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Like most children, my favourite question when I was a young girl was ‘why’. Why is the sky blue? Why is the grass green? Why can’t dogs speak English?
‘Why’ became my unerring and unapologetic response to any new piece of information I received. I demanded ‘why’ of everyone, about everything, until the curious fluttering in my heart and the inquisitive tugging in my mind settled, content with the answer I had received, or decided on myself.
As I grew older, this habit transformed, shifting the focus from general ‘why’ questions, to more heart-led why’s. Why did I want to travel to New Zealand? Why was it important to me to spend time with family? Why did I want to start my own business?
Knowing why I wanted the things I did helped me to prioritize my life and my goals. It helped me plan not only for the long-term, but the short-term too. For the daily steps that would bring me closer and closer to what truly fulfilled me.
It’s for this reason that the first thing I ask my clients – and encourage them to ask themselves too – when they tell me what’s important to them is ‘why’. Here’s why (pun absolutely intended).
Asking ‘why’ nurtures a deep sense of clarity.
Let’s look at the difference between the following two statements:
My relationship with my husband is very important to me. (I tell you what but don’t tell you why).
My relationship with my husband is very important to me because of the love and support we have for each other. He is my best friend and greatest cheerleader! (I tell you what and why).
Do you see the difference? In the second example you get a much clearer picture of why my relationship with my husband is so important to me.
For me, this makes it easy for me to prioritize spending time with my husband because I understand why it’s important to me. I’m living the life I want to live, day in and day out, because I’ve taken the time to understand my ‘why’.
Knowing ‘why’ boosts your confidence when making decisions.
When you have a clear sense of what’s important to you, and you can filter your options through those values, you can confidently know that you are making the best decision(s) to support your truest self!
For example, when I have the following options on how I will spend my weekend: (a) with my Mom and sisters (aka Girl’s Weekend), (b) going out for dinner and movie with friends or (c) binge watching Netflix, because I understand my ‘why’ I can confidently choose (a).
Spending time with my family is hugely important to me because of the love, support and encouragement they give me and because we have a lot of fun together!
If I didn’t ask ‘why’, I may spend the weekend watching Netflix and then feel surprised when I experienced the Sunday night blues.
But when I know my ‘why’, I can ensure I am living each day and spending my time exactly in the manner that brings me the most satisfaction and joy.
Knowing ‘why’ helps you stay focused.
When we fill our lives with the people, places, things and experiences that truly matter to us, we often feel happier and more fulfilled. These feelings lead us to spend more time doing what we love, with whom with love, which makes it easier to stay focused on what’s truly important to us.
For example, I love exploring new places, especially with my husband, and many of these new adventures require a financial investment. These trips are a vital part of our relationship and it’s easy for me to say ‘no’ to impulse purchases that would take away financial resources for our trips because I know why these adventures with Will are so important to me.
When I know ‘why’, the ‘how’, ‘when’ and ‘where’ becomes so much clearer, transforming my dreams and aspirations into daily, actionable to-do’s.
And nothing feels better than actively creating the life you truly want each day!
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