What is Your Why and Why Does it Matter?

These days, it seems like we’re always rushing around. We’re always busy, busy…we love to cross things off our to-do list.

How often do you stop to think about why you’re doing all the things you’re doing?

Why do you do the things you do, in your work and in your personal life?

I’ll be the first to admit it. For much of my adult life, I didn’t really stop to think much about why I did what I did. I didn’t have time…I was too busy working! I was too busy trying to get it all done!

Although I enjoyed many things about my life, I was living much of it on autopilot. I never really took the time to stop and reflect on what the point of it all was.

If you had asked me why I do what I do a few years ago, I probably would have answered with something along the lines of, “I’m a CPA. I audit companies’ financial statements. I want to help my clients.”

If I were to dig a little deeper, I would have identified some reasons beyond helping my clients. I wanted to contribute to my team and the firm. I also wanted to get promoted to partner. I wanted to make good money so I could spend it on things I enjoyed.

These are all perfectly good reasons…but they didn’t make me an outstanding leader.

Why not? Because these reasons probably wouldn’t inspire other people. In fact, these reasons weren’t even that inspiring to me.

When you are able to uncover your true Why – a Why that lights your fire, a Why that makes you feel alive, a Why that others can’t help but notice – then you’ll be able to tap into the magic of inspiration. You will inspire not only yourself, but those around you!

What’s Your Why?   

You’ve got to dig deep beneath the surface to find your Why. It is something very fundamental, something core to your being.

Your Why may answer the following questions:

  • Why do you do what you do? And why is that important to you?
  • Why do you get out of bed every day?
  • What do you believe in at your very core?
  • What is the one reason you keep coming back to, regardless of what you’re doing or how you’re doing it?

When you think about the answers to these questions, which answer makes you feel most alive? Which answer would you be the most excited to share with someone else?

When you find your Why, you’ll know. You’ll feel it.

Why Does Your Why Matter?

Your Why matters. It could change everything.

When you find your Why, you can:

  • See the world from a new perspective. Through the lens of your Why, new possibilities will appear.
  • Have a North Star to guide you. Your Why will guide your life and simplify your decisions.
  • Overcome your fears. When you believe strongly in something, you’ll find courage you didn’t know you had.
  • Achieve more. Things that used to seem hard to do suddenly become easier when you see how they support your Why. You’ll be able to do more in ways that you could never have imagined.
  • Attract the right people, events and circumstances into your life. When you live your Why, the people, events and circumstances you need to fulfill it will find you.
  • Create more meaning in and for your life. You’ll find more fulfillment.

People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek

When you find your Why, you can live with more intention. Your actions will be in alignment with and flow from your Why.

When you find your Why, you can lead with more intention. You will better inspire others…others who are drawn to your Why.


About the Author

Sarah Elliott, CPA, ACC believes the future of the accounting profession depends on our capacity to love. As the co-founder and principal of Intend2Lead, a leadership development firm, she coaches CPAs to access the possibility dimension: the place where fear is no longer the enemy.