Do you ever meet people that just seem to know exactly where they are going in life? They are confident about the direction they are taking and even turn down amazing opportunities that make no sense to you? And when most people would quit they just get back up and keep going.
What is their secret?
Their “secret” is knowing their WHY.
Simon Sinek says this the best in his book Start with Why (affiliate link). “Your why is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do.”
They have taken the time to define their “why.” That “why” guides them when tempted to get off track or when the going gets tough. They know why they are on the road they are on because they have a destination in mind and are working on getting there.
1. It will motivate and keep you focused.
Let’s say you want to write a book. It’s going great but suddenly you hit a roadblock and you feel like quitting. That’s when your “why” reminds you why you are writing the book. Without that “why” you are just floundering around.
2. It will keep you from saying yes to opportunities that are not aligned with your “why” no matter how good they are.
I have two “why” that are closely related. One is to spend more time with my Mom. My mom is getting up there in age and I don’t want to have the regret of not spending enough time with her.
My other “why” is that I love helping people so coaching became a natural path for me. I also love to write so starting a blog made sense. In addition I love to travel and inspire people with my photography.
Because my “why” is to spend more time with my Mom pursuing a business model that can be done via the internet will allow me to spend more time with her. Pursuing a business model that involves brick and mortar like an office does not.
If you called me with an amazing job offer doing the things I love but the job required me to work out of an office I would turn that offer down in a second. A job that does not allow me to work remotely does not align with my “why.”
3. It will help you define what you don’t want.
Instead of focusing only on the things you want, take some time to define your ‘do not want.’ That too will help you stay on track when the going gets tough, when amazing opportunities arise and when you have to work on defining your “why.” What is it that you don’t want in your life?
If you don’t take the time to define your “why” before you start a project, goal or other then it’s kind of like spinning in circles hoping it works out. Eventually it may but you’re going to be dizzy by the time you do.
I’ve spun in circles many times but now when I understand the importance of defining my “why” there’s a lot less spinning and whole lot more doing.
I would love to hear your thoughts on defining your why. Do you think it can benefit you or not? Share in the comments.
AWESOME!! AWESOME!! AWESOME!! This is what I need to discover!! My “WHY”!
I know what I want it to be but is that what it should be? I need to read the book you referred too…
I really needed this today. Thank you!! Thank you!!!
Thanks! That’s so awesome to hear that reading this is just what you needed! It’s hard to ignore the chatter of “is this what it should be?” Trust your instinct and your heart. It already knows what’s right. Writing things down helps too. It’s amazing what a “brain dump” onto paper can do in order for you to see things more clearly. Keep me posted on your progress…
Such a simple theory yet harder in practice for me to remember. I need to make my “why” central to everything I do…almost like a mantra 🙂
It is hard…especially when we are dealing with “the shiny object” phenomena and the love for so many things but once you have your “why” down it really gives you a new focus. Pretty cool when that happens.