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To truly find purpose and satisfaction in life, you first must identify your “why”. I’m sure you would agree that life is much more enjoyable once you’ve identified your why and incorporated it all facets of your life statement.
Today, we will share 11 “what is your why” examples. These examples may help you discover your own why that you can incorporate into life statements. You may also discover how and why this is important for your personal and professional success.
While you’ll want to find your own why rather than adopt someone else’s, this article will steer you in the right direction and potentially take years off your search for living a meaningful life.
But, first, we’ll share what a why and a life statement is.
What is Someone’s Why?
The why for each person is unique to them. It is a desire or reason found in the depth of their hearts and motivates them toward the life they desire to live. A realization of your why may occur as you contemplate and question what is your why. It can also become apparent after a significant life event.
For instance, if someone has received some benefit from a counselor, possibly in dealing with grief, they may choose to become a counselor themselves to help others.
Other times, your why may be revealed as you mature and realize you want your life to have meaning. Then you begin to question what it is that you would like to be remembered for or the impact you’d like to have on others.
While you’ll want to find your own why rather than adopt someone else’s, this article will steer you in the right direction and potentially take years off your search for living a meaningful life. You'll also feel grateful that you found your purpose and are now free to live it.
What is a Life Statement?
Often called a life purpose statement, a life statement defines the meaning of your existence and how it relates to you living a fulfilling life. Whether we recognize it or not, each of us has an innate desire to make an impact on our world.
Therefore, it’s imperative that we define our life statement, which will lead us to incorporate our why into it. Take a look at this article to find out how to write a life statement in just four easy steps. A life statement is a tool that answers your why.
Your life statement will make your priorities clearer and motivate you to achieve whatever it takes to meet the goals you’ve set for yourself to fulfill your purpose. Remember that it is unique to you. While others may help and may influence you in defining it, you’ll want to be sure it aligns with your skills, abilities, and desires for what you want to achieve in your lifetime.
Your life statement will show your purpose in life. Whether you desire to make the world a better place globally, or help one person at a time live a happier life, may be defined in your life statement.
Or, you may want to challenge yourself physically or mentally in your life statement. Whatever you decide, your purpose will be unique to you.
The examples in this article may help you move forward to that purpose or think differently about the questions you should ask to bring you closer to your why and life statement.
How to Incorporate Your Why Into Life Statements and Why It’s Important
Do you often experience unhappiness or dissatisfaction without knowing the cause of it? If so, it may be because you have not adequately defined your why. Or perhaps you’ve also not defined your life statements that should align with your why.
When we’re missing our reason, our purpose, we may feel as though something is missing. Something that we can’t quite put our finger on. This is why it’s so important to find your why. That knowledge can bring you closer to your purpose in life, which can bring satisfaction and even joy to your life.
But what is your purpose? It's the reason you get out of bed in the morning. Not just because the alarm went off, but because you have a zest for life. If you don't feel that, you may not have defined your why.
Once you have a sense of direction and a feeling of meaningfulness, you may experience more of a connection, within your heart and soul, to what you do each day. Make sure you are moving toward what makes you happy and satisfied… and not what will make another person happy, which is often what a people-pleaser does.
If you struggle with pleasing people, instead of focusing on your own happiness, check out this article to help you identify habits that will make you happy… which, in turn, will help you in your quest for your why.
11 What is Your Why Examples
Finding your why and incorporating it into a statement requires a great deal of thought. It may also prompt you to answer several questions to drill down to your why.
For instance, asking yourself what you want to leave as your legacy, or what brings you happiness, or what would satisfy your altruistic yearnings would be a good start.
Below, we’ve compiled several examples that may prompt you to find your own or adopt one of these and make it uniquely yours.
1. Your Why: Empathy for others
Example: “I will ease the pain of those who suffer emotionally.”
If you’ve ever experienced deep emotional pain and found healing, you may find a great deal of sympathy for others dealing with similar emotional pain. For instance, it could be from the loss of a loved one, emotional abuse, or self-inflicted poor self-esteem that has caused the pain.
Those who find their ‘why' in helping reduce the emotional turmoil of others find great personal satisfaction in either pursuing a career to that end or volunteering their time in charitable organizations.
2. Your Why: Love for your family
Example: “I will create a safe and loving space for my family.”
If your why revolves around being a parent, this could easily become your life statement. I know of a young woman, a wife, and a mother of two children who thrives best when she is creating an emotionally and physically safe and happy space in her home for her family.
Her countenance lights up when speaking of the changes she makes in decor, the food she serves, and the activities she plans with an eye to her family’s well-being. If a desire such as this is paramount to your purpose in life, you may want to consider this as your why statement.
3. Your Why: To be an inspiration to fellow creatives
Example: “I will leave an artist’s legacy to inspire future generations.”
Artists begin their careers for various reasons and at different times in their lives. While we don’t know the why behind Da Vinci’s works of art left to us, we do know that he had an interest in art at a very early age that was recognized by his father, who enrolled him in an art school.
A modern-day artist, Anita Louise Hummel, shared that she began her artistic career as an adult after a motorbike accident in Vietnam where she broke her leg. During her recovery, she discovered a love for painting. She says, “Painting is my passion,” and that she enjoys sharing it with others.
4. Your Why: Your love of writing for young ones
Example: “I will write stories to teach and entertain children.”
Whether a published children’s author or teacher, there are people that have a heart for children and find great satisfaction in promoting their success and happiness. The author Astrid Lindgren, of “Pippi Longstocking” fame, was a proponent of children.
Her famous books began when her own child asked for a story. She wrote more than 30 children’s books and received an award for “her unique authorship dedicated to the rights of children and respect for their individuality.”
If you have a passion for teaching or entertaining children and a love of writing, your why may be meted out with a career or avocation in writing children’s books or teaching in a classroom.
5. Your Why: You care for people
Example: “I will help heal the sick and pledge to do no harm.”
For some, the medical profession is a career that fulfills their why. This is sometimes a route taken when a life event brings the desire to help heal the sick brings it to light.
If you feel a need to help others heal, whether through your profession bound by the Hippocratic Oath, or in a supportive manner… it may be because you or someone close to you found benefit from someone with a similar why statement.
6. Your Why: You have a passion for righting wrongs
Example: “I will defend the defenseless.”
If your heart leads you to champion for others, while you can go in different directions to fulfill that quest, you may want to choose a career in law. Julia Zenker is a lawyer with a heart for social justice. She found her why through volunteer opportunities with legal clinics and within her local immigrant community.
If your why includes representing others who cannot represent themselves, volunteering may be a good start that may lead you into a career that aligns with your why.
7. Your Why: You feel deeply about the spiritual health of others
Example: “I will help the spiritually lost find their way.”
A good example of someone who found their why and it leads to helping others spiritually is the Rev. Billy Graham. As a young man, he found what he called his ‘calling’; that was his why.
His life is evidence of a man who not only discovered his why but followed his passion until the end of his life, having led the spiritually lost to spiritual freedom for almost 70 years. If you feel the desire to help others on their spiritual journey, you may share the same why as the Rev. Graham.
8. Your Why: You enjoy seeing and helping others succeed
Example: “I will inspire others toward excellence.”
While that is a rather broad statement, if you find your why there, you may follow one or several paths. Some might follow a path in the educational field, while others might aspire to deliver life-changing speeches.
Still, others may enter the corporate world and lead their teams by example and encouragement toward acceptable work ethics and leadership succession. If inspiring others is the answer to your why, looking for opportunities to do that will bring you more satisfaction in your life. Here's an article to help you inspire others.
9. Your Why: You want to make your little place in this world better
Example: “I will give back to my community.”
There are many opportunities to volunteer in our communities to help others who are less fortunate, and to improve living areas. If your purpose focuses on helping individuals or beautifying, or bringing more business into your community, this may be your why.
10. Your Why: Caring for those who need accommodations to live their best lives
Example: “I will provide information and resources for others with disabilities to make life easier.”
If you or someone you know lives with a disability, you may know a part of the struggle to live in a world made for the able-bodied. I know of a family that has challenges each year for summer vacation finding appropriate and affordable ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accommodations for one of their loved ones in a wheelchair.
I also made the acquaintance of a woman who helped people apply for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), as there are certain specifications that must be met and certain information provided; her help enabled them to be approved rather than having to hire lawyers to mitigate being turned down for benefits.
People who are willing to help with resources and information have made this and other challenges less of an obstacle for those who are disabled and their families. If you have a desire to help in this capacity, this may be your why.
11. Your Why: You are passionate about sharing with others how to live with less
Example: “I will help others achieve a minimalist lifestyle.”
Some might find it restrictive, but others find freedom in living with less. If you've found happiness in ridding yourself of the “trappings of consumer culture,” you may want to share how you did it with others who are interested in finding the same kind of freedom.
That's what happened when Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus found their why. They became NY Times best-selling authors, Emmy-nominated Netflix stars, and podcasters to share how to live meaningful lives while living with fewer possessions.
Known as The Minimalists, they have made their passion, their why, into a lifestyle and career. If you find joy in living with less, you may want to help others do the same.
Final Thoughts on What is Your Why in Life Statements
Considering why you do what you do, and reflecting on what satisfies your heart's desire, will lead you to your own why in life statement. Your why will show you your purpose in life. It will be your reason for living.
Simon Sinek goes even further in saying that your why is like a house's foundation. He says the thing you build your life on is who you are and it is a combination of what has happened to you and shaped you in your past.
Knowing this may help you find your why faster. Once you do, you're ready to incorporate it into your life statement.
Think of the famous leaders who lived a purpose-filled life… Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, President Ronald Reagan, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg are just a few. There is no doubt, when we read of their accomplishments, that they found their why and lived it.
Each of them was very self-aware of who they were and how they fit into this life. To help you become more self-aware, check out this this article. After all, we can’t do much in life if we don’t know ourselves well enough to understand what it is we really want.
When you find your why and incorporate it into a life statement, you're ready to live your life with purpose. You'll find more joy and satisfaction because the way you live will align with the way you were meant to live. You'll serve others and yourself better.
Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.