On Quite Franklin, I frequently host guests who share their success routines, habits, and motivations. 

Despite the different paths and choices in each of their personal stories, they’re bound by a common thread – the desire to succeed and accomplish their goals.

How do we know what we really want? Do we simply fall into something because of peer pressure? Or are there other factors at work that shape and influence our thoughts and desires?

In today’s post, I’ll share lessons that can help you become more self-aware and discover your true desires.

Time to cut out the noise and focus on what you really want. Let’s get to it!

Why is it important to know what you really want?

In a world full of distractions, it’s key to identify your true desires.

Even when pressed for time, we often need to reflect and think about what we want. Otherwise, we’ll spend the majority of our lives chasing unhealthy goals and feeling unfulfilled.

Reprogramming your desires can also help you avoid wanting the wrong things and becoming disillusioned or resentful. 

In the process, you learn to trust your instincts and fight even harder for your goals.

What is your why?

Our real whys are desires that are often emotionally and viscerally connected to ourselves. 

While rewards can stimulate our impulses to fulfill those desires, ultimately our why is a constant north star.

Knowing what we want keeps us focused on the routines, responsibilities and tasks required to progress towards it.

Take my pre-fight preparation as an example. I’ve had both good and bad days during training camp.

However, regardless of my motivation level or mood, I had the sole desire to beat my opponent. That kept me locked in on my preparation, training and conditioning. It was very tough but it paid off.

Look back at some of the major goals you’ve either accomplished or failed at. If you find that your desire was one of the main deciding factors, you’re not alone.

Many times, my desire to improve and get better helped develop a “stick-to-itness” and grit that was crucial to survive and advance in the middleweight division. 

Similarly, my goals to play the piano never got me far in mastering that instrument. I simply didn’t have the desire to play the piano, I just felt like I wanted to because it sounded good.

How Knowing Your Why Can Transform You

Many gurus will frame knowing you why as the end-all-be-all. While it can be great to understand your why, it can be difficult to truly define purpose and goals as they can change.

Changes in our personal circumstances or real-time events can cause us to revisit our why or trigger a new goal or objective. 

You could wake up one morning and feel embarrassed about your figure while staring at the bathroom mirror. That could set you down a path to lose weight.

Alternatively, you could have suffered a bad breakup and finally feel the need to work on your communication.

It can be hard to willingly manufacture or plan these events in advance. 

But that’s usually when the greatest changes occur. When an external event like a breakup aligns with an internal shift that’s already in your mind, it can trigger an ‘aha’ moment.

Perhaps you already feel uncomfortable about your figure or have witnessed firsthand the signs of communication breakdown in your relationship. Despite having the desire to change, you never took action.

Whether it’s a breakup or losing your job, that might have just been the final straw that pushed you to change your life.

Do you want what others want?

Sometimes we take our desires for granted and we simply assume we want something because  “it’s good for us.”

Some people may choose to pursue a certain career path like becoming a doctor because of the prestige, status or financial rewards it can offer. 

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. We each have our individual experiences that largely shape our preferences and desires.

I’m simply suggesting that by becoming more self-aware and attempting to understand why you want something can help you set clear goals that align with your desires.

During the time that I decided I was going to become a professional fighter, I still remember the reactions from my parents and friends. 

They were bewildered to say the least. 

But I truly believed that what happened in my life up till that point – not making the football team, loving martial arts and the journey of self improvement – gave me confidence to be firm in my decision.

The process of self-discovery meant that I wasn’t merely following what others thought to be cool or fun. 

Because I knew what I wanted, it made it much easier for me to plan out what I needed to do.

I could set clear goals and commit to an action plan.

What about you? What’s your real why and calling?

I love to learn more about you!