Attitude in Action Practice



Big Enough "Why"

Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten what you went there for? There was an intention -a reason- for making the decision, but it slipped away. This feeling is what follows us through life if we’re unsure of why we do what we do. Or what we want to do next. Whether it’s because we’re unconscious of our “why’s” or haven’t found a strong enough one yet, when we’re blind to the “why” of it all we become distracted, lost. But when we learn to uncover and enhance our reasons “why”, we can mindfully make choices that align with our desired future.

The following practice requires paper, something to write with, and time to contemplate your innermost intentions and ideal future self. The purpose is to determine why you want what you want, which should help motivate you to act in alignment with your goals. The stronger your “why” is, the more likely you are to think before you act and achieve meaningful outcomes.


Begin by brainstorming various goals, achievements, and/or experiences you want to have in your life. When you think about the future, what are the ultimate outcomes you want to accomplish? Or when you’re on your deathbed and looking back on your life, what would you regret not doing or achieving?

Once you’ve made your list, go through each item and think about the reasons why you want to achieve them. Begin with your biggest and most important goal first to get the feel of the practice. Then when you’ve completed the following steps with one goal, you can continue through your list until you have a good idea of your “why” for each one.

After you’ve chosen one goal to begin with, start writing down all of the reasons why you want it. A jumping off question could be, “What is it about the outcome that makes you desire it?”, then, “Why do you want that?”. The point of the practice is to spiral deeper and deeper down until you reach the core reason why you want something. Just like a child incessantly asks, “Why? But why? So why? Why, why, why?”, you must also keep persistently asking yourself until you reach the true center -the heart- of your “why”. It’s only here that you’ll see what’s really motivating you which you can use in your favor for your future.

A woman outside with her hands/arms out like she's asking, "Why?"

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