Home Forums Lifeonaire Community Vision vs. Purpose—What vs. Why

10 replies, 7 voices Last updated by Steve Cook 1 year, 2 months ago
    • JP Moses

      Today Steve and I were talking about something that felt important and prolly worth kicking around with you guys. So, here…

      In a nutshell: Consider that another way of looking at your Vision is that you’re crafting a wish list of your WHATS:

      ⇢ WHAT things do/don’t I really want in my life?
      ⇢ WHAT experiences do I really want to have?
      ⇢ WHAT do I want my business/family/hobbies/etc. to include/involve or not include?
      ⇢ WHAT do success and prosperity really look like for my life?

      But once you’ve painstakingly crafted this wish list of WHATS, where a lot of us can often struggle is in really understanding WHY, right?

      What I mean is this: I’ll submit that to serve you well, each of the gems in your VISION really needs to connect with a clear & vibrant PURPOSE in your life. A purpose that you really connect with, find deeply meaningful, and maybe even uniquely personal to you.

      So, if your VISION is a wish list of WHATS, then your PURPOSE is a crisp, clear understanding of your WHYS motivating each thing.

      ⇢ Your WHY beats your WHAT every time.
      ⇢ Your WHY doesn’t dictate or define your WHAT…it’s fuel for your WHAT.
      ⇢ When you know your WHY, you have options on what your WHAT can even be.
      ⇢ And your WHAT tends to have profoundly more impact (on you and others) because you’re stepping into your PURPOSE.

      Here’s 4-minutes of funny that really explains and drives this home me:

      So….what do you think? Does this make sense or no?

    • Steve Cook

      When vision and purpose collide, incredible things happen.

    • Jason Wojo

      I love that concept and realization. How powerful!

      Grossly paraphrasing Simon Sinek, “Whats can make you happy, but only Whys will lead to fulfillment.”

    • Steve Cook

      I do want to spend more time in the future contemplating this. It is important.

      There are many people who wander through life feeling like they have no purpose, when in fact, I think living out our purpose may be pretty easy. However, there may be situations where the “what” we do to live our purpose may not be so clear, but that should not keep us from feeling fulfilled each and every day.

      We’re going to have some interesting discussions at our upcoming retreat!


    • Aaron Dionne

      For me it comes down to passion and what my happy places are. For sure, I’m more willing to fight for something if the result is something I’m passionate about, and brings me to one of my happy places. As confusing as this talk can be, though, the difference between the man’s regular and passionate singing is huge. The second rendition brought chills to me.

      I recently described ‘vision’ to a friend. I told him it was like actually choosing and looking at an object you want to walk to, keeping an eye on it. Contrast that with wandering aimlessly with your head down looking at your feet. As with many things in life, it’s best to plan/determine where you’re headed in the near future and more distant future.

      LifeonAaron 100%

    • Steve Cook


      Two things. I love how you described vision to your friend. It’s one of the simplest word pictures for it that I have heard of. I may use it some time.

      Second, I love the new name! 🙂

    • Kevin and Tara Cuccinelli

      This is an awesome example JP. I have been working away at my vision for a while now and that was a great visual (and audible)
      Aaron and Wojo, great ways of looking at it described differently

    • Tracy Z

      AMAZING!  This video really drives the point home. I’ve been good at the WHAT but in past two years have been getting in tune with my WHY. I was surprised to find how difficult that was but rewarded by the difference it makes.

    • Steve Cook

      I just watched the video again and it gives me chills.  There is so much truth to that!

    • Ben Elijah

      That’s crazy about the chills. I got them too…

      I have three general “WHYS” attached to some “whats” that everything else has to submit to. They are all intertwined for me.

      But for the past seven years I’ve let one of the whys – the one involving provision & freedom of my time – dominate the other two, take up all my free time and daily thought and not even fulfill its own purpose but have been living a crappy life because of it..

      • Steve Cook


        Thanks for being vulnerable with that.  It’s so easy to let the pursuit of freedom become the thing that robs us of freedom.  That is why having a vision is so important, and reading that vision regularly is what keeps us on track and lets us know when we are going astray.  I work with people all the time who are “pursuing freedom” but their pursuit involves sacrificing all they want in hopes of one day getting it back.  It is really much simpler then that.



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