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6 Questions to Name Your “Why” and Life Purpose

If you’ve seen the Disney movie Tangled, you’ll remember the song Rapunzel and Flynn sing with the men in the Snuggly Duckling Tavern. Everyone present takes a turn sharing their dream, no matter how unlikely it might be to come true. Among the dreamers there’s an aspiring concert pianist, a ceramic unicorn collector, a Romeo waiting for his Juliet, and Rapunzel’s dream of seeing the floating lanterns.

Thinking of this scene in Tangled reminds me of two things.

  1. We all have dreams, big and small.
  2. Sometimes our dreams can feel as distant or unrealistic as a Disney movie.

Some dreams can be categorized as Disney-movie worthy for sure, like dreaming of the ability to fly or that unicorns might be real somewhere in the world. But some dreams are not so far-fetched. They could actually be doable in our real-world lives.

Dreams like starting your own business, getting a dog, planting a big garden, traveling abroad, forming a new habit, breaking an old habit, or renewing an old friendship.

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What if I told you that you have the power to make those dreams come true? You, yes you, already have the ability inside you to make what you’ve hoped for a reality. How?

Naming your “why” then making one small choice at a time to move forward.

Today, I want to talk about the importance of naming your “why.” I’ll expand more on making one small choice at a time in my next blog post. The question you might be asking yourself is, “What does naming my ‘why’ have to do with accomplishing my dreams?”

Why Your “Why” Matters

When I reference your “why,” I’m talking about your motivation. The thing that inspires you. Another way to think of your “why” is your purpose. I like to think of your “why” as your compass. It points you in the direction you want to go, even if you’re not sure exactly where you are right now. It’s a steady guide.

Your “why” is also a filter. Every decision you make goes through it. Some choices may not coincide with your “why” so you make a different choice. Some choices may fit well, so you can give a confident “yes.”

Your why matters to your dreams because it keeps you focused. As a compass, it keeps you going in one, steady direction. As a filter, it helps you put the things that don’t matter as much to the side and make room for what’s important. Think of bumpers on a bowling alley or guardrails on a highway. Your “why” keeps you moving forward and gives you boundaries to prevent you from going off track.

Because your “why” keeps you focused on your dreams, it can also help you create a plan to start moving towards accomplishing your dreams.

Having a clear direction means you know which way to start walking and where your next step should go. Every little choice gets you one step closer to your dream. Your “why” gives you the clarity to know what that step should always move you towards.

How to Name Your “Why”

Have you named your why? It’s ok if you haven’t! Your “why” exists, it’s just time to name it.

To clarify what your “why” is, I encourage you to try the following exercise:

Settle yourself in a quiet place. If you’re an external processor, I recommend keeping a pen and journal with you. Breathe deeply for a minute or two. Bring your attention to this moment, doing your best to leave distractions or to-do lists for later.

Ask yourself the following questions (either to yourself or writing the answers in a journal):

  • What is my life purpose?
  • What do I get excited about?
  • What inspires me?
  • What energizes me when I do it?
  • What do I want to be remembered for?
  • What qualities have people affirmed in you?

Answer these questions as slowly as you need to, then look back at your answers. Do you notice any common themes? Words? Feelings? Those common themes are likely arrows or signposts pointing you to your “why.” I hope this practice brings clarity on your “why” and gives you space to name what’s true about yourself.

Always remember that you are intentionally and specifically made by God. Your talents, passions, and loves are not accidental or a coincidence. If you’re frustrated with your dreams, naming your “why,” or finding a direction, go to the Lord in prayer. He made you and loves you, and He’s always with you, including sitting with you in the midst of discernment.

You are a beautiful, beloved child of God. Your dreams matter. You can take steps towards your dreams.

When you learn to live in alignment with your purpose (or WHY) you create a life of significance and legacy. My signature Abundant Purpose: Designed for Significance coaching program utilizes a variety of tools to help you embrace your God-given identity and realize your Kingdom purpose. In addition, you will be designing a life of greater balance as you intentionally apply your unique “wiring” to current challenges and goals.

If you’re at a place where you need help determining your God-given life purpose, set up a complimentary 15-minute call with me. We’ll talk through some of your story and see if Abundant Purpose coaching is right for you.

August 12, 2022


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