One of my most popular recent posts on LinkedIn was:
What is your WHY – your purpose? What drives you to play the long game and work toward your goals? I want to hear from you!
I am delighted it resonated with my connections. Yet every single person who responded gave me their what not their why.
It’s an important distinction.
Your what is your goal.
Your why is your purpose.
Connecting them joins your Being with your Doing.
Purpose or Your Why is what keeps you going when you’re in the weeds, slogging through the messy middle, treading water for what feels like forever, when you can’t see the forest or the trees…without it, it’s easier to quit.
Your Why is why you won’t quit.
FYI – don’t confuse purpose with noble cause. That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself and likely a limiting belief plus…not the point.
Purpose is simply, truly, why. It needs to mean something to you, it should be in line with your values or something that makes you feel good. A deeply held feeling that you honor.
I fell in love with Morocco on a recent trip and decided I want to learn French so that when (not if) I go back I can communicate with people (Arabic, alas, is beyond my grasp). This motive has sparked me to daily language practice via the duolingo app that – sigh – I can only wish I could’ve tapped into when I struggled with German, French and Italian through high school and college.
Purpose is different for everyone:
Providing for your family
Giving back to the community
Making the world a better place
Proving them wrong
Making people smile
Spreading your good news
Doing what you were meant to do
How to find your why if you’re not sure: Identify your goal. Then ask…because why?
Keep repeating because why until you hit your AHA! oh, that’s why and you’ve found your purpose.