Define Your Why – Slinkard On Success

By: D. A. Slinkard

I write this on the emotional high of visiting with my mom back in Missouri. What a great weekend it was being able to spend a few hours with my mom while also being able to visit with my brother-in-law and his family just outside of St. Louis. While there, we had the opportunity to attend his church, be a part of his Sunday school class, and then listen to an emotionally-charged sermon by his pastor. Sunday was a great day and a great way to start off the week.

One of the topics discussed in Sunday school was about God’s Will for our lives and understanding the WHY of your life because when you know your WHY, your WHAT becomes more clear and more impactful. The WHY becomes more impactful because you are heading towards your purpose. When we understand the WHY of trying to be in the center of God’s will, achieving the WHAT becomes that much easier.

This got me to thinking on the seven-hour drive home about how many times we go after the wrong thing; instead of figuring out the WHY first, we try to answer the WHAT and we get it wrong. How many times have you changed your mind about what you want to be when you grow up? It goes back to chasing the elusive WHAT when we should be focusing in on the WHY. This led me to think about the mentality we had as a society when I was a kid that if you were a man, you wanted people to know you were a man.

Today’s society is teaching our children that being a man is a bad thing…something to be sorry for, something to be ashamed of. Our society is teaching our men to be more feminine and our women to be more masculine. I have said it before and I will say it again — the only feminine thing about me is my wife. With our society’s changing thought processes trying to diminish the roles in which God Almighty established Himself, we now also have the emergence of the victim mentality. There is probably someone reading this article right now who feel they are a victim because they think I am being too harsh.

To quote my eleven-year-old daughter: “It’s April and we still have snowflakes.” Sadly, she is correct because this is the society we have created as we have grown soft in our way of thinking and in our way of living. Not too long ago, I had someone complaining to me about how unfair life is; although they went on to explain to me they were blessed with a new car that a family member helped them purchase. A few months later they were involved in a wreck due to another person’s negligence. They received the insurance money to make the repairs but spent this money on other things and did not repair the damage. Then they complained about their employer not paying them enough money because they could not afford to fix their car!

This interaction left me scratching my head because their complaint was irrelevant. They received the money to fix their car from the insurance company. However, they opted to use this money on other things and then blamed their employer for not paying them enough money? Say what? How does this make sense? We live in an age now in which when you disagree with someone, chances are they are going to tell others you “attacked” them. Why? Goes back to the mindset we have created. If we want to make the necessary change in our life, we need to go back to the lesson mentioned in the Sunday school class. We need to seek out the WHY and this will answer the WHAT for us.

It is time we focus our efforts on the WHY when it comes to our society, focus on the WHY when it comes to our future leaders, focus on the WHY when it comes to our educational system. The WHAT is constantly changing, but if we can figure out the answer to the WHY, that is when we will make changes to our life and to the world around us. That will have the biggest impact in our lives and the lives around us. You probably already have your WHAT in mind; but what would you say your WHY is and how are you going to achieve it?
By: D. A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard is the manager of the Athens Staples store