I bet you have heard it over and over again, that your “why” matters and it is important to your success in everything you do in life. But why?
Your “why”, which is your purpose behind what you do, is the ultimate driver for what you do. Meaning, when your “why” is weak, you will never stick to your plan.
Whenever you are faced with difficulties, challenges, and hardships, you will quickly give up and call it quit.
The reason is simple, when your purpose (your “why”) for what you do isn’t strong, empowering, interesting, or emotional, you will never want to do it, especially when the circumstances get hard or when there is something else that is more interesting appear.
Why Your “Why” is Everything
In his best-selling book, Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead, Laszlo Bock shared an incident encountered by Damon Dunn…
Before Damon Dunn became a professional football player and then founding a real-estate development firm, he attended Stanford University in the mid-90s.
Damon recalled heading to a Stanford fraternity party while he was a student. It was 11 PM, dark, and that night, it rained heavily.
Damon then noticed a lone figure at the driving range, methodically hitting golf balls. Thwack. Thwack. Thwack.
Four hours later, at 3 AM, Damon left the part for his dorm. Thwack. Thwack. The figure was still there, still hitting golf balls. Damon wandered over.
“Tiger, what are you doing out there hitting balls at 3 AM?”
“It doesn’t rain very often in Northern California,” replied the kid who went on to become one of the most successful golfers in history. “It’s the only chance I have to practice hitting in the rain.”
Are you committed to your goals like how Tiger Woods did? Are you 100% committed to achieving the success you want in life?
Be honest and answer the question above.
If your answer is a “no”, then you know why you’re not as successful as you wish you had. Because of your lack of commitment, you fail at your goals, you’re not playing at your potential, and you’re not living the life you dream about.
If your answer is a “yes”, there is a follow-up question: Are you willing to do whatever it takes to achieve the results you want?
Most people say that they are 100% committed, but when it comes to doing the work, they are not willing to go all out.
And do you know what determines if you’re committed? Your “why”.
When your purpose for your goal is strong and emotional, your “why” is strong, you become more committed, and you’re willing to do more than most people who lack the commitment.
Do you get it?
If you fail at your goals or are not living the successful life you want right now, it is because your “why” isn’t strong enough.
Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.Napoleon Hill
Yes, Napoleon Hill said it brilliantly. It is your desire/purpose/why that creates all of your achievements.
You do what you do because of your “why”. Here’s why your “why” matters…
1. It is your core motivation
Yes, your purpose behind what you do is your core motivation. Why do you want to work? Why do you want to go to the office? Well, for most people, they work because they need a salary to survive.
Hence, most people only care about getting paid. They don’t care about performing at their best or doing an excellent job. They just want to get paid because their “why” is to earn enough money to pay the bills and put food on the table.
If you work because of money, then you will lose your motivation when you have made enough money to meet your expectation.
After all, you’ve made enough to feed yourself and your family, so why do you want to work harder to earn more, right? Immediately, you become less committed.
This is why knowing your “why” is important if you want to achieve your goals and reach higher success.
Your purpose determines your motivation. When your purpose isn’t strong, so with your motivation.
If you work because you are passionate about your work and you are always looking forward to it, your motivation becomes inward. You’re not driven by the salary or the money anymore.
This shows why billionaires are still working. They don’t do it for the money. They work because of their passion and values.
2. It helps you make the right decision
Besides motivation, your “why” matters because it helps you make the right choice and decision.
- Should you watch TV or should you read a book?
- Should you exercise and workout or should you play computer games?
- Should you wake up and work on your goals or should you continue to sleep?
When you are clear with your “why”, you know what you need to do. It helps you make better decisions because you know your destination.
Have you seen people who are having tough times making decisions? They don’t know what to do over the week, they don’t know what to eat for lunch, and they have no idea what direction they should take in life.
That’s what happens when you lack a strong purpose in life.
3. It guides you through tough times
As I mentioned above, your “why” is your core motivation for what you do. When you have a strong purpose, you are able to go through tough times and persist until you succeed.
People who lack a strong “why” tend to be more fragile and give up when they face difficulties in their journey.
Think about your goals. Have you failed at any of your goals? Why is that? Most likely, it is because of a lack of a strong will…
Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.Mahatma Gandhi
This is why you need to have a strong purpose for what you do.
Like if you want to quit smoking or get back in shape, you need to have a strong “why” in order to stick to your plan and persist.
4. It gives you meaning
Yes, your “why” is your meaning. When you are chasing your purpose, you are working on something meaningful to you.
Most people don’t like their job because they lack purpose. They don’t like what they do because they don’t find their work to be meaningful.
When what you do is meaningful, you’ll be passionate about it. You will feel motivated, inspired, and always looking to perform at your best because you believe you are contributing to the world and society at large.
That’s the power of having a strong “why”. It gives you purpose and meaning in what you do.
Remember the story of the janitor at NASA? When the then-President John F. Kenney visited NASA, he saw a janitor and asked him what he was doing. And the janitor said, “I’m helping to put a man on Moon.”
That’s having a meaning in what you do.
When you have a purpose in what you do, the work becomes meaningful. The job doesn’t matter, but the meaning of the work does.
5. It sparks your passion
Finding it hard to be passionate about what you do? This is because you lack a strong and emotional “why”.
I find a lot of bloggers find it hard to maintain their blogs. They seem to find it hard to come up with the motivation to consistently publish quality articles.
I have been publishing on this blog for years now. And the reason I’m able to maintain my energy and drive is because I’m passionate about what I do. I love to blog and I love to share with you the ideas and tips about achieving greater success in life.
That’s what keeps me going.
What about you? Do you love what you do? Are you passionate about your goals?
If you don’t, you will find it difficult to maintain and be consistent with your work. And this is because you lack a strong and emotional “why”.
When you are pursuing your purpose, you’ll feel the enthusiasm and the passion within. You don’t need to be pushed; you will be pulled by your passion.
6. It provides you a sense of accomplishment
Yes, working on things that you find meaningful will give you a sense of accomplishment.
This is why when you hate your job, you will never fill accomplished or fulfilled even when you did a good job. You don’t see the meaning in doing it, so why bother about feeling accomplished, right?
There is a saying…
Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.Malcolm S. Forbes
You will enjoy the most when you are pursuing your purpose and succeed at it.
But if you are chasing something you don’t find meaningful, you will never appreciate your effort and the results you get.
7. It improves you and makes you the best
Improvement is crucial if you want to produce outstanding results in the things that you do. You can’t achieve extraordinary success if you’re not the best in what you do.
And the only way to become the best in what you do is through constantly improving yourself. And that can only happen when you pursue your mission with meaning and purpose.
Without meaning and purpose, you will never want to seek improvement.
As I said above, when you are passionate about what you do, you are willing to put in more time and are willing to learn to get better at it.
But when you’re not, you will never bother about getting good at it.
Your “why” is the reason either you work with a full-hearted attempt or a half-hearted one.
Of course, when you approach your work, life, or goals with a half-hearted attempt, you will never succeed. You will never produce outstanding results and succeed.
But when you put in 100% of your heart into what you do, you are willing to learn and improve. Plus, you’re not doing it for the sake of it, you do it because you love it.
That’s what differentiates between the ordinary and the extraordinary.
8. It shows you the way
A lot of people stuck at the “how”. They think the reason they fail is that they don’t know how or because they lack the ‘secret’ to achieve success.
No, this is a wrong perception. As what John Maxwell said it so well:
Find your why and you’ll find your way.John C. Maxwell
Often, it is not a matter of know-how. Instead, it is a matter of having the will, or the “why”.
When there is a will, there is a way.
Therefore, when your purpose is strong and your “why” is indomitable, you will eventually find a way.
Even if there’s no way, you will make one.
It is not about how do you get there, it is about why do you want to get there.
When your “why” becomes an absolute must, you will do whatever it takes. You will become unstoppable and nothing can prevent you from succeeding.
Extraordinary people like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, etc., are driven by a strong and empowering “why”.
They don’t let obstacles, challenges, and problems stop them.
They believe they can achieve what they want. And they did it despite all the obstacles and failures they received.
And in the end, they proved that they can do it. That’s because they started with a strong and powerful “why”.