Can my Why Change?

Can my Why change? Zilvold Coaching & Training
6 min read

Summary: Your Why is your contribution and the impact thereof on the world. In this article I answer a question I recently received during a Why workshop: “Can my Why change?”. In this article I answer this question and tell you about what can change.

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A few weeks ago I facilitated a “Discover your Why” workshop together with Marius van Vlijmen . It was for the partners of expats of a large multinational here in the Netherlands.

Photo by: M. Voster

At the end of the workshop one of the participants asked if a Why can change.

No, that is not possible. Your Why or your purpose can not change and ou cannot have more than 1 Why.

Your WHY

Your unique Why is formed during your teenage years. It has always been in you and you don’t have to invent it or create it. All you have to do is discover it.

Your Why always comes up during influential events in your life with a recurring action and its result on your environment. Your Why consists of a contribution from you and an impact thereof to the world.

Endgoal or Why?

During training sessions, workshops or coaching sessions, I regularly ask if someone knows his or her Why. From stay-at-home moms or dads I sometimes hear that their Why is focused on caring for their families. That is a noble contribution, but it is not a Why or a purpose. It is not an end goal. I then ask what the reason is that they want to take care of their families. And when I keep asking, a much elevated goal often comes up. Something with love, helping children to become confident and to experience happiness.

Happiness or fulfillment?

Your Why is what you do that gives you fulfillment. Fulfillment is more sustainable than happiness or joy. I can be happy because I received a compliment today. That feeling fades over time. Certainly if I am going through a difficult period.

If you want to be Happy, do something for yourself. If you want to be fulfilled, do something for someone else.

-Peter Docker

A clearer Why

A Why is connected to your feelings and difficult to put into words. What feels like a fulfillment to me can be completely different for you.
After a while, I can express my Why more clearly or more specifically, but the feeling around my Why always remains the same.


My Why statement comes down to serving by facilitating so that others can elevate themselves and experience more happiness and love. Everything I do that is in line with my Why will give me fulfillment. Examples include supporting a sports team that has helped them to win a national competition. Or a client who after a coaching session knows what to do to achieve a certain goal.

To know more about how you can find your unique Why, read this article.

You just have one Why

Suppose you have a Why for the office, another for your friends, another for your family, another for customer A and also another for customer B. Even though you have other activities for those different environments, you cannot behave differently each time. It would lead to a split personality. In the office you cannot have the highest goal to be the best at the expense of others and find harmony the most important thing at home.

You are actually manipulative because you think you should approach those people differently (perhaps because you think this is socially desirable). You are not authentic and people will eventually figure this out. They feel no connection and lose their trust in you.

Your Why is always action-oriented and positive. This does not change and has never changed when you look back at the influential events in your life.

What can change

What can change is what you do and how you do this. These How’s and What’s are connected with your ratio, your knowledge, your development and experiences in life.

I used to be the team leader of a geotechnical laboratory. Among other things, I was responsible for the progress of the work, contact with the customer, acquisition, quality and the well-being of the lab technicians. I have not been checking any equipment for a long time to verify whether it meets certain specifications of accuracy. I also no longer prepare reports. I now communicate differently with people I work with than a few years ago. My quotations look different than before.
But some things that I do now are still comparable to the past. For example, I will often ask how I can help you at the start of a telephone call.

Has my Why changed?

Has my Why changed? No, it’s still the same. Every day I have the choice to do those things that are in line with my Why so that my contributions will have a positive impact on me and my environment.
That way I experience more fulfillment, energy, focus, effectiveness, flow and love.

Do you want to discover your unique Why as well to experience this? Then come to one of the our workshops for yourself or your team and make an appointment with one of us by clicking the button below.

What is your Why? How did you discover it? Let me know in the comment field below. I and the other readers of this article are looking forward to reading from you!

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Have you seen an error in this article? Let me know! I am grateful!

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