The Why Behind the What
Last night I watched one of the most touching movies I’ve seen in years – it gave me chills, had me choked up and influenced me to write this post this morning.
That movie was American Sniper.
It’s incredible how a movie can impact our lives – Especially a movie based on a real story and real events. For me, these type of movies seem to have a deeper impact. For example, after watching The Social Network I spent the next year coding my first website from scratch. Who does that? I do. Like I said, I seem to be more impacted by movies than other people.
Since watching American Sniper last night I can’t shake it from my mind.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, let me give you a brief synopsis from IMDb:
Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle’s pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.
I’ve never met Chris Kyle, I don’t know how he was as a person, but there is much to be learned from the story of his incredible life. Specifically, about the why behind what he did and how he lived.
The Why Behind The What
It’s remarkable how an incredibly strong why can influence what we do in our lives.
Anyone who is willing to join the armed forces and put his life in harms way to serve his country has to have a powerful why for doing so. Some reasons may be less admirable, per say, than others, but powerful nonetheless.
For Chris, the immense sense of duty to his country, family and the men who serve alongside him propel him to eventually become the most lethal sniper in U.S. history. His why led to the what of doing whatever was necessary to protect the lives of his brothers in battle. His why led to him going back to war again and again to protect more men. His why also led him back home to his family to the best husband and father he could.
Again, I don’t know Chris. I don’t know if he was a good person or a bad person. I don’t know all of his intentions. I don’t know all of his flaws.
I certainly don’t want to glorify anything about war, especially the killing of other human beings, but with the powerful why Chris had he was able to do extraordinary things, if you could ever call killing that many people extraordinary. You know, while writing that I’m not even sure extraordinary is the right word. I’m not sure what is the right way to describe what he did during his life, but you can see that he was not simply your average soldier and I think this stems from an incredible sense of purpose that was deeper than most.
What is your why in life? Why do you do what you do on a daily basis? Are you spending your time on things that actually matter to you? Or are you wasting your time living a life untrue to yourself?
I’m sure there are some of you who will look at Chris Kyle in a negative light and this may have some merit, but you can’t deny the fact that he was living true to himself and what he believed strongly in – he was living according to his why.
Will you live according to your why? Do you even have a strong reason for doing what you do?
For me, the reason why I get up at 4:00 a.m., the reason why I write blog posts and create videos, the reason why I work with people to help them get fit, the reason why I work so damn hard every day is that I want to positively impact as many lives as I can. How I developed my why for what I do stems from many things, but two events specifically, the murder of my mentor and friend Shaun, one of the most amazing people I have ever met and the horrific injury of a former teammate, Jason Church, while serving overseas have had a tremendous impact on my life and have shaped my why today.
What is the why for what you do in your life?
Freedom isn’t free. You’ve heard this before, but have you fully comprehended the sacrifice it takes for you to live how you do? I know that I forget at times how blessed I am to have the freedom I enjoy each day, but on days like today, reminded of the sacrifice it takes, I couldn’t be more thankful that enough people have a why in their lives that compels them to fight to protect the lives of others.
Hell, I can sit here, sip coffee and write this with a clear mind, clear thoughts and not worry about anything because of that sacrifice. I don’t have to worry about the very real dangers around the world because of the people fighting to protect us and I’m allowed to utilize the why for my own life to help others.
In about an hour I’ll head off to train a couple of clients, later on I’ll go to the Marquette basketball game and later on I’ll spend time with family and friends because of the freedom I’m afforded by people willing to put their lives in harms way for others.
To anyone who is serving in the armed forces or who has ever served in the past I say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you so much.
If you’ve read this far I’d simply ask that you enjoy today and every day of your life to the fullest, living with purpose and never forgetting why you have the ability to do so.
Have an amazing day.