Jansen: Finding Your Why


Photo by Paige Jansen

when finding your why, you need to focus on your purpose and the how you work to get to that purpose.

We all had childhood dreams. The ones where we would be a princess, a mermaid, maybe even a knight battling a dragon. Or the more realistic ones- of being a teacher, an actor, a doctor, going to the moon as an astronaut, or even living on Mars. When we were young, we all pictured what we wanted to do. We discovered ourselves; what we liked and enjoyed to help figure out what to do with our lives that would make us truly happy. We thought through what our life’s purpose could be. It could be helping others, saving lives, making people laugh, taking care of animals.

Then we grew up. These childhood fantasies are no longer millions of years away, but right around the corner.  We are expected to know what we want to do with the rest of our lives and to know our life’s purpose and passions. To become that teacher, that actor, or that doctor. We have to make decisions about what we want to become and do with our lives–what we need to do to make those dreams into realities. When turning the corner and starting a new chapter of our lives, we ponder over the simplest, yet most difficult questions of our life: What’s my why? 

What’s the reason behind why I do things?  Why do I find happiness and passion in different areas? Asking simple questions help you find you’re why. One thing that’s important to understand is that your why and your purpose are not the same. And you can have a purpose without knowing you’re why. By having a reason, you can understand the reason why you do what you do. It might be to live up to a standard, to be successful, for your family and even for yourself. By understanding why you do things, you can discover what makes you, you. They are able to help you find your passions in life, and what you can do to achieve them for the rest of your life. By understanding your why you can then find your purpose for life. 

A way to help find your purpose and discover you’re why when preparing for the future is by understanding and using the Golden Circle method. Created by Simon Sinek, this method highlights how leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Wright brothers were able to achieve what they did. The Golden Circle is based on three different levels of a circle. The first, and middle, is your why. The why is the purpose of what you do and leads to the next levels. The second level is how. The how highlights your strengths and values and it’s what makes you special. The third, and outside level, is the what. It is what you do, and the last link of the circle. By understanding these three levels, you are able to get a better grasp of your purpose. You know your why, how you can do it, and what you need to do. This golden circle brings clarity and a good understanding of what makes you unique and how you can use it to know what your next steps are. 

We can use our passions from the past and the present to create our purposes in life. While being a princess and a Dragon Slayer aren’t very common college majors, Pre-Med and Education are. Any path is the right path as long as you understand your why and purpose.  As we reach the next chapter of our lives, childhood dreams are no longer just dreams. They are reality.