Yes, we talked about this a little bit already but let’s do a bit more with it.
I’m not going to lie. Finding your Why is difficult.
If you find it to be an easy exercise then you’re probably not going deep enough.
It’s important to understand that your Why has to be something that YOU truly believe in.
It’s not something you come up with and then next decide you don’t believe in that anymore.
Will I ever stop believing that everyone deserves the opportunity to pursue the lifestyle of their dreams?
That doesn’t mean I believe everyone will pursue it or even achieve it.
Qualities of a Good Why
I’m not an expert on Why.
However, I’ve come up with a ton over the years and I always see a pattern that tends to work for me.
Here are some of the qualities that I find in the Whys that I create that seem to stick.
1. One Sentence
People tend to get worried about their Whys not encompassing enough. As we say in the previous lesson, a good Why isn’t limiting.
However, people will tack on more and more things to their Why just to cover their ass.
Your ass is fine.
It doesn’t need to be covered any more.
2. Belief and Result
The pattern that I’ve found that works best for me when it comes to a Why is having a belief and a result.
I believe that everybody deserves the opportunity to pursue the lifestyle of their dreams.
I believe that life is more enjoyable when money isn’t an issue.
I believe that you are happier when your body feels good.
Each of these Whys start with a belief and end with a result.
- …pursue their dreams
- …money isn’t an issue
- …body feels good
Those things kind of lead you into the How and What.
Notice I didn’t try to include a million different results and yet by just having one result, it doesn’t feel limiting at all?
3. An Emotional Pull
Every time I come up with a Why that I believe in, I feel something in my heart.
I always feel the sudden urge to help out the world because I know my Why is going to make the world a better place.
That’s why you’re coming up with a Why. It’s your foundation.
It’s also going to help you see the transformation that you’re going to help your Hero with.
Your Why is something you’ll want to put on t-shirts, posters, and billboards.
4. Based on Experience
It’s really hard to come up with a Why that you feel personally involved in if you haven’t experienced it yourself.
You know when you come up with an idea for your business it’s usually from something you’ve experienced that you feel can help people.
It’s usually the What and that’s okay, but it’s important to understand why that’s how you think.
When you go through an experience and come out the other side with a solution, that feeling that you have is the same feeling you want others to experience.
You think people want the solution but they really want the feeling that the solution offers.
They want the improvement.
That’s the whole secret of business.
I’ve helped others form their Whys but because I didn’t go through the experiences that would help shape the Why, I didn’t feel any emotional connection to them.
When you’ve actually gone through some of the transformations yourself, your Why becomes more powerful.
Putting it Together
So how do you find your Why?
If you want, you can just go straight to trying to piece it together.
As you’ve seen, I follow the same pattern always.
I believe that ________ deserves/should/can __________.
The first blank is a person or group and the second blank is what they can do.
And don’t feel obligated to stick with this structure. I just use it because it works best for me and I’m sure there are more words than just deserves, should, or can.
But I’m not a thesaurus so you’re on your own with that.
If you find yourself struggling to piece something together then start by telling a story.
Something that relates to what you’re trying to do and make the story-specific.
Here is mine:
It seemed like every single day when my parents came home from work they would complain about their jobs. They weren’t paid enough. They couldn’t get time off. Their boss did something crappy.
It was always something.
Every happy moment in their life was when they were away from work.
If they had been born a little bit later in life, they would have the potential of the Internet to help them see that they don’t have to be miserable to take care of their family.
This is the basis for what I do here. It’s not like one day I woke up and decided I wanted to help people avoid the life my parents had to live.
It was rooted in something and I didn’t know it at the time but seeing how miserable my parents were had a lasting impact in what I wanted to do.
Sure, the lesson simply could’ve been that I should create businesses for myself and live a happier life but I’ve always enjoyed helping people. It makes me feel more alive.
So in this story, you start to see some themes that you can extract. But notice how specific I would get. I could’ve gotten way more specific and honed in on a certain day.
The more specific you can get, the easier it will be to see your purpose and why you do the things you do.
Don’t Rush It
Again, I’m not going to pretend it’s easy. Some people can nail their Why and they know they have it while others take days or weeks to finally put things into the right words.
Don’t feel like this is make or break and you can’t move forward with the rest of the Hero Journey.
In fact, maybe going through the other lessons will clarify things a bit more for you and you can come back and understand you Why.