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Understanding your 'why'

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

Only 8% of people who say they have a goal or who set a new year resolution ever achieve it.

Breaking free from the social narrative around how you should be living your life, and being honest with yourself about what you actually want to do and why, and what you don’t want to do and why not is crucial to defining life on your terms. Here’s why it’s important to understand your ‘why’.

A piece of paper pinned on a noticeboard that reads 'We start from why'

This is what people currently do…

Most people don’t actually know what they really want. They might think they know or have some idea but very few have clarity on exactly what they want and what success looks like for them.

The rules that society encourages us to live by; living in a big house, driving an expensive car, buying the latest fashion, are extrinsically motivating. Achieving them provides external validation but they ultimately don’t make us any happier.

What does impact the way we feel is working towards goals that are intrinsically motivating; they are personally meaningful to you and contribute to your core needs and wants.

This is why they don’t get the results they want…

Many focus on setting SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Yet too often these goals are led by the left brain which is more analytical and methodical (compared to the right brain which is more creative and artistic). It focuses on building a 7 figure business or saving up to buy a house or a better car. In actual fact, your goals are never really about the ‘thing’ you think you’re going after, they're about how you think achieving the goal will make you feel.

For example, you might want to look and feel better. Your left brain tells you that if you want this then you’re supposed to work out five times a week. However, when it comes to it, your right brain kicks in and says, ‘I don’t feel like going to the gym today’. Doing what you think is the right thing, rather than what feels good or is right for you is a key determinant of the likelihood of success.

This is the solution…

Our feelings drive most of what we do so, when setting goals, we need to connect them to the feeling of what it is we want to achieve.

A goal needs to connect

A strong vision (your goal) + strong emotion (your why) + action.

Your vision has to be so compelling that it forces you to take action and keep going even when things are hard. Your why has to be worthy of the commitment, focus, effort and sacrifice it’ll take to get you to where you want to be in life.

To find your ‘why’, Dean Graziosi talks about going ‘Seven Levels Deep’. Think of your goal and ask yourself, why is it important for me to achieve that? Think about your answer then again ask yourself, ‘Why is that important to me?’ Repeat this 7 times for each response. Keep asking yourself why it’s important to you until you get to the root of your motivation.

Knowing this driver and aligning your goal to your core value is critical to achieving your goals. Doing this helps make sure that you take action towards a goal that’s important to you, prevents you from self-sabotaging and drives your behaviour towards this compelling reason for action.

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