Remember Why You Do What You Do

We occasionally lose our way in life. We start out full of zest in a new job or a new relationship… but years later question why we are doing it. If you find yourself in this position, go back to the start. Remember why you do what you do, and things start to fall in place again.

Go back to the beginning

Recall the exact point in time when you made the decision to do what you are doing now.

  • Why did you take this job?
  • What dream drove you to set up your business?
  • What plans did you have for your relationship?

I remember deciding to start this blog when I was having breakfast with a friend. I told her I loved my life and at the same time looking to learn something new. She said many others would love the lifestyle I have and challenged me to write a blog to help others achieve this.

Whenever I feel like giving up the blog, I remind myself why I started it. You too may feel like giving up sometimes. Remind yourself why you do what you in the first place.

Identify the wrong turns

On a road trip, we sometimes take too many detours to enjoy the scenery, until we are way off our route. In blogging too, I got distracted by things that seemed to be important because so many other bloggers talked about them: subscriber numbers, page rank, how much money the blog was making. These are nice, but not why I started.

Remember why you do what you do

There’s nothing wrong with changing the course if you accidentally stumble upon something better. However, if you find yourself in a place you never planned to be, and don’t want to be, turn back.

  • If you accepted a job because it paid the bills, then use it to pay the bills. Don’t expect it to bring fulfillment everyday because that’s not the job’s job.
  • If you started a business to control your time, start planning your schedule. Don’t wonder why it’s not making you rich because that was not the purpose of the business.
  • If you got married for companionship, then enjoy the company. Don’t demand that your partner make you happy because you wanted a companion, not a saviour.

Whatever journeys you have embarked on in life, I wish you happy travels. Enjoy the detours, yet remember why you’re on the road in the first place!

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52 replies on “Remember Why You Do What You Do”

I like the way you got back to the basics. That’s what it’s about.

It can be tough to drop the baggage, but it’s important to take a look at where you, right now, and where you would like to be, and find a way to bridge the gap … a chunk at a time.

Getting back to basics was the original title of the post, JD. Don’t know why I changed it – I wanted a more visual image of a starting point of a journey I guess. Thanks for your comment.

Thanks for this post — I appreciated the perspective. It occurred to me, when you were talking about the example of someone having a job just to pay the bills, that it might also be useful to keep in mind the larger project you’re striving to complete while you’re in that bill-paying job — as with actors who wait tables at night, for instance. It’s like going from saying “why am I doing this job?” with a griping tone, to asking with real curiosity “why AM I doing this job?”

Hi Chris,

Actors waiting tables at night is a good example. We pay the bills so that we can focus on the larger picture, the more important things. It’s the survival dance vs the sacred dance analogy that I love so much. Pausing to reflect as you suggest is useful, and griping isn’t. The line is thin, yet we know the difference because of the effects – a negative downward spiral or a restored faith and hope in what we do. Thanks for this comment and great perspective.


I always marvel at your wisdom and insight and I am very fortunate to reap the benefits from it.

This hit me like it should…I tend to get distracted along the way and conveniently call it passion for so many things (grin)…passion is passion but the path to abundance and fulfillment has to be paved carefully and with focus.

Thank you for YOU! :~)


Your enthusiasm for life and sheer energy of your comments lifts me up every time. Thank you so much.

Having many passions is great, kind of like swirling around a mixture of many flavours, colours and smells… exotic and exciting! Yet even ballerinas focus on one point when they do a pirouette, so I guess we can learn to focus through all those passions. I’m so grateful for your kind comment today.

Hi Daphne, sometimes we do something but we forget the goals of it. I like this article, it reminds me about my first goals that I have made.
Thanks for sharing this, Daphne. 🙂

Hi Arswino,

It’s easy to get caught up in the actions and forget the reasons why we do them. Glad this post helped. I needed to remind myself too and at least it can help some others. Thanks for your comment.

I am really delighted to have found your blog, Daphne. And this entry met me exactly where I am. Over the past couple of years, I have had several of these moments–quite a few of them life-changing. Like you, I left a corporate job because it was not meeting my more important needs. I did not want to live that life anymore. I ended up in Greece … another very long story. 🙂

There have been many times over the past 3 years where I’ve taken stock and asked myself, Are you where you want to be? Are you going where you want to go? Because life here has been quite difficult. Then again, it has been incredibly rewarding.

I don’t have a ready answer to the questions you posed today but am glad you posed them and shared your experiences. They remind me that this “taking stock” might be necessary and is a good thing.

Thank you!

Hi Carla,

Thanks for such a lovely comment. I’m glad you found my blog too! And I just visited yours and like it a lot. Your joy for life really permeates your writing and you live an exciting life!

Those life-changing realisations and decisions have a way of taking us where we never thought we’d go huh? Refusing to stay on the beaten track has its rewards and challenges, as we know. It’s still better than the alternative, which is a life we don’t want. At least this way we get to live an adventure, testing the waters every step of the way (sorry for the mixed metaphors!)

Thanks for sharing your experience. You inspire me to continue dreaming and living the life I dream of.

Hi Stacey,

You make a good point. It’s true that sometimes we discover wonderful treasures on those detours, and they might make it worth changing the entire journey plan. Thanks for this insight.

This is great! One thing I did was quit spending money on Starbucks coffee. I did great in Jan and Feb. Then in March I began slipping. In April I was doing great again. Then while away for the last 10 days on a trip I bought coffee nearly everyday.

I quit because I believe I’m wasting my money. After reading this post I remembered how well Jan and Feb were and why I quit in the first place. So I’m back on track. Thanks for the encouragement!

Hey Tess,

What a relevant story! Plus the fact that I used to have a Starbucks latte every morning too so I could really see myself in your story! I quit also because I felt it was $5 a day down the drain. Now I still have coffee everyday, just the instant type that I can make at home, and save a lot of money and time by not going to Starbucks.

Glad this post has a practical application for you. Makes it worth writing! You’ve just reminded me that I feel more alive and vibrant when I cut down coffee and drink water instead, so let’s both get going, as in get stopping, on the coffee again!

Hi Daphne. This is a fantastic post! I’m glad I didn’t miss it. Reaffirming our intent is priceless. And something interesting to keep in mind too, is to see what we’ve learned by taking those detours. And how they’ve helped to show us what we DON’T want. They teach us a lot about ourselves. You are an excellent blogger. I enjoy reading your Joyful Days :~)

Hi Davina,

I’m glad you didn’t miss this post either because your comment means a lot to me! Those detours can be fascinating huh? And it’s true that we know what we don’t want usually only after experiencing it for ourselves, so the detours have value in their own right. Wise comment as usual, Davina! Thank you for being here and giving such warm encouragement. I truly appreciate it.

Thanks for sharing this post. I feel like I am always starting new things before I finish what already on my plate. However, I never really lose sight of the reason I started the project in the first place, and always leave the door open for something new and better to come along.



Hi Jonathan,

I can identify with starting new things and not finishing what we started! Like you say, it’s good to be open to possibilities for new projects, and starters bring their own strength to the table. It’s good that you keep in mind the reason for the project. Thanks for this comment.

Great post, good advice here. I really like your point of “going back to the start”. Its easy to lose our way but when you go back to the start it makes you realise why you are there in the first place.

I just tweet this! Keep up the good work.

Hi Salwa,

Thanks for your comment. You’re right that it’s easy to lose our way, and not just once! Going back to the start worked for me, and I hope it works for others. Many thanks for the tweet!

Thank you for your feedback on my site. I just wish to encourage you to continue with your blog. Personally, I think you are already doing a great job. So even while you wonder “why hunch over a computer getting sore shoulder muscles when I could be out enjoying life”, I’d like to think that you are creating something beautiful with your site. In my opinion, your blog is perfect as it is. Even with no tweaking or change, it is already making positive changes to the world!


Thank you for these words. I hear you about the tweaking (I keep saying no more changes to the theme, then I find something I don’t like about it – this one shows up weird on IE6 and has unhelpful meta tags for example, so maybe I’ll change again soon. Yikes!)

Speaking of sore muscles, I’m feeling them now and think I’ll go for a slow jog to relax and unwind. You’ve made me feel so encouraged with this comment, I’ll probably jog with a foolish grin on my face all the way! Thank you, dear.

Hi Daphne,
I really liked your blog! I loved how you pointed out the steps to help us realize why we do what we do. My favorite part was how you stated that we need to “go back to the begining”. This is good advice, and advice that I may use. 🙂
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

Hi Giovanna,

Thanks for your lovely comment. Going back to the beginning is like re-booting our computer right? Sometimes when things get slow and hung up, just start all over again! I’m flattered that you think this advice will help you. You’re already so wise!

Great article and wonderful insights. I think that as part of the journey, each individual develops and grows. Some might be in a better place compared to where they started, while others might have lost their “zest”. Either way, I believe it is a process of personal growth and development.

Hi Terry,

Welcome! And thank you for your comment. It’s true that even if we decide this is not the journey we want to be on and change directions, we’ve still learned something and so it is still worthwhile. It’s all part of the process. Thanks for this insight. I like the simplicity and feel of your blog by the way, and its great title.

Hi Daphne,
Thanks for the reminder. One other thought – re-examine the initial premise. It may be that we set off in the wrong direction from the get-go. I know that this can be very hard to do, but it has been worthwhile when I’ve managed to do it.

Hi Evan,

It’s an honour to have you here, with an intelligent comment as usual. Great point about re-examining the initial premise. I sometimes wonder about that too, and have considered starting another blog, as you have, with a clearer intent. Thanks for your comment and example.

Hi Daphne,

As you know, I’ve been questioning where I’m at and what this all means for me – and at all levels – not just blogging. A 10 day vacation really made this happen – and not even intentionally – I think just because I stopped “doing”, I was able to focus more on “being”. Anyway, it’s led to many questions. And I think of the blogging road I’ve been on over the past year – and how that road has led me in some many wonderful directions (like here!). And also how it has led me to focus on things which weren’t as important to me. I’m at a point now where I believe one of the biggest connections to blogging for me is in the real relationships that develop (and I’m not saying this is for everyone – it’s what feels right for me). I feel most strongly toward this angle. Now, to nurture that – and to continue to make it even more meaningful…

Daphne, you’ve been a great friend, and I appreciate very much you writing this post today. Reading it now just feels like the “right” time for me to be here and listening to your words. Thank you, very deeply, for sharing this post today.


I must confess that when I wrote this post, you were the Ideal Reader I had in mind. I knew your thoughts after your vacation and these were questions I’d started asking myself recently too. Talking with you made me think more deeply about this and the result was this post. So I must thank you for being my muse.

Love what you said about just “being” because you stopped “doing” while on vacation. And I love your general conclusion that you lean strongly towards developing relationships through blogging. That is one of the loveliest reasons I’ve heard for doing what we do. In the end life is about relationships, and this is just another avenue to build these. And if I may add my opinion – you are already a master at building online relationships and community, and much to teach the rest of us about how to do this.

Thank you for being an awesome friend and a great mentor in blogging. I’m blessed to have stumbled into your “jungle” – and more on that very soon too! 🙂

Hi Daphne,

Thank you so much for the message of this post. I have no idea about how many subscribers I have and all those other statistics. I am aware of my Alexa rank because I decided to check it one day and I do check it every week but it is not a huge factor to me.

I run my blog because I love writing and I want to share my journey. If I am meant to earn money from it, so be it. What matters more to me is to be able to be of help to another and by helping another, I am helping myself too. No one is perfect and we are all in this world together, so let us learn from one another.

There is so much pain in the world and there is no need for it. Life is supposed to a beautiful journey and not full of stress. So your idea of revisiting is so essential.

Hi Nadia,

Your ignoring of the statistics of your blog is exactly the reason why you are a Happy Lotus and why that comes across so strongly! None of the statistics are completely fair reflections anyway so it’s a good idea to disregard them in general.

I love your reason for blogging. We are all in the same pond, so to speak. And any ripples one of us makes affects all others, so let us feel for and help and learn from one another. Well said!

Hi Daphne,

Thank you so much for all that you wrote. We definitely are all in the same pond and it is so wonderful that we are all doing what we can to help each other. I have always known the world was small due to previous travels but after I began blogging, it took the concept to a whole new level. It is so nice to have made such wonderful friends across the world without having to pay a lot of money for airfare and hotels! 🙂

Hi Nadia,

I know what you mean about finding a whole new world in the blogosphere. I’m thankful that I decided to blog about personal development because the bloggers in this niche are probably the most positive and encouraging of all. It’s lovely to travel the world from our blogs! Thanks for your comment spreading such positive cheer.

Hi Michelle,

I’m so glad that you’re happy at work now that you’ve remembered why you do it. It’s so easy to lose the big picture when our noses are buried in files and meetings and details that don’t seem important at all, until we remember how they build up the whole story. Thanks for leaving such a warm and encouraging comment. I appreciate it!

Hi Daphne .. I started my blog to learn .. and wanted to include my writings that I sent to friends and relatives and had read to my mother; I struggled to find a title .. two words I wanted .. so then positiveletters came one Sunday night ..that was it – signed and sealed: the passion was there .. now to work and let progress proceed …

I learnt I needed to make the post an actual letter .. hence the ‘Dear Mr Postman .. thank you for delivering our letter ….’ i.e. reference it for when others read the blog.

I’ve learnt that my mother (after her strokes) prefers short snippets of information or fun stories .. that we can laugh about and I can embellish when I read them to her …. that will trigger her imagination .. and it works .. hence I often have two or three short subjects in a post.

I’d love through the blog to provide a unique service available to anyone who is interested – carers, lonely or sad people, old people’s homes, church newsletters, .. a daily letter, a happy informative daily email … something to laugh about, be stimulated by .. trigger some other ideas relative to that specific person or family …

It helps me with my journey of my mother’s last days .. and fills my time productively with something of value for the future – and as you say become a better person in the process.

Many thanks for another really useful post for me ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

Hi Hilary,

Wow, you certainly have thought through very clearly why you write your blog. And it comes through on the blog itself. The moment I visited your blog I knew its purpose, your writing style, and your ideal reader. Your clarity really shines through. I love the fact that your posts are actual letters. I love handwritten letters though that’s a dying art. So it was nice to see a whole blog full of actual (ok they are pretend letters, yet real too) letters.

Thanks for specifying your vision for your blog so clearly in this comment. Surely many bloggers, including myself, can learn from this.

Great advice. I recently needed to remind myself why I started MomGrind. As I write more for others, I started viewing my personal blog as no more than extra work (with minimal pay). But When I went back to why I started it, I realized it’s an important outlet for my creativity and for my own thoughts and ideas – something I can’t do when I write for a corporation.


Your endorsement means so much to me. Thanks for sharing what you went through with MomGrind. I love the fact that you say what you want to say on your blog, and say it really well too. Sometimes blogging does feel like work, until we remember why we do it. You give a good perspective in this comment. Thanks!

Hi Paisley,

Welcome to the world of blogging! I already like your writing style on your blog. And wow, my eyes have gone green at the fact that you live on a mountainside overlooking the ocean. Want to trade my blog for your home? 😉

Hey Daphne,
Excellent reasons to start a blog and mine are very similar. Going back to the beginning helps me a lot and does get me back on track when the stats aren’t where I want them to be or I start second guessing myself. This post came at the right time.

Hi Broderick,

Happy to know we have similar reasons for blogging. I know exactly what you mean about second guessing ourselves, and wanting validation from the stats. Glad to know the timing of the post helped.

Hi Positively Present,

I’m glad you can benefit from re-visiting what we do. In fact I think Evelyn who commented earlier has a great system of reviewing her purpose for her site very month. Thanks for your encouraging comment!

Hi Daphne, this is the first time I came to your blog (I was checking out on the blogs of the people that commented on Evelyn website) and I immediately fell in love with some of your posts!

Thanks and I shall always keep this post in mind.. “Back to the start : Why I do what I do”.. 1) Go back to the beginning, 2) Identify the wrong turns, 3) Return to the trail, and finally 4) GO again (Ready , get set go)

Hi Victor,

Welcome! And thank you so much for your wonderful comment. I’m glad you find some of the posts helpful. I’m glad you caught the gist of this post so quickly. I’m sure you’ll do very well in your studies with that good memory of yours!


I think we all go through this phase, sometimes more than once! You’re right that it’s easy to be seduced by the numbers. We sometimes forget that the numbers are the by-product of what we do, and not the main purpose.

I definitely can identify with doing a review every now and then my reasons for running my blog . Blogging takes up a lot of time and effort. I sometimes find myself losing perspective when I start to wonder I am spending so much time at my laptop when I can be relaxing or doing something else!

I hardly check my stats. I also avoid reading about how much other bloggers are making. My opinion is that everyone’s journey is different. Also the value that I get out of writing and sharing cannot be compared to what someone else is deriving. Money is not an all-encompassing measure.

I’m glad to know about the reasons why you started your blog. They are truly wonderful reasons!!

Hi Evelyn,

Good to know you hardly check your stats. That’s already staying focused on the purpose of your blog. Your journey with the ego and subconscious is really coming through, and I’m loving your blog more and more. You’re certainly doing something right over there!

You’re so right that everyone’s journey is different, and we need to march to the beat of our own drum. I sometimes feel the same as you – why hunch over a computer getting sore shoulder muscles when I could be out enjoying life! Then I realise that writing helps me to enjoy and appreciate my life better.

Thanks for your wise and encouraging comment.

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