What Is Your Why? Your Guide To Finding Happiness

what is your whyAll of us have dreams and goals we want to achieve in life. Some of us want to get in better shape. Others want more money. Still others want to find the love of their life. If you are like many, your first step in reaching this goal is to do a search online for “how to (insert dream/goal here)”. We then read through the results and take action. And then we fail.

We become frustrated with the fact that things didn’t turn out the way we hoped, that we didn’t reach our dream. The reason we failed is because we overlooked the first step in the process. The first step isn’t to figure out how to achieve your goal or dream, it’s to know what is your why.

What Is Your Why?

What do I mean when I say what is your why? I am simply asking you to define why you want to achieve your dream. If you simply want to lose weight, chances are you are going to fail. You need to answer the question what is your why. Why do you want to lose the weight? Once you answer this question, you then can begin the path to achieving your goal.

Your why is what defines you. It is what drives you every single day. When you wake up, still exhausted, your why gets you out of bed. It makes you the best person you can be.

But Sometimes Your Why Is Wrong

Even after answering what is your why, many people still fail to reach their goal. Why is this? Because they didn’t truly identify their why. Maybe you thought your why was to look good in the mirror when in reality, your why is so that you can stop talking down on yourself and calling yourself fat. Don’t just accept the first what is your why that enters your head. You need to dig deep to determine the true why.

Once you are able to correctly identify your why, it is only then when you will be successful. You can read every book and article on how to lose weight and still fail miserably at it. Why? Because you never answered the question, what is your why. When you know why you want something and truly want it bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen. Nothing will stand in your way of achieving success.

Asking yourself what is your why is just another way of figuring out what is motivating you to reach your goals. When you answer the question, your answer needs to spark an emotional reaction in you. Using the example above of you looking good in the mirror, that isn’t strong enough emotional motivation for most. You need to dig deeper and figure out what the root issue is, what the root motivation is.

From Rags To Riches

There’s a story of a man that as a boy, his family was extremely poor. His father left his mother and his sister at a young age and all through his childhood, he watched his mother struggle to put food on the table. Many nights, he watched his mother choose to go hungry just so this boy and his sister could eat.

This left such an impact on his life, he decided that he never wanted to be that poor ever again in his life. He did whatever it took to get into college, then graduate school. He worked his way up the corporate ladder, eventually becoming the head of a major company. His why was never wanting to see his family that poor, to never see his mother choose to not eat so that his sister and him could eat. He found a way to reach his goals because he found his why.

Your Guide To Finding Your Why

If you need a step-by-step guide for how to find your why, I outline it below. While going through this process isn’t foolproof , it will help you to better identify your why.

#1. Make A List

Sit down and create a list of all the things you love to do. Don’t limit this to just hobbies or work related things. List everything you love to do.

#2. Ask Yourself Why

Once you have your list, you need to go item by item and figure answer why each thing is important to you. Then you need to answer why it is important that these things are in your life. What would your life look like without them?

#3. Make Another List

Now I want you to make a list of the things you are currently doing in your life. This is a completely separate list and should not match or mirror your first list. If there is some duplication between the two, that is fine. But don’t get stressed out if there isn’t any overlap.

#4. Compare Lists

Now I want you to take some time and compare the two lists. This will be eye-opening for some of you. You will see that what you are currently doing is nothing like what you love to do. And this could be the reason for your unhappiness.

For example, maybe helping others is important to you. But your job has you working 80 hours a week crunching numbers. It is no wonder why you might be miserable.

#5. Take Action

Once you see what is important to you and how it compares to what you are currently doing, it is time to take action. I encourage you to start off small. Using the example above, it would be much easier to volunteer on the weekends helping others than to do something drastic like quit your job.

Take things slowly. Try to find ways to fit in the things that are important to you in your life. You can do this by pausing before doing anything and asking yourself why you are doing this. It will help you to choose not to do one thing and instead do something that is more meaningful to you.

The Issue With Your Job

Your job is important as it helps to provide for you and your family. Unfortunately, not everyone gets to work a job that meets their inner dreams. You don’t want to just quit one day without a plan.

Use the tips above to try to find other ways to get fulfillment in your life. This will make your job much more tolerable.

As you do this, you can start to work to find ways to potentially change careers so that your job is more meaningful to you. Remember, your current job isn’t a life sentence. You can make changes.

You just want to make sure you have done the work before you make a large change in your life. This means you put yourself in the best possible shape for a career change.

  • You build up an emergency fund and pay off debts. Doing this will allow you to possibly take a pay cut in order to do something you love.
  • You become the best you possible. Maybe your ideal career requires a new skill set. Get the education or certification you need before quitting your current job.
  • Talk things over with your family. Make sure everyone is on board. The last thing you want to do is surprise them with a career change. Even though you think the change impacts you, it impacts your entire family.

Final Thoughts

So, what is your why? Why do you want the things you want in this life? If you want to achieve these goals, you need to first start out answering this question. Remember, I could tell you exactly what you need to do to reach your goals, but it won’t matter unless you know what motivates you, what drives you every day.

Below is a short video I found addressing this very topic. I hope it helps to drive the point home.

[Photo Credit: Unsplash]

8 thoughts on “What Is Your Why? Your Guide To Finding Happiness”

  1. You make a great point here. It’s so important to define your goals and what you want to achieve. How else are you supposed to achieve them? If you don’t define where you want to go and why you want to get there, you’re probably not going to be as focused and determined to reach them.

    It’s like you said, people can know the steps they need to take, but unless they understand why they want to take them, they won’t get very far.

    1. If you don’t define those steps, you will just be meandering around, never making any progress. This will lead to frustration and eventually failure.

  2. A great reminder for anyone with goals! 🙂

    I think that explicitly defining your goals even before you start working on it can help you in a big way. This way, you can associate all the tasks you need to do with your long-terms goals and not just do them mindlessly. 🙂

    1. Very true Gloria! The more vague you are with your goals, the less likely you will be in succeeding with them.

  3. When I decided to lose weight (AFTER failed weight loss surgery!), my therapist had me write down a whole list of “why’s.” I think I came up with about fifty. Thanks for the post. It is SO important to define your “why’s.”

  4. Aside from market research and analysis, your why is the most essential thing to figure out when addressing what you want to do.

    The most influential book I have read on the subject is, “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek

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