Is My "Why" Good Enough?
Do you ever worry that your “why” isn’t good enough?
The value of "why" has been a rallying cry for years, and from Simon Sinek to Tony Robbins we know that when you find your WHY, you’ll be able to persevere and find success. But how DO you find your "why?"
And what makes a “why” worthy of being one?
When you read or listen to inspirational authors and speakers, their "why" sounds amazing. It's well crafted, thoughtful, and packs a big punch. It's easy to feel that the reasons we do something aren't good enough in comparison. How do you top--or match--"inspir[ing] others to do what inspires them"?
But the purpose of "why" is not to impress. It's to motivate.
That's the core of what a "why" really is. It's what pulls you forward. It's the passion under the surface, the reason to jump out of bed in the morning. But it doesn't have to be grandiose to be effective. Sometimes it's the little things that matter most to us. Personally, I’ll get out of bed for a really good cup of hot chocolate. Because it brings me joy.
And that’s a good starting place for a why--what brings you joy? What makes the world around you just a little bit better?
Comparing your why to others is a surefire way to kill confidence.
It's important to remember that your "why" for today does not need to be the same "why" tomorrow. Every day you learn, grow, and change, and your primary motivations will change right along with you.
I became a graphic designer because I like to make things pretty and I needed to make money. It really was as simple as that. Call me shallow, but I like making things that are pretty, and people were willing to pay me for it. When I moved from being a graphic designer to a marketing consultant, it was because my "why" had changed. Money, while nice, was no longer a primary motivator. It was replaced with a greater purpose: I am passionate about helping small business owners connect with customers by creating marketing they can be proud of--and that looks pretty.
I never would have gotten to my current why if I hadn’t had my first why.
It can be easy to have “why envy,” and think that someone else’s “sweet spot” is sweeter than yours. But it’s not an apples to apples comparison. What brings them joy and what brings you joy aren’t comparable. Humans are too unique for that kind of measuring stick to be accurate. And who knows where someone else's why started?
If your "why" motivates YOU--that’s all you need. Today’s motivation will lead to tomorrow’s actions, and tomorrow’s actions will determine your life.
Is your “why” good enough? It depends on what you do with it.