SUCCESS RULE # 24 – Know Your Why

This rule is really only for those who, no kidding, are seeking extraordinary success in their lives, whether it be working out of the “C” suite in corporate America, being a successful entrepreneur, becoming a movie or music star, an SES in the government, a senior NCO or Officer in the military, a great mom or dad raising a family, or any other definition of success you might have. If extraordinary success is what you seek then you must know your why. Why do you want what you want? Why do you do what you do? Want to lose weight? Why? Want a great relationship? Why? Want a better job? Why? Want to start your own business? Why? Want a million dollars? Why?

To build the right attitude for success you must discover your whys, it will be the driving force behind your actions. Having solid whys, when things are going well, you will feel great about it, or when things are not going so well, you will press on and drive towards your purpose. Your why is your motivator – in good times and bad. Rudyard Kipling shares similar advice in his poem “If” .

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

Having great wealth, a big house, a fancy car or exotic vacations will not suffice for your why. These are simply the manifestations’ of the burning desire your why(s) can provide. To leverage these wants you must have associated whys. Don’t get me wrong, I like my house in the suburbs, and that my wife can buy beautiful jewelry, or myself the latest electronic gadget. But more than that, I like that I can stay up until 3 am writing and not have to worry about going into the office. I also like it if I get a call from my brother saying there is a family emergency, I can get on the next available flight and fly to Florida for a week and not have to worry about asking for time off, or where I’m going to get the money.

So my why isn’t great wealth or a big house, my why for success is so I can be there for my family, I can give back to my community, I can help other speakers succeed, and I can be a positive influence in the success of others – – that’s why I want what I want, and why I do what I do.

How, when, where, who and what, are all irrelevant if there is no WHY.

What’s your why? Take a few minutes and jot down your “why”. You may be surprised at what you come up with.

Anthony Tormey

Founder & CEO
Leader Development Institute

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Andrew Krzmarzick

“A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the “why” for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any “how”.” – Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Anthony Tormey

Man’s Search for Meaning. A great read Andrew, a difficult one perhaps, but really does bring to light a great many natural principle or laws. A similar book under a similar environment, but written very much in layman’s terms and easier to read. Human Potential: A State of Mind, by Col Ed Hubbard, USAF Ret, Ex POW, SEA