When people ask you what your purpose is, what your “why” is, why you’re in sales, for example, do you know what to answer, or do you freeze up and say, “I don’t know“?
For me, if anything, it was always about having fun and wanting people to be happy. I had no clue what my purpose was. This in itself was a clue to my why long before I knew what it was, so there were many “I don’t know’s” in the process.
The more experiences you have in life, whether you are living the dream you envisioned as a kid or young adult or not, it often comes down to if you are clear on what your actual why is – why you’re here – and if you get to apply it. It doesn’t have to be complex, and while I still think being happy is a priority, I now know why; it’s my “why” that creates more of that, and also my “how” and “what.”
So many of us get stuck in a brain freeze of significance or confusion while trying to clarify our purpose. The confusion often originates from needing more information or resisting inner awarenesses – your truth. Even when you desire to know, it’s easy to distract yourself from the truth of how gifted you are. So many people stay in the space of not knowing.
What creates the results you are seeking can be found in many places.
Getting clear on your “why” starts with your talents and interests, what you love to do, and inquiring into why you’re drawn to doing this in the first place. Assessments are helpful tools that can open you up to new clues and get you out of over-analyzing yourself.
In my quest to become my best self, I’ve taken numerous assessments over the years to drill down to the core of what’s important to me. When I started seeing the patterns of similar responses, it helped me embrace the gift I am and the needs I have.
I’ve also continually taken courses to expand my awareness, get tools, and educate myself, as continuous transformation and growth are two of my passions in life. What I learned by taking on all the different teachings at the same time was that they all provided different aspects of the same thing. Now, that doesn’t mean that you need to; we are all drawn to different activities which tie into our talents, what they each bring and need, and why you’re doing it in the first place.
Imagine what life you would be living if your basic needs were taken care of — where would you live, who would be around you, what would you do, how would you contribute, and why?
Questions like this help you get clear on what’s really important to you.
Getting clear on your why
When it comes to finding your “why,” there are many teachings to sort through, and while CliftonStrengths® is all about HOW you approach everything, it also offers clues to your “why,” too.
Knowing your “how” and getting clear on your “why” and then what you do to express it is equally important.
I read Start with Why by Simon Sinek several years back and later did the exercises found the Find your Why book, which helped me get my purpose which was very similar to the tagline I created from my dominant CliftonStrengths® talents.
Now, there was still something missing that I couldn’t identify and when I made friends with Jamie Douraghy at a course a couple of years back, he took me through something called a “Why Stack.” Through a series of questions, you get what your “why” is, “how” you express it, and “what” you’re able to do as a result of that. He recently published a book about it, On Guard and On Point – read it; it’s a short read, focused and packed with great insights.
- What are the things that really trigger you? Why?
“It drives me crazy when________ (trigger) when it can be ___________ (like this).
- What can you not stop yourself from doing?
In short, your inquiry will lead you to select three of the following whys:
- To contribute to a greater cause
- To create relationships based on trust
- To make sense of the complicated
- To find a better way
- To do things the right way
- To challenge the status quo
- To seek mastery
- To clarify
- To simplify
My Why Stack is: “I simplify (why) by challenging the status quo (how) so that I can contribute (what).” My greater cause is connecting people to their rock star selves. This is who I am at the core of everything I do.
If I’m in situations where things get too complex, it will trigger my need to simplify. Additionally, if I’m asked to behave or dress in a specific way, then I don’t get to live full out and contribute, which is how my why is expressed at its core.
So what would this look like for you? Comment below.
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