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The Importance of Knowing Why You Want Something Before You Even Set Out To Get It

Many years ago, suffering from an impending bankruptcy and looming foreclosure due to a lengthy and contentious divorce I met a mentor, Darel Rutherford, author of BEING THE SOLUTION. I asked him desperately about my own situation. “How can I get out of this mess”?

He replied, “To make the change you want, you need a big enough WHY”.

My brain struggled to make sense of the answer. I’m guessing he read the confusion in my face. But he just smiled and let his answer linger in the air.

I thanked him. I sensed the wisdom in the answer but I didn’t understand the answer at the time. It was only later that I understood. It took study, practice, and application of clarity about “why” I wanted my goal.

Today, this is still one of the first questions I ask myself or my clients; “why do you want it?”

Can You Come Up With 20 Reasons?

In Darel’s book, BEING THE SOLUTION, he invites the reader to make a list of “20 Reasons” why they want what they want. He used to like to say that if you couldn’t come up with at least 20 reasons for what you wanted, you wouldn’t have the juice to overcome the Ego’s Resistance to change.

I certainly experienced that for myself. I began consciously connecting to my own “why”, which centered around the well-being of my young children during a very painful and challenging time. Keeping that “why” in front of me fueled my efforts to overcome my adversities and build a new life with my kids free from drama and strife.

Knowing Your Why Eases Resistance

I learned that the power of knowing your “why” is a powerful force to overcome the tension and urge to self-sabotage inherent in the Resistance Cycle™. It wasn’t the only tool I used, but it certainly was one of the most powerful.

It wasn’t just the most obvious reasons why I wanted to solve my divorce/bankruptcy/foreclosure mess; financial restoration, freedom from worry and shame. Even more, I wanted peace in my heart, peace and presence with my kids, ease in our activities, and the potential for fun, education, and experiences together.

Bottom line, my “why” had to do with the quality of life I wanted to be experiencing, both in my home and with my children. Knowing my “why” kept me focused on what I was creating instead of the mess I wanted out of.

To this day, if I get a bit “slowed” or “stuck” I can really change my energy by connecting to my “why”.

Why do I want this? What will it do for me? 

The more (or the bigger) the reasons, the more “fuel” I have available to break the rubberband tension that threatens to jerk me backward to where I first began. 

Try It For Yourself!

Think of something you want. Do you really want it? Do you want it enough to change? 

If your answer is “Yes! I really want it and I’m willing to change to have it!”, then ask yourself, “Why do I want it?” 

Take some time, get to the heart of the matter. See how many reasons or how powerful the reasons can be for “why” you want that thing.

Make a list. Put it up and keep it as a reminder. Notice how much easier it is to take action remembering “why” you want what you want before you take the actions to accomplish your desire.

Go do this right now. It only takes a few minutes. The deeper you go, the more fuel you’ll have to offset any resistance to your change. See how many reasons or how profound the reasons are that you can list.

Then let me know what you discover in the comments below! 

Note: 20 years ago I helped Darel develop the BEING THE SOLUTION 9-Week Live telecourse from his independent, online course. He invited me to co-facilitate his courses and coaching. I trained his first BEING Coaches in 2007.

Darel has been a beloved mentor to many, myself included. His work is as timely now as when he first wrote BEING THE SOLUTION. I’m happy to hear about your own experience with Darel’s work.

Comment below or email me at to share.

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