3 Questions to ask yourself when it gets tough

Never get complacent. There is always something to improve on. There is always room for growth. There is always more to learn. More wisdom to gain. Never stop searching for answers.
— Akeem Haynes




1). Why?


Always start with why. I truly believe that with a strong enough reasoning behind something, no matter how tough it gets, you can find a way to get through it. But first you have to find out why you want to do it. When your trying to figure out your why, understand that there will be many different reasoning’s, and you should have many reasons. But if your why is solely based on materialistic things it will not last. When you get hit by life, you will find an excuse because it’s not strong enough, you can always get any type of job and just work and work until you reach the goal of the material that you want. And then what? You will be right back in the same boat feeling unfulfilled. As humans, we desire finding something that brings us purpose and gives meaning to our lives.



Do me a favor, when you think about your why, I want you to think about something that brought you pain, something that truly left a print on you. Now, think about how you can use that pain and form that into something positive.



When I was growing up, there was a time in my life when I moved around a lot, I moved to so many houses in a short span of months that I lost track of the actual number, there was a time in my life when having regular meals was something that wasn’t very regular. Those are the moments that shaped my why, and in that moment, I made a DECISION that when I establish myself I will have stability in my environment and in my life, it was a decision that came from within.


When you can connect your pain, and use that energy into creating positivity it forces you to make a decision for change, and that is when you will have an unstoppable why. Now you’ve made a decision and now you have a purpose behind you, now you have a reason for why you do what you do. It’s a powerful feat when you make up your mind to do something. It’s hard to break or change a mind that’s been made up.


To paraphrase Friedrich Nietzsche


“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how”



2). Is it worth it?


Along our journey we will be confronted with many situations, some will be filled with joy, and some will be filled with heartache. How we react to what we are faced will determine what kind of outcome the rest of our journey through life will be like. Recently, I was asked to be the guest speaker from the high school I graduated from, Crescent Heights High school in Calgary Alberta, Canada. I spent a few nights thinking to myself as I was trying to sleep, thinking of what I could tell them that would stick as they start a new chapter in their life. And in doing that I thought about my own life and how I got to where I am today.


The things we do, and what you put on the line, and what we sacrifice on a daily basis, to get to where we want to go, will it be worth it? I think that’s something that every individual will have to answer for themselves. You might see someone on TV and thinking they have it all figured out, only to realize later down the road that if they would do it again, they wouldn’t, and then you have those who have went through tremendous adversity and when they are asked if they would do anything different, they reply “no, because it made me who I am”.


Truth is, it will be worth it, if you become who you are meant to be from the mistakes you’ve made along the way. I’ve learned that it’s not about the destination, it’s not always about making it to the top because the reality is you might not make it to your initial goal or your initial dream, but who you become and what you can grasp from prior defeats, can provide you with new goals and new dreams.


It is in the actual pursuit in the journey of life, that we figure out who and what we are meant to become that makes the journey worthwhile in the long run.


Ultimately the only way to know if it will be worth it, is by risk figuring it out for yourself.




3). Why not me?


Anything is possible. A lot of people say this statement just to say it but this is something I wholeheartedly believe and I will always believe that in my heart, because the way I answered this question changed the trajectory of my life. Why not you? seriously why not you? you know, there is something inside all of us that truly believes that we can accomplish anything. No matter what our circumstances or situations are, there is something in our subconscious state that tells us that there is a way through. The only way to manifest that thought is to listen closely, and then act on that first thought that comes to mind. There are two ways when it comes to bringing an idea to life. The first step is visualization and the second step is by action. When you form Visualization and action together consistently, that’s when our ideas can be shape into reality.


I had to come to an honest truth when I was twelve years old, I realized that It doesn’t really matter where you start, and it doesn’t matter where you came from, one thing is certain and an absolute fact for all of us and that is life isn’t fair. That’s a given. But then I realized what is given, is knowing that there are 24 hours in a day. And in that 24 hours everything that we want to achieve and accomplish must take part every single day for the rest of our lives. The more negative questions you ask yourself, the more time you waste not moving forward. I came up with this phrase when I was twelve years old, and each day I would say it to myself the moment I woke up. “Why not you Akeem.” And in doing that, psychologically my energy shifted into finding answers.


In college when some of my teachers would tell me that I wouldn’t graduate on time because of my grades, it would have been easy to listen and give in, because I wasn’t the smartest guy out there, I didn’t really retain information that well, especially when it came to certain classes that I was uninterested in. However, as you know if you don’t pass the courses, you will not graduate. The many times I would hear the negative comments from people around me, I would repeat to myself “why not you? why can’t you graduate on time?” and whether I realized it immediately or not my subconscious mind would start focusing and dialing in a little more on information that I needed to grasp and that would be my answer.


Sometimes we have to ask ourselves questions in a different perspective in order to find an answer.


When you are faced with a delay in your life, don’t ask why me. Ask yourself why not me? Acknowledge the problem but don’t dwell on the problem. We are all problem solvers, and if we dwell on something for too long, we get caught up in believing that’s how it’s always going to be instead of changing our perspective and finding a way to overcome the problem.



Problems don’t go away,


You just find more effective ways to deal with them





Take some time today to develop a phrase that helps you,


Something that brings your reassurance when you need It most.


If you have your own phrase already I would love to hear about it in the comments.


Why not you?

Why not you?

Why not you ?





Sometimes the impossible, becomes possible when you ask yourselves the right questions.




Akeem Haynes