Whats your why?

Its a question youve probably heard more than once. From your life purpose, business purpose, or even when youre trying to figure out your brand, its a question that, at least for the last decade has become very common, and one that many experts will use as the foundation of their work.

Almost a decade ago, a barely known at the time man named Simon Sinek gave a TEDx talk. Today, at over ten million views, How Great Leaders Inspire Action continues to inspire and challenge leaders, entrepreneurs, and visionaries around the world.

In my own early work, I wrote about understanding your why in order to have the clarity necessary to move people into action. Speakers and leaders who have a strong why become successful. There is no question about that.

Understanding your why is foundational to creating success and achieving fulfilment in business, relationships, and life.

But, how do you find your why?

WHY Isnt Outside Of You

There are a lot of people who will tell you that their why is their family, their kids, or maybe an important cause they believe in. Lets call these external whys.

External Whys can be powerful motivators, and for some, they may be enough to create a sense of fulfilment for some time. In fact, in some cases, having an external why can help you to discover your deeper why.

Having worked with thousands of performers, presenters, speakers and leaders across multiple industries over the last 27 years, Ive observed that people with strong external whys are driven, passionate, and quite successful. They also tend to be unfulfilled unless they are actively doing their external why.

Performers who believed their why was to entertain, activists and advocates of meaningful causes, ambassadors for change and improving the world for others without exception, these extraordinary people, when asked how they would feel if they werent performing, advocating, or working on their cause, would tell you they felt unfulfilled.

WHY Isnt Your Purpose

In 2011, as I watched my house burn down after being struck by lightning, I started to ask myself, Why! Why me?

In the aftermath, why me turned into what now? I started to question everything.

In dealing with the reality that I lost everything physical I owned to that point, I started to wonder what the purpose of life was. Why work to get nice things? Whats the point of building anything when it can all be taken away?

In an instant, life can change. In those moments, it takes unwavering faith and unconditional support. Your purpose will be put into question, and if your why is attached to your purpose, your foundation will be destabilized.

Why Is Who You Are

Ive had the opportunity to work with some amazing performers, actors, and singers. For years, Ive researched and been on a quest to understand the X-Factor of great performers and performances, and to be able to teach others how to develop and deliver standing ovation worthy moments.

The research extended across industries and has been going on for many years. What I discovered was, without exception, the most successful artists, speakers, leaders, and visionaries, in any industry, all possess one common quality: the ability to be themselves, and to show up as themselves, unapologetically.

In order to do that, its not just a matter of confidence. Its understanding who you are and why you are who you are.

For your entire life, youve left clues---breadcrumbs.

For every incident and situation youve lived through, you react and respond a certain way. You have opinions and beliefs. You take a stand for and against certain things.

These breadcrumbs expose who you are, and who youve always been. As I look back on my own work its clear that those individuals I worked with to discover and develop who they are created the most impact, in every way.

Being unapologetic isnt just about confidence. It goes way deeper. Its truly understanding who you are, connecting that to what you believe, and being on-purpose and intentional with sharing that with the world!

So, if you want to create a positive impact on others, whether it be through speaking, leading, a business idea, or even parenting, what you really need to do is a deep-dive discovery on who you are. In my book, Being UNapologetic, I lay out a path for self-discovery and development that leads to the powerful delivery of ideas. It starts with discovering who you are.

You dont have to take my word for it, either.

After the viral TEDx talk, Simon Sinek wrote the book, Start With Why which quickly became (and remains) a best-seller! What most people dont know is that the book left many people confused. So, Sinek wrote a follow-up book, Find Your Why which gives a more practical approach to practically apply the great thought leadership he originally shared with the world.

In the book, he shares:

  • You can find your why by looking back at the events and incidents from your past that had an impact on you
  • Knowing how you work, how you respond and react, and what you believe will allow you to live out your whypowerfully
  • Once you know your why, share it as often as you can.

You Are Ready Now

Everything youre looking for is already within your reach. There is nowhere to look except back at your own history, the breadcrumbs of your life, to discover and develop your why. Then, youll be armed with an unstoppable tool to deliver the message, mission, and vision you have for others in an impactful way.

Your why is waiting to be discovered. Start with who you are.