Living Your Big Why

The following is adapted from Down Home Money, by Myra Oliver.

If you have big goals in your personal and professional life, you need motivation or you’ll never achieve what you set out to do. The key to motivation is understanding the meaning behind your actions in your day-to-day life. I call this your “big why.”

Your big why is the thing that gets you out of bed every day. It fuels your fire. It helps you to stay focused on your goals and gives you clarity on the steps to get there.

Know your big why and you can become more purposeful in pursuing your goals. The sacrifices you make to achieve your goals will be worth it when you know what you’re sacrificing for.

The 80/20 Rule

As you become more purposeful in living out your big why, you will likely find yourself more productive — and more joyful. Your life will come to exemplify the 80/20 rule.

In the late 1800s, Vilfredo Pareto observed that life seems to work on an 80/20 principle: 80 percent of the outcomes (effects and consequences) come from 20 percent of the inputs (causes). Pareto made his observation in relation to wealth and population in Italy (e.g., 20 percent of the population owned 80 percent of the land; 20 percent of the population paid 80 percent of the taxes), but the principle can be seen in all areas of life. In my real estate office, for example, 20 percent of the agents produce 80 percent of the sales commissions.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Why do some people seem to get so much more done? Because they are purposeful with their time. They know what they want. They know their big why. If you work hard in your top 20 percent — that is, in your purpose and passion — you will work less overall and be more productive with the time you do work.

In addition, each of us has a top 20 percent activities or inputs that account for 80 percent of our joy and satisfaction. If you spend 80 percent of your time in your top 20 percent, you will be much more content. However, if you spend 80 percent of your time on things that don’t matter or that don’t bring you joy — cleaning house, mowing the lawn, doing your taxes — you will be less satisfied. Your top 20 percent is your big why, your passion, your purpose. Find it, pursue it, and live in it, and you will find yourself working more effectively and experiencing more joy.

Your Reason for Sacrificing

Like everything else in life, living your big why requires money. Whether your big why is volunteering at animal shelters, working at a lower-paying job in your passion, donating to charitable cause, or helping your aging mom, you need money to fund your big why.

Some people work long hours at a job they don’t like so they can live in their big why. Others work multiple jobs at night and on weekends.

However you fund your big why, you will need to make sacrifices. Knowing your big why will drive you forward when you have moments of scarcity and doubt. You will get tired of saving money and wonder if it’s all worth it. There will be times when you want to go to the mall and buy everything in sight. If you know your big why, you will pause before you act. You will remember why you’re doing this, how you’re doing this, and what you will gain by doing this.

Until you figure out why you’re pursuing financial freedom, your emotions will lead your actions. If you know your big why, however, you’ll be led by facts. You’ll know why you’re working overtime, saving your money, delaying gratification, and not buying the new _________ (you fill in the blank). If you know your big why, you’ll be motivated to do what you need to do.

Now you have your big why. You have taken time to sit, think, and ask yourself tough questions. You know the reason you’re going to make hard choices and pursue financial freedom.

For more advice on using your big why to get big financial results, you can find Down Home Money on Amazon.

Myra Oliver is a Kentucky girl who started her career as a hairstylist and became a real estate broker/investor and entrepreneur. She currently owns multiple Keller Williams Realty franchises. After earning enough passive income through smart saving and real estate investments, Myra sold her hair salon and retired in her thirties. Three years later, she found her passion in helping others build their own streams of passive income through real estate investments. Myra lives in Denton, Texas with her husband, Rick, and their chihuahua, Izzy. To learn more about financial freedom and living your best life, visit her website,

Down Home Money


  1. Numara Sorgula on at 1:32 pm

    Thank you for this beautiful article. It’s really a good article

  2. Thanks very interesting blog!