Do You Know Your WHY?

There is a story about a man who appears to be going somewhere very important, riding with speed. A friend asks, “Where are you going?” The man replies, “I don’t know. Ask the car!”

This seems to be the case for many people in the workplace today– fast paced movements at work, with no idea where they’re headed! 

The other day, I got talking with a lady ex-colleague; we were together in the banking industry. We talked about people who gave their good years to their companies, and are being laid off in their late 40s and early 50s – they are too young to retire and too old to easily find another job at a commensurate level; we talked about their vulnerabilities at this age – additional financial responsibilities of children going to school and parents needing care…

We have all seen this happen time and time again to family, friends, and colleagues – it inflicts pain not only on separated individuals, but thick office tension on unaffected employees, who wait for their turn next.  “Worrying, is the story in the industry that a bank actually does this on the last Friday of every quarter!” she intoned. No wonder, a recent Forbes article says, about 80% of professionals today go to jobs that they hate!

Yet, the phenomenon remains stigmatized and under-researched, leaving crucial questions unanswered.
How can those who are stuck in this grip shake themselves loose?

Here’s how:

#1: Make the decision right now to discover your WHY.
The goodnews is that no matter where you are, you can avoid such crisis, based on the decision that you make right now. You can make the decision right now to discover your WHY
#2: Make a list of small, smart choices. 
Things  that you can do day-to-day; make sure they are in alignment with your WHY, and
#3: Do these small to-dos consistently…
Over time to refocus the direction of your work and life deliberately – to what you desire

There are two moments in a person’s life – the day you were born, and the day you know WHY. Some people get to know their WHY early. Michael Jordan realized early that basketball was his passion. Others get to know with some coaching and some time. Now, looking at all the positives and negatives in my life, I realize that I could have moved up the corporate ladder more quickly than I did, if I had discovered my WHY earlier. Mine is “study, practice and teach” … more about this later…

Now that you know mine, it’s your turn: Do you know your WHY?

If you don’t, I have got some good questions to help you do that:

  • What gets you turned on?
  • What gets you up early in the morning?
  • What gets you eager to face the day?
  • Those who admire you, What type of advise do people ask you to give them
  • What do you find fun doing
  • What areas do you spend time doing research on?
  • What do you want to be remembered for?
  • And if you are still here, and you can’t answer any of these – then ask your friends, ”what am I good at?”

If you do, here’s the big question:

Are you working TODAY to accomplish your WHY; or are you just flowing with the current?

You need the power of WHY for doing stuff. With a why that is meaningful enough, you will do almost anything. In the words of Friedrich Nietzsche,  “He who has a strong enough WHY can bear almost any how”

Now, I want you to do something for me:

Thing 1: Take a few minutes to visualize your WHY;  connect it to  what you are doing each day (and make sure it is in alignment). Time: 2–5 min. 
Then send me an email on your thoughts about your WHY to:  

Thing 2: Say hello to me on Twitter or Facebook. I like to put a face to a name, unlike other bloggers.

I promise you I will read every single one of your emails, and send a reply.

And if you are not on my mailing list, you should be. Join my free weekly newsletter for productive habits and service tips at