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Powerful WHY, Easy HOW

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Powerful WHY, Easy HOW

If the WHY is powerful, the HOW is easy” by Jim Rohn.

Here are a few insights into one of my favorite quotes from Jim Rhon that I want to share with you today.

Understanding our ‘why‘ can profoundly transform personal and professional growth. Legendary and motivational speaker Jim Rohn elegantly encapsulated this concept in the phrase, “If the WHY is powerful, the HOW is easy.” This idea is not just a fleeting thought but a foundational principle that can guide us through our life visions’ most daunting challenges and intricate mazes.

As far as the above quote is concerned, I would say it is not easy. Nevertheless, I must admit that knowing our “why” is not an easy task but rather a very difficult one. Otherwise, everyone would be happy and prosperous today.

The Beacon of Purpose

Imagine yourself standing at the edge of an expansive forest, surrounded by a verdant ocean of trees extending far from the forest’s edge. There is a metaphor behind this path before you that expresses not only what you’re about to embark on in pursuit of your goals but also the journey you’re about to embark on on the way there. This is where your ‘why’ becomes the guiding light that illuminates the path ahead and infuses every step with purpose and clarity to help you follow it through to the end.

It’s like having a compass on a map: with it, you may realize that your journey has an end destination, much less know how to get there. But with it, you can always stay on track and find your way.

If we take the example of an athlete training for the Olympics, it is clear how arduous the journey would be. The regimen is grueling, the sacrifices are immense, and the odds are often daunting for those participating. Although this is true, it is the athlete’s unwavering focus on the ‘why’ that transforms the seemingly impossible ‘how’ into a series of manageable steps — the dream of standing on the podium, the pursuit of personal excellence, the desire to inspire — the ‘why’ that gives the athlete the strength to overcome the seemingly insurmountable ‘how.’ Every weight lifted, every lap run, and every moment of rest contribute meaningfully to the longer journey.

Vision and Clarity

The power of ‘why’ also lies in its ability to clarify. Understanding the ‘why’ behind an endeavor can illuminate the most effective path forward in the complex business world, where decisions can have far-reaching consequences. When Apple Inc. created the iPhone, their ‘why’ wasn’t just about making a phone but about reinventing how people communicate, interact, and live. This profound ‘why’ made the ‘how’—navigating technological challenges, design hurdles, and market dynamics—not just manageable but a thrilling adventure that led to the creation of a revolutionary product.

The Strength to Persevere Moreover, a powerful ‘why’ becomes a reservoir of strength in times of adversity. Consider the tireless efforts of social activists who champion causes against seemingly insurmountable odds. Their ‘why’ is rooted in a deep desire for justice, equality, and change. This conviction turns obstacles into stepping stones and defeats into lessons, making the ‘how’ of their activism a journey of resilience and unwavering commitment.

Let’s look at another example of an aspiring writer named Joanne Rowling’s story. Rowling’s passion for storytelling was as vast as the ocean. Her mind was an endless trove of characters and worlds waiting to be discovered. Yet, she was adrift in a sea of uncertainty, her dreams of publishing a novel lost amidst rejection and doubt. It wasn’t until she reconnected with her ‘why’—her deep-seated desire to inspire change through her stories—that the ‘how’ began to unfold with clarity. She realized her journey wasn’t just about getting published and touching hearts and igniting minds. With this powerful ‘why,’ the once daunting task of navigating the publishing world transformed into manageable steps. Her unwavering purpose guided these steps for the series now known as Harry Potter!

This triumph story is not unique to Joanne. History is replete with individuals whose powerful ‘whys’ paved the way for remarkable achievements. Consider Mahatma Gandhi’s relentless resolve, whose ‘why’ was independence for India through nonviolent resistance. As a result of Gandhi’s compelling vision, innovative strategies were formulated, and millions of people were mobilized. This led to the liberation of the Indian nation.

The Path Unfolds

You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight. – Jim Rhon

Furthermore, Jim Rhon tells us that understanding the ‘why’ unfolds the ‘how’ before us. This is a series of steps and a journey of discovery, growth, and fulfillment. It reminds us that when our goals are clear and compelling, the mechanisms, strategies, and pathways to accomplish them are aligned with our aspirations.

In other words, knowing why we are doing something helps us figure out what steps to take to achieve it. Knowing our purpose also helps us stay motivated and focused on our goals.

Here is what modern science has to say:

Both the science and the stories that surround this phenomenon are fascinating. Psychologists and neuroscientists have discovered that an intense, emotionally charged ‘why’ activates the brain’s motivational and goal-directed pathways. This neurological response translates into increased resilience, creativity, and adaptability in the face of challenges, making the ‘how’ seem less insurmountable.

Those seeking to tap into the power of their ‘why’ can benefit from starting with a reflective approach. It is possible to unearth one’s core motivations for action through the use of reflective practices such as journaling, meditation, or even deep conversations with trusted confidants through the use of reflective practices. Further guidance can be found in books such as “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek, which offers frameworks for clarifying and articulating one’s purpose.

Moreover, the digital age offers many resources for those embarking on this journey. Inspirational blogs like Zen Habits or The Art of Non-Conformity are treasure troves of stories and insights that echo Rohn’s wisdom. They serve as reminders that when the ‘why’ is clear, the ‘how’ becomes a landscape of possibilities rather than a daunting obstacle course.

Jim Rohn’s quote above encourages introspection and purpose-driven action. Let us anchor ourselves in the ‘why’ of our aspirations as we navigate the complexity of our goals, for it is only through understanding our purpose that we will know the way forward. Whether you lead a movement, engage in storytelling, or embark on a personal transformation, a strong ‘why’ makes the ‘how’ much easier. This process transforms the journey into an odyssey of meaning and fulfillment.

Jay Pacheco


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