This is a guest post by Corbett Barr. Corbett blogs about Lifestyle Design at Free Pursuits. He recently returned from a six-month road trip through Mexico with his wife and dog.

If you read Robb Sutton’s blog, you’re probably interested in building a successful business or blog. That’s great, but do you really know why you want to? Are you looking to express yourself, escape from your job, make some extra money, get rich or something else?

If you’re like me, it’s much easier to be motivated and successful at something when you know the real reasons for doing it. This is especially true when working for someone else, but it’s also important (and often overlooked) when working for yourself.

You might think “because I want to” is a good enough reason to keep you moving in the right direction. It’s definitely easy to start something “because you want to.” But, what keeps you motivated when things aren’t going perfectly, or there is real “work” involved?

Take a Step Back

There are a whole bunch of reasons we decide to do things in life, and most of those reasons are actually beyond our own desires. There are societal norms and expectations, pressure from friends and family, and our own perceptions about the world and what we’re capable of.

Most of these perceptions and expectations influence us to “just fit in” or otherwise remain part of the status quo. The typical life plan that most of us default into teaches us to become corporate drones, working 40-60 hours or more every week while living for the weekends and a few weeks of vacation every year.

Once we start on that path, it’s damn hard to break free. The status quo also usually involves becoming part of the competitive consumerist cycle that piles on debt in an attempt to find fulfillment in buying more stuff. There’s a self-reinforcing nature to the cycle, and soon enough all we can hope for is either a) getting rich somehow to become “king of the hill,” or b) retiring at a reasonable age while we still have our health to escape the rat race and finally pursue the things we’re interested in.

Why does it have to be that way? Why can’t we live a life we want to now, without being rich or retired?

When you think about the things that really make you happy in life, work is probably not high on the list. Money is definitely on the list, but probably not as important as most people make it out to be. Time and health are definitely important, because we can’t create more of them. Mobility is also important to most people, because being mobile means we can visit friends and family and travel to new and exciting places.

When you compare this list of things that are important (time, health, friends/family, mobility, money, work) to the list of things you would think are important by the way typical Americans live our lives (money, work, friends/family, health, time, mobility), you have to wonder how the typical lifestyle go t so far off track.

Back to your Blog or Business

That brings us back to your blog or business. Undoubtedly, you started it to achieve more of what you really want from life. What I’m encouraging you to do is to really think about what’s important in life, so you can know what real success would mean for your business. If you don’t do that, you may end up working for yourself, but in all other ways, you’ll still be on the hamster wheel of the status quo.

When you start with what’s really important, you’ll find it easier to stay motivated when times are tough. This is what will lead you to success as well, because success will have a firm definition instead of being a moving target.

So you blog, so what? What’s really important to you in life? How will your blog or business help you achieve what really matters? Please share your plan in the comments!

Image by Pulpolux !!!

Corbett Barr blogs about Lifestyle Design at Free Pursuits. He recently returned from a six-month road trip through Mexico with his wife and dog.