• I Am Sam.

Figure out your clarity of why

I used to work for this organisation called AIESEC. I'm not sure if any of you have heard of it, but it's the largest student-run organisation in the world with the slogan "peace and fulfillment of humankind's potential". The gist of what we did was try to build leaders through exchanges. We would have talents travel from one country to another to either volunteer for an organisation or intern for a company. There were thousands of exchanges every year. We would hold conferences both locally and internationally to discuss how we could change the world through these exchanges.

From my AIESEC days

I remember sitting in one of these conferences when I was still quite new to the organisation and the speaker talked about figuring your "clarity of why". He discussed how each person needed to know why they were doing what they were doing, and how it was important to have a sense of purpose. Though the context may be different, I feel like understanding my clarity of why is important even today.

We had this activity where we had to find a partner and they would start out asking a question like "why are you in AIESEC?", and then respond to every answer with "why?" until eventually you got down to a final answer that ended up being your root purpose for everything. I'll give you an example:

Q: Why are you working in Iraq?

A: To earn good money.

Q: Why? A: So I can save for my future.

Q: Why?

A: So I can plan on a way to invest my money.

Q: Why?

A: So eventually I'll have another avenue of income so I won't have to work here.

Q: Why?

A: So that when I decide I want to start a family, I know I can support them and not have to work abroad.

Q: Why?

A: So I can watch my kids grow.

Q: Why?

And so on and so forth. You get the gist. It may seem frustrating as you try and come up with answers, but eventually, you'll start to see a pattern form, and it will show you what is important for you. It could be to provide for your family, or to better yourself, or to retire early, anything. But this should enlighten you to the reason why you're in the situation you're in now, and why you should wake up every morning and hustle. Once you know what that reason is, write it down. Keep it somewhere where you'll see it everyday. Remind yourself whenever you're feeling down. Use it as your motivation to keep going.

Even back then I used to come up with motivational sayings to uplift myself

When I first moved to Iraq, I made a friend who drilled this into my mind - the importance of having an end goal that I could go back to if I needed motivation. I'm pretty sure if you asked anyone if they had the chance to be anywhere, doing anything, right at this moment, they wouldn't say I wish I was working my ass off. Working, and trying to make a living isn't and shouldn't be the ultimate reason for why we're living. We work and we make a living in order to achieve something else. It's a mean to an end. So what's your end? That's what I think people need to figure out.

It might take some time figuring that out. I mean, I'm still trying to figure things out. But I think what excites me is even though I may not know what my end goal is just yet, with the way society is today, I know there are endless possibilities. Anything can happen, and when I finally figure out what I want in life, I'm going to go for it. The end justifies the means.