Finding your “why”: How purpose can boost your motivation over the long term

Motivation is the driving force that propels you to chase your goals. It is the fire that keeps you going despite the obstacles you face. Without motivation, your life will feel aimless and stagnant. One crucial aspect of having motivation lies in understanding your "why." Why are you doing what you are doing? Is that purpose meaningful enough for you to muster the energy needed to take action? In this article, we'll delve into the profound impact of purpose, the significance of aligning your values and passions, and the art of crafting a personal why statement that can ignite your motivation.

The Power of Purpose

Consider the stories of iconic figures like Martin Luther King Jr., whose unwavering purpose of achieving equality transformed a nation. Or take Mother Teresa, whose focus on things bigger than herself drove her to serve the poorest of the poor. Purpose gives actions their meaning. And a sense of meaning gives you motivation. When you have a well-defined purpose, you're more likely to stay committed to your goals when challenges arise. There can be no motivation without purpose. After all, why should you stick to your goals if you don't know what you truly want out of them?

Your Values and Passion

For your purpose to have meaning, it has to align with your values. What do you value in life? Doing things consistent with what truly matters to you will impact your level of motivation. Similarly, your passions also matter. Connecting your purpose to what you love creates sustainable enthusiasm, making your journey enjoyable and fulfilling. Imagine someone who values sustainability and is passionate about environmental conservation. That person might work tirelessly to promote eco-friendly practices and to take care of the planet. This alignment of values, passion, and purpose provides them with a continuous wellspring of motivation.

Crafting Your Why Statement

A why statement encapsulates your purpose concisely and powerfully. It serves as a North Star, guiding your decisions and actions towards what truly matters to you. To craft your why statement, reflect on your core values, passions, and the impact you want to create. Consider the change you wish to see and how you can contribute with your unique strengths.

To ___ so that ___

A simple way to write your why statement is in a "to _ so that _ " format. Here are some examples:


To finish my medical education so that I can help people in pain


To start a new business so that I can bring positive change to my neighborhood


To work hard now so that I can have financial freedom in the future


Understanding your why is the pivotal first step to finding your motivation. You need to ensure that your purpose aligns with your values and passions. Doing this will create a synergy that sustains your enthusiasm.

Write your why statement in the "to _ so that _" format