What’s Your Why?  When I hit the three-year mark in my own business, I did what many business owners and entrepreneurs do, I hit a wall.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to find my way around it, over it, or through it.  It wasn’t my sales or marketing skills, it wasn’t the delivery of my services, it was something bigger that I could not figure out.  It’s funny how the world works, but I ended up at a coaches conference at about this time and in the first hour of the first day of a 3 day conference, I learned what my wall was all about.  What was missing was that deep something inside of each of us that inspires and motivates us to keep going, to want to achieve more – I had lost contact with my WHY.

Your WHY is that internal motivator that keeps you going when the going gets tough – it is your personal inspiration that drives you to stay the extra hour, run the extra mile, make the hard decisions. It’s something larger than you.  So let’s take a look at what goes into your “why”.

For the engineers in the audience, the formula that I use is (T/G) + (Pa) + (Pu) + (F) + (B) + (V) +(C) = WHY, which is defined as follows.

Talents/Gifts – What are your natural talents and gifts?  How do you use them to make the world a better place?  We are all born with certain talents and gifts, and we are most fulfilled when we use them for the benefit of all around us. 

Passion – What are you passionate about?  What is your favorite cause, what stirs up your emotions and fills you with energy?  What makes you want to jump out of bed and get going in the morning?

Purpose – Your purpose is your intended outcome that guides your decisions and actions.  What is it that you intend to achieve in the end? How do you want to impact the world?

Faith – Faith is expressed in many ways, and includes both belief in a higher power and belief in humanity.  It is also described as complete confidence in a person, plan, power, etc…

Beliefs – Your beliefs are those ideas that you hold to be true.  They are not necessarily factually true, but they are the truth in your mind.  They can range from simple beliefs about yourself and your capacity to learn or achieve, to more complex beliefs about money, family and society.  We are all limited by our beliefs, and rarely achieve beyond them.

Values – Your values are those things and ideas which you hold to be important.  What are the concepts that are important to your core?  Values are the basis for your decision-making.

Courage – Courage is “a quality of spirit that enables you to face danger or pain without showing fear”.  It is the ability to rise above those around you who shrink at the slightest hint of risk to do what you know is right and good, to act with conviction of purpose and in accordance with your values, no matter how difficult it seems.

So take a look inside of yourself and rate yourself in each of the categories.  Spend some time acknowledging your talents and gifts, rediscover your passions.  Define your intended outcomes, your purpose.  Revisit your faith, identify actions to strengthen it, regardless of its source or destination.  Identify your positive beliefs about yourself and reinforce them, make a concerted effort to overcome your negative beliefs, replacing them with new positive beliefs to work towards.  Gain clarity about your values, and make sure that your actions and decisions are congruent with them.  Lastly, have courage, and continue to take the high road, do what you know is right whether it is popular or not, and never look back on what might have been.  Our futures are in front of us, not behind us.

Extra credit:  Read Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why”

Get in touch for more ideas on finding Your Why.