I Get That’s Your What…But What’s Your Why?

One of my most popular recent posts on LinkedIn was:

What is your WHY – your purpose? What drives you to play the long game and work toward your goals? I want to hear from you!

I am delighted it resonated with my connections. Yet every single person who responded gave me their what not their why.

It’s an important distinction.

Your what is your goal.

Your why is your purpose.

Connecting them joins your Being with your Doing.

Motivation requires motive as Shad Halmstetter says. People with a strong sense of purpose are 70% more likely to reach their goals according to Ben Angel.

Purpose or Your Why is what keeps you going when you’re in the weeds, slogging through the messy middle, treading water for what feels like forever, when you can’t see the forest or the trees…without it, it’s easier to quit.

Your Why is why you won’t quit.

FYI – don’t confuse purpose with noble cause. That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself and likely a limiting belief plus…not the point.

Purpose is simply, truly, why. It needs to mean something to you, it should be in line with your values or something that makes you feel good. A deeply held feeling that you honor.

I fell in love with Morocco on a recent trip and decided I want to learn French so that when (not if) I go back I can communicate with people (Arabic, alas, is beyond my grasp). This motive has sparked me to daily language practice via the duolingo app that – sigh – I can only wish I could’ve tapped into when I struggled with German, French and Italian through high school and college.

Purpose is different for everyone:

Providing for your family

Giving back to the community

Making the world a better place

Proving them wrong

Making people smile

Feeling good

Spreading your good news

Doing what you were meant to do

How to find your why if you’re not sure: Identify your goal. Then ask…because why?

Keep repeating because why until you hit your AHA! oh, that’s why and you’ve found your purpose.