What is Your Why

by Josh Kalsbeek

Whenever you tackle a big challenge it’s important to understand why you are doing it. The going will get tough, and when you are having a ‘gut check’ and feel like you are deep in the depths of the pain cave, you need a reason to draw you forward.

So often with clients I work with I’ve found that they are exclusively focused on how they are going to overcome their struggles, or reach their goals. Makes sense, right? How is important. Thoughtful strategy is essential. But it’s not the engine that will fuel your growth.

So as you consider what you’re here for, why you want to face your biggest struggles in life, and what draws you to reach for bigger challenges and goals, ask yourself this simple but powerful question: 

What’s my Why?

I like to say that as humans we are meaning making machines. And it is an essential part of the process as you find the meaning behind why you want to overcome your struggles and find victory in specific areas of your life.

It’s not enough to simply say you want to stop a specific behavior.
As hard as it may be to imagine stopping a certain behavior or struggle, make your Why bigger than that.

This means your Why will likely feel big, bold, and probably scary. If you are confident you can accomplish your Why on your own it’s not your Why.

Pro tip: find a reason that is bigger than yourself.

Having a good answer to the question, ‘what’s my Why?’, is essential in order for you to deeply thrive in your life and to help your community flourish. Interestingly, finding the Why for yourself and for your community go hand in hand. They’re like two sides of the same coin.

Growing for the sake of yourself is a good thing. It’s a great thing actually. But growing for the sake of yourself and for others is even more powerful.

As Erik Erickson, famed psychologist said, when you are at the stage where your focus in life is serving others you’ve reached the ‘generative stage’. The goal here is to grow something in others that will outlive you.

How can you leave the world in a better place?
What will you contribute to others?will the world be after you die?
Will you be able to look back on your life and see how you have influenced others?
Will you have lived a life of generosity?

If you focus only on yourself, I’m here to tell you you are missing out. 
If you aren’t living in order to make other’s lives better, your life will remain smaller than it could otherwise be. You will have less ability to suffer with courage. Less perspective. Less joy.


There is nothing better in life than seeing others find freedom, experience new levels of hope, and empower them to empower others.

It’s quite literally the best way to live.

So today I hope you find powerful answers to the question: “What’s my Why?”.

And tomorrow it’s simply a matter of living into that question…

**rTribe it**
1. Share your Why on rTribe in your check-in.

“My reason for pursuing victory over my struggle of _____________________, is _____________________. ”

Pro-tip: your Why may have nothing to do with your struggle.

2. Ask others in your Tribe questions about their Why: 
Tell me about what you are living for. 
What is your purpose? 
What are you most excited about?
 What is your one most cherished idea? 
How are you most learning and growing? 
What is getting in the way of who you want to become? 

Quote for reflection:
“If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.”
― Thomas Merton

3. What one thing can you do, no matter how small, this week to help empower others to pursue their purpose?