It’s Not Your What, But Your Why That Matters the Most

If you're like me, you have plans and goals. I've come to realize that it's not what I do but why I do it that matters most.

It’s Not Your What, But Your Why That Matters the Most

A goal can be defined as the object of a person’s ambition or effort, an aim, or desired result.

We all have goals – some short-term, some long-term, and all with varying levels of thought put into achieving them. As a twenty-something, I am in a goal-setting decade of life. I have (culturally speaking) traditional goals: graduate college, land a full-time job, buy a house, and get married. Then there are my personal goals: traveling the world, getting in shape, waking up earlier, and learning to say “no,” more to name a few. But I don’t want to talk focus on your goals, but rather why you want to achieve them.

It’s important to know the reason you’re striving and working towards, well, anything. Is it because it’s what everyone else is doing? Because it’s what your family wants you to? Because you feel like you’re supposed to want these things?

When setting goals, we must check our motives.

Your what is the goal, but your why is the reason. Ask yourself, “What purpose will achieving this goal serve in your life?”

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:17

So how do you know if you have the right why?

First, understand your purpose in Christ. Our lives are not our own. Our purpose is to make known the father’s love and live to show his glory in everything we do. That does not mean we should only read our bibles and listen to worship music. We each have unique desires placed in our hearts by God, and we should pursue those things.

Our ambitions should not fulfill us, they should fulfill our purpose.

Next, determine who your goal glorifies, you or God?

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.” – Philippians 2:3

Are you pursuing a healthy lifestyle because you want to honor the body God gave you and be at your best? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good, but pursuing vanity for the sake of vanity is self-glorifying. Do you desire a successful business or career? Is it to make more money for yourself or to have a greater influence to help others?

What about traveling or learning a new hobby such as salsa dancing – can these things glorify God? Yes, if we pursue them with a grateful heart and understand they are wonderful things, He allows us to enjoy. Even hobbies can point our hearts to worship, and that’s what it’s all about.

Related Post: How to Find Your Why

Our ambitions should not fulfill us; they should fulfill our purpose of worshiping and glorifying God. You won’t find joy and peace chasing something you can lose. It’s an unstable foundation for your hope. Jobs change, stock markets crash, people disappoint, and metabolisms slow down, but God’s love and faithfulness are unchanging (Psalm 103:17).

Live your life and pursue wonderful things. Just remember that truly knowing the one who created those things is the greatest accomplishment.

Question from Tiffanie Butts, the author.

Are you more connected to your what, or your why? Explain in a comment below!

Written by Tiffanie Butts

I'm an ordinary girl saved by grace, falling more in love with Jesus every day, and living to inspire others to do the same. is where I share my story - challenges, lessons, and faith journey - and encourage young men and women to walk confidently in their purpose.

5 thoughts on “It’s Not Your What, But Your Why That Matters the Most

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  5. Challenging our inward WHY (The reason for the goal) behind the WHAT (The goal itself) – beautifully written! I’m a bit time goal person so this really helped me today as I’m getting ready for 2017. I need to make sure that my reasons for doing what I do is directed toward God. Thank you!

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