You have often heard that to be successful, you need to know your why. Knowing why you want what you want will propel you into action and make you unstoppable. Is this true?
In short, the answer is a “Yes”.
When you are clear with why you want what you want, you will come up with plans to achieve it. You will crack your head and ask around how you can get there.
Your why – the purpose behind what you do is the driving force.
There is a saying, “When there is a will, there will be a way,” and it all depends on your will. When you know your why with clarity, you will act and do whatever it takes to get what you want.
Why “knowing your why” is vital to your success in what you do.
Let me give you a metaphor…
Imagine if I put a 10-inch wide and 30-foot long plank on the ground and ask you to walk on it and I’ll give you $50, will you do it?
Of course, it’s as easy as drinking water.
Now, what if I take the same plank and put it between two 20-story buildings, making it a “sky bridge”, will you cross it for $50?
Most people will say no. This is because the risk has been greatly increased. You can fall and you can die, right?
However, if your child is on the opposite building and that building is on fire, will you walk the plank to save him?
Without a doubt, you will cross the plank and to the other to save your child, with or without my $50, you will do it.
So why is it that you will want to cross the plank the second time and why you don’t want to do it when your child is not there?
What has changed? Well, your “why” has changed.
In the first scenario, the plank is between the two buildings and you don’t want to cross it because your life is at risk. You can fall and die.
But in the second scenario, with the same risk, you choose to walk across because you want to save your child. Your why has changed.
“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.” – Napoleon Hill
Can you see the difference why your why is important in determining your success in life?
You do what you do because of your purpose – your why.
Your “why” is the reason whether you succeed or fail at your goals.
Now that you understand why people fail at their goals. They don’t follow their plans because they don’t have a strong, powerful, and emotional “why”.
Success requires hard work and time. That means you need to pour in consistent effort to achieve greatness in life. Thus, without a strong and emotional reason to back you up, you will give up whenever things become difficult.
Everyone knows that they need to exercise on a regular basis to maintain their health and to stay fit, but most people fail to do it consistently because their desire is not strong enough.
Until one day, when their health takes a toll on them, only then they have the desire, the motivation, the willpower, the reason to exercise.
This is why knowing your why is important.
It is the force behind what you do. When you choose to continue to sleep instead of getting up and work on your goals, it is because you don’t have a strong purpose for your goals.
When something becomes a must-achieve, you will do whatever it takes. But when your purpose is not strong enough, it fails to motivate you to act.
You will fail at your plans. You will fail at your goals. And you will choose to do something that is more pleasurable and enjoyable rather than acting on your goals.
Why most people don’t have a strong and powerful “why” that drives them.
There are many reasons, really. But one of the most common ones is that most people have been conditioned to want what others want.
When they see that people are driving a better car, they want it. And so they set it as a goal to buy that new and more expensive car.
When they see someone makes a lot of money from their internet business, they want one too. They then make a plan to start an online business. But eventually, they fail.
The reason is that starting an online business, or owning that expensive car, is not what they truly want.
They see what others get and they say, “how good if I can have one too”.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain
As a result, their desire, their why, their purpose for getting the car, for building the internet business, is not strong enough.
And whenever they face difficulties and challenges along the way, they quit and give up.
As I said above, people fail to achieve their goals because they fail to be consistent with their actions and plans. They simply don’t follow through what they have set out to achieve.
Things will be a lot different if it is something that you truly want.
Take love as an example. When you truly love someone, the deeply rooted feelings are all over you. Your desire to be with him or her is strong. You are willing to do whatever it takes to take care of your lover and be with him or her.
But if the feeling and desire aren’t strong, you will not do much for your partner.
Hence, develop the power of your why. Find out your purpose why you want to achieve your goals.
When your purpose is clear and when you know your why, you become unstoppable.
Finding Your Why Behind Your Goals
Now comes one of the most interesting questions, so how do you find your why?
1. Read to understand more
First, I strongly suggest you read this book from Simon Sinek, Start With Why.
You will get a clear picture of how when you know your why, nothing can stop you. The book explains how successful people are all driven behind a strong why.
And if you want to be successful and achieve amazing results in life, too, you must identify your why. And the book shows you how.
Now, how do you find out what drives you? And how can you channel your inner drive to achieve greatness in life? Read this article:
2. Ask yourself the self-discovery questions
Next, ask yourself some self-discovery questions. Here are a few good ones to start with:
- Is this what I really want to achieve?
- What is my definition of success?
- Where are my passions?
- If I were to do this every day for the next 10 years, will I still do it?
- If money were no object, what would I do?
- Where do I want to be in the next 10 years?
Asking yourself questions is a good way to finding out your why. After all, the word “why” itself possess a question.
3. Act and involve yourself
The next thing you can do is to act on it. Take massive action and make progress.
If you have never tried sushi before, how do you know if you’re going to like it? The fastest way is to just try it.
The same goes for your why. How do you know if something is what you really want or if you have a strong passion and desire for your goal? Well, just do it.
When you make progress and take action, you involve yourself in the process. And this is the easiest way to find out if you will love doing it.
If you want to learn more about living your life with passion and purpose, read my previous article:
4. Write it down
Another great way to finding your why is to write it down.
Never underestimate what you can achieve by writing things down. You can write down your dreams, your visions, your goals, ideas, or whatever thoughts that you have.
According to this article from LifeHack.org, writing things down can change your life. When you put your thoughts on paper:
- It clears your mind for higher-level thinking.
- It helps you process your emotions.
- It gives you a record of the past.
- You gain a sense of achievement.
- It helps you think big.
- It makes you more committed.
And if you are still not convinced that writing things down can help you discover your why, read this book Write It Down, Make It Happen.
Finding your why may require time and self-discovery. But knowing why you do what you do is too vital to ignore.
As what you have learned, when you know your why and your reason behind, you can become unstoppable.
Never again fail to follow through your plans and goals. You can achieve what you want when you have a strong and powerful purpose for it.
Remember, when there is a will, there is a way. Period.