Another Person's "Why"

Keith and I riding near Futaleufú, Chile

If two people have the same goal they want to accomplish, does it matter if they have different reasons for why they want to do it? I’m talking about the kind of “why” that animates your motivation.

My husband and I grappled with this lately. We both wanted to improve an aspect of our relationship but our reasons why were different. 

Admittedly, when I first heard the reason why it was important to him, I didn’t like it one bit, and I took it personally. Thankfully, I gave myself time to roll it around in my head. Hours later, I had this realization. 

As long as we want the same outcome, the “why” that leads us there doesn't matter to me. Stick with me on this.

It was helpful for me to understand his “why” but it didn’t have to match mine. In other words, I want to hear about the other person’s “why,” what’s motivating them to achieve our mutually agreed upon goal. However, I appreciate that the reason “why” that drives each of us doesn’t have to match up in order for us to achieve our end goal.

How could this perspective of “why” be useful in your relationship scenarios?

Next time you’re working with another person to reach the same goal, ask them their “why” and share yours. Get curious about how knowing each other’s “why” helps (or hinders!) you, so you can achieve what matters most to both of you.

In the spirit of knowing ourselves,


I help individuals make the jump from wishing to doing, and professional teams transform from awkward tension to potent interaction.

Here are 3 offerings for you. Give yourself the precious gift of time to learn more about who you are now and what's most important to you.

What's Next Workshop located in Newport,OR at our vibrant 60+ Activity Center on May 19th.

Women's Symposium located in Lincoln City, OR on June 23rd.

Befriend your Creative Self located at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology near Lincoln City, OR on August 12th.

Explore all the details and, as always, you're welcome to contact me with your questions.