What’s Your “Why”?

A Preparedness Pro reader whom I’ve become friends with, recently wrote me to tell me that she and her husband have bit the bullet and moved out of the city into a more rural setting.  Why in the world would she do this when it requires a whole lot of work, fixing up a property, and a significantly longer commute?  It has to do with her “WHY.”

Several months ago I was teaching a class on the Ten Principles of Preparedness. Just before we got started, a mother and father entered

with their brood of exuberant children and sat down in the remaining leftover seats. As such, their oldest daughter—I would guess to be no older than 11 years old—sat down right in front of me. When I asked the question “What do you think is the most important principle of preparedness?” this little girl immediately raised her hand and confidently said “Family.” Indeed, while she may not have used the exact same word that I use in my classes, I believe she was sharing with me what her “WHY” is.

The measure of our spiritual preparedness level has everything to do with our belief system and what we truly value.  It’s what I call “The Why Factor.” After all, without ones spiritual belief system the ties of family which bind us together through thick or thin are meaningless. Without a solid belief system at our core which defies rational and economic thought, families really are the “why” for most of us when it comes to pushing ourselves in all of our preparedness efforts. I’ve found that the more important our “WHY” is in our hearts, the more successful we are in all of our pursuits.

So, what is your “why”?  The more significant your “WHY” is, the less obstacles you will find.  Be sure that your “WHY” is motivated for proactive, positive reasons, not negative, fear-based ones. For example, “I’m preparing now so that I can defend myself against aliens” just simply isn’t enough to see you through to the end.  It’s fear based (and looney to boot). Whereas “I’m preparing so that I can provide peace of mind and comfort to my family come what may”—that thought process will hold you through tough times much more steadily.  Contrary to what you may see in the movies, hate and fear drain us, not propel us.  Just like a temporary sugar high, we may get out of our seats occasionally because of fear, but we simply cannot maintain that level of functionality before we run out of steam.  Hate and fear are only temporary motivators and thus only provide fleeting satisfaction in our efforts. The foundation of true preparedness requires long-term solutions and thus cannot be strengthened with short-term motivation.

Likewise, courage and mental fortitude can be fleeting. I’m sure we’ve all battled at one time or another that famous tug of war in the morning, otherwise known as mind over mattress.  So what can we do to ensure that our preparedness efforts continue with the best and most virtuous intentions?  This is where your Spiritual Preparedness comes in.

Without making a concerted effort to strengthen and nourish our spiritual muscles, we will see poor results in everything else we do, but more particularly in our preparedness efforts. Why? Because preparedness requires us to do something during great times in preparation for times that are not so great.  That requires faith and a belief in ourselves. Thus it’s important that we focus on our Spiritual Preparedness daily just as much as we do eating daily. We simply won’t have any spiritual strength to get us through tough times otherwise. For example, suppose you wanted to do a few pull-ups.  Without regular practice, you’ll be lucky to execute one properly done pull-up.  The same holds true with our spiritual strength.  If we have no practice and solid foundation to support our Spiritual Preparedness efforts, then we’ll fizzle out just after take off like we do many times when we attempt to act upon our best intentions.

So, I recommend that each one of us consistently ask us what is our “WHY”?  WHY do we want to have extra water on hand? WHY do we feel the need to learn self-defense?  WHY do we want to gain more knowledge regarding skills and medical care?  If you remind yourself constantly of the WHY then you’ll keep moving towards your goal.

I for one find myself echoing the same “WHY” as did the little girl. My family. And then the choice friends I’ve been blessed with in addition to my family—for friends are the family you make for yourself.

Share with the rest of us what your “WHY” is?  Regardless of what it is that motivates you, I’m 100% positive that it affects much more than your today, and will always be a consideration for your tomorrows.

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Comments

I would also have to say family. As I look at my children, the thought of them suffering because I was too lazy/busy/distracted to prepare leaves a sick feeling in my stomach.

I was very into that " I don't need annybody" mindset. Dogone it I am supreme! Well not so much. Then those other ideas "No man is an island" started creeping in. though I don't believe it takes a village to train/educate children. I do believe a village is what it takes to survive.
I'm so bloody smart. Why do I get info on the internet? I guess I'm not as smart as I think.
Great post

I love that you include all types of preparation. I always need the reminder to focus on spiritual preparation. I have let it go on the past and have not been able to handle challenges as well as I could have.

I think you really hit the nail on the head with this article. I also agree with Julie's comment that family is a really important reason to prepare. I couldn't stand watching my children go without because I didn't think it was important enough to prepare. I also think of how blessed those who prepare will be when they are able to share with others who have nothing.

Family all the way! I look at my "babies" everyday and know that what I do will benefit them. I could never look myself in the mirror if I didn't prepare for them.

My "Why" is what finally got my husband to, if not to "come around", at least to stop fighting me all the time, and it's certainly *My Family*. All of my arguments about lack of faith from outside help, a need to be independent, ect. didn't hold water with him until I started talking about how I just didn't want MY family to suffer simply because I hadn't planned ahead. Apparently that struck a chord, because we're now (slowly) filling our pantry with well stored and rotated food.

PLUS I put together a comprehensive 72 hour box for my car, and he didn't even make fun of me! Yay! LOL! It took about a year, but some of Kellene's posts really helped in talking to him - and identifying my "Why" and being able to speak to it clearly made a difference.

I would have to agree. My family is my whole reason "why". My drive. My motivator.

Thank you for this one.
Family is my purpose in life.

I just want to do the right thing. I think preparing is the right and prudent thing to do. I also hate living with regrets. You hear so much of, "I should have done this or I should have done that." My preparations are in order. Are they perfect? Probably not, I'm sure time will tell. I want to be able to look at my family and say, "I did everything I knew to do." I know they already know that.

Well, I guess I'll make it unanimous. Family is my WHY too. Because I believe that family is eternal, I will do anything I can to have my loved ones and myself spiritually prepared. With my WHY in mind, the rest of my preparedness just comes naturally. I have let everybody I know about your outstanding site. It is the best and most balanced on the internet. Another great post Kellene!

Mainly, we try to be prepared for the reasons of family preservation and independence. During the past winter, we realized that walking over to a neighbor just a few hundred feet across our driveway, was as good as a mile or more with the energy expelled. Walking through waist high snow to swap a few things was fun for a short distance, but the impact made my husband and I realize that trekking through snow that deep for miles to a stored cache, or walking to get to another site was impossible. Vehicular mobility was out of the question. So, it was our family, my husband and I in the end. It was he and I that had to support each other and make it work. Even depending on a close neighbor was difficult for such a little inconvenience as one deep snow.

We play out our scenarios to replicate the era of the pioneers when independence was the mainstay of life; when there were no cars, electricity, telephones, and friends close by to call for a cup of sugar. We have much to work on, but we are putting forth the effort together, and that will also help us make it through a difficult emergency. Our interdependence in the family unit.

Kellene, once again another thought provoking article is working on our spiritual drive to be as complete as possible in every way, for the time when it comes down to us and no one else.

Thank you again,
Cin

There are 2 reasons to be prepared....I believe the Lord tells us to be prepared for all things physically and spritual. We should not have to depend on other people or the church to feed us!
It is just my husband and I and I want things to be as calm and peaceful as possible if something happens. We are in a hurricanae area and I want to have all we need if there is a threat so we do not have to run to the store during a panic time!
I prepare for my grown children who are to busy "enjoying their life" for the moment! So family and loved ones is the reason I do what I do everyday and because of the love for my Savior and the belief that we should obey in all things.

It is most definitely because of my family.

You hit the nail right on the head with "“I’m preparing so that I can provide peace of mind and comfort to my family come what may”. I am strengthening myself and my children so that no matter what happens we will be able to face whatever comes at us. Not only face it but "take it out" if necessary.

I reread my post and I did not make clear I am for family. I do have my basics and I am building but not so much for myself as for "family members" that won't prep. I'd prefer to persuade them but they just don't get it. So if Stuff does hit the fan I will support and help them. Probably work them to the bone. It really would be easier on them if they just prepped. They don't want to work for me. Heaven help them if they ask my Mom for help. But yes, "Family" is important and a priority. I have my basics, I will share with my family and neighbors that get it and try to get better.
Doggone it Kellene it was easier to just worry about myself and have a an attitude of "I got mine". Now I have to be my brothers keeper. I know that whole God/Christian thing really makes stuff difficult. I'll complain the whole way and I will keep trying to convince folks and I'll keep prepping and living.

MY WHY? Because I want to be around long enough to see what all happens.

I know most of my family just thinks I am truly crazy for all the preparing I do. They can't fathom anything preventing them from getting to the grocery store every day. I hope I have enough for them too. I do love my family.

We are in our 70's and our

We are in our 70's and our WHY was/is family also yet from a different perspective. We did not want to be a burden on our children if/when "things" do get really bad.
I began reading about the topic online about 6 or 7 years ago and was totally driven by fear at the magnitude of what I perceived to be an insurmountable task! The articles I found were all about "survival" for the already knowledgeable and physically fit individuals" out IN the deep dark woods ! That just fed my fears and hubby couldn't even discuss it with me because of his own fears. (Being older with both having health issues makes a big difference!) Then, I "found" Kellene! Yea for me because she made sense! It's been said, "you can eat an elephant, one bite at a time" which defines our process over the next few years, thanks to Kellene.
We're from the era when shopping each week for groceries was the "cool" thing to do. Now we go if there's something on sale to add to what we regularly use. A couple of years ago we bought an AllAmerican Canner and yes we now can can, thanks to Kellene's "dogged insistence" that we could :) Conquered my fear and turned it into a Fun event and both our adult "kids" now know how to can! Zaycon meats are awesome and makes it oh so convenient.
A few years back, hubby fell on the ice just as a huge snowstorm had "set in".... (I don't drive now.) and we were just as snug as a bug in a rug and our kids who live 40ish miles away) knew they didn't have to worry about us !
Hummm? If this sounds like I'm singing Kellene's praises, I guess I am tho we several states apart but I/we have put her info and instructions to the test. A few years back, we thought we would be better off living in the country... and woke in the wee hours to a burglar inside our house! He ran when hubby confronted him and we were not harmed however, "thinking" about what you will do is definitely NOT the same as practicing it so it's a natural response rather than a reaction. We moved back to the burbs and immediately started to work on those exposed gapping holes in our plans, thankful we were able to do so. Mental and Spiritual preparedness is as vital, if not more so than all others. Don't let anyone tell you, "you can't teach an old dog new tricks"! We're living proof, you can! For those hesitant, scared or feeling overwhelmed, think of it this way; "It's just knowledge I don't yet have" and the feeling of knowing that you know is far more powerful than any fear you need to face down.
Apologies for being so long winded... Lol

Thanks SO much for sharing

Preparedness Pro's picture
Thanks SO much for sharing this with us, Autumn Gal!! I hope that it inspires others! Way to go!!! *Happy Dance*

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