Know Your Why

Posted on March 6, 2014

Lately, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the pursuit of dreams and purpose. The most notable is how I’ve gotten to where I am, which is almost laughable when I think about how much further I have to go. This is a good question, though. We ask it when we look at people like Oprah, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg and Lupita Nyong’o. We want to know how, despite incredible odds, have they been able to attain a certain level of success. While I certainly cannot speak for these great leaders, innovators and revolutionaries I know that personally I place little impetus on the how. Instead, I focus on the the why.

Anyone who’s chased their dreams for an extended period of time can attest to it being challenging. Dreams look glamourous when fully manifested on stage while accepting an Oscar, or the moment a contract comes through for the book deal of a lifetime.  But, the road paved towards greatness is marked with humbling ground work. It can be very difficult to stay focused without truly grasping the reason you’re doing what it is you choose to do.

When I began writing I didn’t think about all the avenues it would take me through, or the doors it would open. I didn’t outline a strategic analysis for how writing could make me become the next Iyanla Vanzant. I wrote because I genuinely loved to do it. Writing became as much apart of me as my breath. Then, when I saw the power of my words to help  heal the hearts of my fellow contemporaries I felt a certain responsibility to use my God-given gift by investing it back into His kingdom. Jesus and all of you became my why. This isn’t to say I don’t use wisdom when diligently moving towards my dream. It also doesn’t mean that I don’t my pursue my dreams with excellence. What it does mean is rather than centering my efforts around the tactics, I center them around the purpose.

Knowing the “why” puts it all into perspective. When we’re pursuing our God-given dreams and callings, we have to remember what (who) we’re waking up for each day. And we have to keep our egos in check by understanding that our why doesn’t lead back to ourselves. It points us to something Greater. When we figure out the why, the how becomes a byproduct. 

Now it’s your turn: What’s your why?

Tell me in the comments section below. And if you’ve enjoyed this post spread it to the masses. Sharing is caring.

*On a separate but related note, tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. EST I will be on KKLA 99.5 FM as a guest on the Frank Sontag show. I will be talking about what it means to pursue your calling and purpose. You can tune in online at


1 Reply to "Know Your Why"

  • SM.
    March 8, 2014 (2:44 pm)

    Thank you for this post! It confirms what God has been impressing upon my heart just this week — that to act, love, work, serve, etc. according to His will, requires that we have a “Kingdom focus” when doing it. Therefore, I’ve committed to be focused in this way in everything I do, and in turn do it for His glory. #kingdomfocus is my new mantra! It allows me to remember the need to line up things with Him, because that’s what it’s all about, right?