “why” is when you no longer search for any of those requirements, or can’t reasonably make excuses to not begin.

The vision and ambitions of your “what” must be in direct alignment with your “why.” An obvious check to know if your vision or ambition is in line with your “why” is if you feel a complete sense of fulfillment and joy when achieving “what” you desired. “What” is to be achieved also must be reasonable, both in terms of discipline needed to achieve it and level of completion to qualify it as an achievement. Once those guidelines are abided by, the “whats” needed for your “why” are in place.

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, let me reiterate: Embrace the chaos, but on your own terms.

What are your needs and wants for your why? What do you want to achieve with them? Would you like to share some of them? I would love to hear about it in the comments.