Defining Your “Why”

Life is short and full of many experiences and decisions. All of us should strive to live a life filled with purpose. So, how do we do that? We need to define our “why”. We need to understand what motivates us and “why” we do the things we are doing. Why do we get out of bed in the morning? Why do we go to work? Why do we work at our current job? Why did we have kids?

Think about children, from the time they are toddlers and able to talk, they fill their parents ears with why questions. This is how they learn about the world and how to successfully navigate it. As adults we get really busy, stop asking and just start doing. This is why many people find themselves unhappy in their lives and jobs.

Your “why” is the compass for you to set successful goals and make decisions based on purpose and motivation. If you do not understand why you are doing something, you will not be happy or successful.


According to an article by developing good habits(, here are the most important reasons to define your why:

  • It provides clarity in your life
  • It infuses you with passion for your goals
  • It keeps you focused on your goals
  • It helps you live a longer and happier life
    • many studies have shown that having a purpose in life leads to a longer lifespan in adults
  • It helps you develop resilience
    • When you encounter a setback, having a purpose helps you to better understand and move forward from the setback
  • It allows you to live a life with integrity

How can you develop your why? 

  • Start by drafting your why statement, which should you be the reason you get out of bed everyday.
  • Next ask yourself these questions:
    • What/Who do I love and why?
    • What are my dreams and why are they important?
    • What are my goals and why are they important?
    • What brings me joy in life and where do I find it?
    • When are you not happy?
    • Why do you value this over that?

Here are some common why’s that result from thinking about the questions above:

  • Providing for my family
  • leaving a legacy
  • Having a positive impact
  • Changing the world
  • Felling loved
  • Financial success
  • To have fun in my journey through life
  • To make my kids proud
  • To make my parents proud
  • To leave the world better than I found it

Now, take some time and think about your why, your purpose. Do this alone and undistracted. Take some time to really be self aware. Everyone’s why should be specific to them, so don’t just copy one from above.  You may find your why in the list above, but make sure you put in the time to ensure that really is your “why”.

I believe in you!