My Core Beliefs: Focus on the Why

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

This is the second post in the series. You can find the first post on defining your core beliefs here.


There has been a lot of discussion about the power of why. Thanks to Simon Sinek and his discussions of starting with why, knowing and explaining the why has become the driver for learning and professional discussions (or at least it should be). I truly believe these things about the why:

  • Educators need to know their why to be engaged and have buy-in

  • While “for the students” is an important (and should be obvious) why, it’s not always the only one necessary and sometimes needs to be taken a step further

  • How connected you are with your own why determines your engagement (personally or professionally)

  • When you help students know their why, it will increase their engagement in school

  • When people don’t know their why, they sometimes need to be lead down the path to finding it

Your Why and Purpose Last summer I saw a video in a session at the FIRST Conference that summarized my feelings better than I could have ever explained. If you haven’t seen this video called Know Your Why by Michael Jr, you need to watch it.

When you know your why your what has more impact because you’re walking in and toward your purpose. – Michael Jr.

I could watch that video over and over it’s so powerful.


I was recently listening to the book The Power of Moments by Heath (which I highly recommend – it has been my reading of the year). They compare knowing your why to understanding your purpose and define purpose as “the sense that you are contributing to others, that your work has broader meaning.¹” In studies that they discuss in the book, they found that when people were only passionate about what they did, it did not necessarily equate to higher achievement in their jobs even though they were happy. However, if they knew their purpose or meaning (or why), they were found to be more likely to go above a