Understanding Your Why

In the early 1900s Samuel Pierpont Langley set out to be the first man to fly an airplane. He was highly educated and ambitious and had friends in high places who funded his efforts, so he was able to use only the best materials. He also had a dream team of talent to help him achieve his goal.

Wilbur and Orville Wright’s passion for aeronautics and flying started when their father brought home a model helicopter made of cork, bamboo and paper that was powered by a rubber band. When they started working on their own flying machine they didn’t have any money or funding, and they didn’t have any college degrees. They had people helping them but no-one on their team had any advanced training. Yet, despite the odds against them the Wright Brothers beat Samuel Pierpont Langley to become the first people to fly an airplane. Why?

Langley had a goal, the Wright Brothers had a dream. Goals can be great, but they don’t motivate us as much as a dreams do. Dreams come from our heart and soul, they inspire us to be more, do more. Understanding your why is one of the most important discoveries you can make.

Why do You Want it?

The most important question you can ask yourself is, “Why do I want it?”

I ask this question in coaching often and one of the answers I often hear is, “I want to make a difference”.

But why do you want to make a difference?

We rarely get the real answer with just one question. If you asked yourself why you want it then followed that question with, “And what else?”, and you wrote your answers down each time you would get closer to what your deepest motivation is.

If you want a goal because your mind has worked out that this is the best way for you to achieve your dreams, then it won’t motivate you enough. Most people give up when they don’t see results but people with a compelling ‘why’ often persist even when the odds are against them.

My desire to provide my children with a decent life was my reason for going into business. As my children grew and became independent, I needed a new ‘why’. Curiosity is one of my gifts. Learning, researching, exploring, understanding and then sharing is what makes me feel alive. It keeps me young. My ‘why’ nowadays is still learning and sharing because this make me happier than anything else I do, it’s that simple.

Imagine someone asking you why they should do business with you, why they should support you, or why they should employ you. When you know your why, you inspire confidence. People trust you. When we have a compelling why, you wake up each day eager to start again. You find the time. You overcome your fears.

When you know your why, create a daily routine that supports you, and take steps to turn your dream into reality, you can forget how it will manifest. The ‘how’ is less important than the ‘why’, as it often takes care of itself.