Knowing Your ‘Why’ Is More Important Than ‘How’ or ‘What’

Put your hand up if you’ve ever eagerly started a new goal – say declaring this is the year you finally write your novel or launch a thriving side business. (I see myself wildly waving both hands too!) ✋✋

In the brilliant blaze of our initial enthusiasm, we naturally fixate on the object of our desires – plotting what lucrative venture we’ll build or visualizing ourselves typed away at our completed manuscript. Our strategizing minds quickly analyze the tactical steps to make it happen.

Yet when life inevitably happens, as it always does, how quickly does that early zeal fade? Roadblocks arise that our careful plans and how-to steps didn’t predict. Discipline wavers. Progress stalls. Initial glittering resolve mysteriously evaporates because our brains privilege pleasure today over dreams requiring years-long toil.

But what if sustainable motivation lies less in the tangible vision itself versus why that ambitious feat profoundly matters to us? What if attaching to the purpose beneath the desire is key to persevering through mud and storms on the long slog towards milestones that once sparked us?

The truth is this: clearly knowing your authentic why gives meaning, rouses relentless daily effort, and provides the profound emotional pull to persevere against all external and internal odds. Your why gets to the bedrock foundation on which goals and dreams must be built to outlast inevitable storms.

This article will break down exactly why your WHY matters infinitely more than HOW or WHAT you’re pursuing. Plus, tangible tips for unearthing your unique WHY to turn any endeavor from draining slog to fulfilling self-expression.

Knowing Your 'Why' Is More Important Than 'How' or 'What' | Featured Image

The Power of WHY 

Knowing your authentic WHY gives:

Clarity – It brings your deepest, often subconscious drivers to the surface so you operate with full self-awareness rather than reactiveness. Intention overrides inertia.  

Conviction – Purpose-centered goals hit more than intellect – they rouse our soul. When your heart swells from a vision bigger than yourself, you’ll elicit your best work. Passion beats obligation.

Staying Power – When the path grows steep, revisiting WHY this venture matters reconnects you to the emotional pull and meaning needed to persevere. The WHY is the heartstring reeling you in.  

Grit – Researchers found goals fueled intrinsically by self-actualization cultivate more grit and resilience. Driven by inner purpose rather than external validation, you persist despite repetitive failures and dead ends longer.

Simplicity – As strategies and decisions complexify, your WHY is the Occam’s razor cutting through noise. By continually realigning tactics and options back to foundational purpose, choices become simpler. 

Finding Your Authentic WHY

Uncovering the WHY propelling your deepest ambitions requires looking inward rather than outward. Tune into your soul’s whispered yearnings beyond societal acclaim. Mine is what truly makes you feel alive.

Proven techniques that help unearth your intrinsic WHY include:  

Asking Why Repeatedly – Keep drilling down when wanting something new. Why do you crave it? Peel labels like “success” or “freedom” further by asking what deeper emotional need those represent – is it connection? Expression? Security? Adventure? At the core lies your WHY.  

Assessing Environments – What topics, people, cultures, and subcultures most capture your curiosity and joy? The contexts we’re organically drawn toward point big arrows at our underlying motivators. 

Paying Attention to Your Feelings – Our emotions offer trailheads into our deepest cares and convictions. Do you crave the spotlight? Does providing practical help feel fulfilling? Follow these breadcrumbs.

As your WHY comes into focus, affirm it loudly! Let its light guide decisions and invigorate persistence. Stay true to this inner wisdom, and you’ll manifest epic wins that never leave you empty. 

I can’t overstate the potency of leading each endeavor from the solid bedrock of your WHY before determining HOW and WHAT. Outcomes feel hollow when not rooted in purpose.. But perhaps Helen Keller captured this truth most perfectly:

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

Helen Keller
"The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision." ~ Helen Keller | Quote Graphic


When what you’re pursuing flows from inner truth rather than external benchmarks, you unlock stores of tenacity and vigor needed to persist over years. Though the path twists and turns, your fundamental why remains the compass preventing you from losing direction. 

While tactics evolve, purpose centered on self-actualization endures – helping you simplify choices. Know your why. And you’ll discover there’s almost nothing you can’t achieve.

Success Minded

Writer & Motivator with a goal of Inspiring and Helping 1 Million people across the globe to reach their goals. Join the largest self-improvement community on Twitter (700K+) over at @_SuccessMinded_

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