Gary Sanchez

WHY Institute Founder & CEO

What is my WHY?

Gary Sanchez

WHY Institute Founder & CEO

What is my WHY?

Finding Your WHY

At the WHY Institute, we have found there are 9 unique WHYs

If you have not already, make sure you take the WHY App before reading this blog – once you do that, come back and continue reading!

Now that you’ve taken the WHY App, let’s jump into understanding each of the 9 WHY’s.

Contribute – To contribute to a greater cause, make a difference, add value or make an impact in the lives of others.

What you might hear these people say is:

“What can I do to help?”

“How can I make a bigger impact?”

“What can we do to make a difference?”

“How can I be a better teammate?”

If this is your WHY – you’re looking to be a part of something bigger than yourself. You love the success of the team and the greater good. You’re often behind the scenes looking for ways to make the world a better place. You make a reliable and committed teammate and act as a glue to hold everything together. Often, your time, money, energy, and resources are used to help other people move forward.

The challenge with this WHY is the tendency to overcommit. You say “Yes” to request after request. When you contribute it makes you feel successful, but you have to be aware that it is okay to say “No.” You are often so busy helping other people that your dreams get pushed to the side because you feel completely overwhelmed.

The key to overcoming this is recognizing and identifying where you can make your greatest possible contribution. Ask yourself “If I agree to that will it enable me to make the maximum contribution I can make? Or will it take from me?”  Learning to distinguish opportunities will help you stay focused on living your WHY to the fullest. You have to stay away from areas where you play small to areas where you can play full out. Also try making yourself the cause. This will allow you to meet your need to give and succeed!

Trust – To create relationships based on trust

Something you might say:

“You can count on me.”

“I’ll be there for you.”

“You can trust me.”

You are the trusted source that others can count on at all times. You can be counted on to do what you say you will do. You believe that when relationships are based on trust the sky is the limit. You will go to great lengths to show that you are trustworthy. You look to do things properly and correctly. People with your WHY often like numbers because they do not lie. 

If someone breaks your trust it feels like a knife in the gut and it’s hard to be friends with them in the future! Although you have fewer friends, you build lasting and loyal relationships.

The biggest challenge is that because trust is so important, you will often go above and beyond to prove that you are trustworthy. You might stay late, work overtime, and may even be overly generous with time or resources in an effort to build trust. This extra effort does not yield great results because others do not see the world through the same filter – and it’s not worth it for them. 

Additionally, you often find yourself getting let down. If someone tells a white lie, you are suddenly unable to trust them and that damages the relationship.  Often, you can lose relationships because people break your trust.

Given that trust is so important, you have to communicate it clearly to all of those you work and interact with. You have to let people know that trust is important to you! And ask them if you can count on them. If you cannot, don’t pursue the relationship. You will quickly recognize who you resonate with!


Make Sense  To make sense out of things especially the complex or the complicated

Something you might say is:

“I got it!”

“Let me help you figure it out!”

“I know what to do here.”

“I have it solved”

You are driven to solve problems and resolve challenging and complex systems. You’re able to take a mass amount of data and sort through it to make systems that work. You are typically way ahead of everyone else. You take problems and challenges and organize them into solutions that are sensible and easy to implement. You are often viewed as an expert because of your ability to find solutions quickly. You are able to clearly summarize the solutions and share them! You help people get unstuck and move forward.

The challenge for this WHY is impossible for you to stop solving problems. Sometimes if you’re solving other people’s problems all of the time, you might come off as smarty pants or a know-it-all, or someone who does not even listen. Since you always have an answer and solution, you might push away others. If you are not careful you can damage relationships despite solving their problem and wanting to help.

Here’s how to solve it: don’t jump in with your solution. You can’t stop your mind from solving it, but you can stop your mouth from saying it! Walk these individuals through solving their own problem.


Better Way – To find a better way and share it.

You might Better Way people saying:

“It might be better if we do it this way.”

“I think there is a better answer.”

“This place looks better.”

“What if we try this other way?”

“Let’s find a better way.”

You are the ultimate innovator. You constantly seek ways to improve everything, and then you want to share the improvements. You take what is there and improve on it as well. You contribute to the world with better processes and better systems! You operate under the motto: Often pleased, never satisfied.

The challenge is that the very strength is a distinct challenge because nothing is ever right! You might have a hard time choosing what to eat. You can frustrate others, especially those that go to great lengths to make systems that work and you want to find something that is better than what they already have.

The solution is to realize is that what you’re looking for is “Good enough.” If you’re always making things better, you have to identify where it stops and ends. The place it should end is when it is “Good enough.” but, you have to define that for yourself. This will help you focus on areas where you can have a better impact.

Right Way To do things the right way in order to get results

Right Way’s often say:

“Follow the system.”

“It’s all about results.”

“Let’s be consistent.”

“Let’s stick with it.”

“It worked in the past.”

You believe there is a proper and correct way to do things. You’re focused on results and in order to do that, you need to follow proven systems and processes. If you stay on the right path you will get the right results. You believe in being on time and sticking to a set schedule. You don’t think you know everything, but you believe you need to find the right path to the results, which are guaranteed.

Here’s the challenge: if unchecked you can come across as rigid and inflexible. This can lead to friction with people who do not see the world through your WHY.

The solution is to acknowledge that the right way for you may not be the right way for someone else. You should make sure things are done right, but you have to respect the results without being in complete control of the process. You have to respect the processes and systems of others!


Challenge – To think differently and challenge the status quo.

Here’s what Challenge WHYs often say:

“I cannot stand being put in a box!”

“What box?”

“Who wants to be in a box?”

“Let’s do things differently!”

“Who says we have to follow the rules?”

If this is your WHY then you do not believe in following the rules or drawing between the lines. You rebel against the classic way of doing things. You have eclectic taste and friends!  You love to be different, think different, and challenge virtually anyone or anything that is too conventional or typical. You want to push the envelope because it comes naturally to you.  You see a world that is different than the rest of us do.

The challenges that come with this WHY are: you are generally unaware of the gift and you don’t appreciate the gift! Some people might not understand it.

The solution requires some tact. It’s important that you let people know about your WHY! That you enjoy creating innovative and novel ways of doing things. You want to invite people to bring challenges and out of the box solutions.

When someone knows about your WHY, you become the cool person who just thinks differently! For people with your WHY, gaining that awareness about your WHY helps you know that you have a rare gift that few others share. See your WHY as a gift, not a curse.


Master – To seek mastery and understanding

Master WHYs often say:

“That’s very interesting!”

“Let’s explore that in greater detail.”

“I need to do some research.”

“That sure is complex.”

“I want to know more about that.”

You have an insatiable thirst for deep knowledge – you want to know the depths and intricacies of a topic. You find enjoyment in immersing yourself in something new. You love to learn a ton, but might be cautious in sharing your thoughts. You look for subtle differences. Short answers are a challenge for you because they do not do justice to the depth needed to understand the subject matter. You love the details.

The biggest challenge is a practical one, you have a tendency to create a Rolls Royce when a Honda Civic is required. The pursuit of perfection might be uncalled for or counterproductive. Some want a summary and you give a six-page essay. You’re not suited for mundane tasks and might get in your own way! You have to be cautious to keep your brain out of the way of necessary things that have to be accomplished on a certain time schedule. Sometimes good enough is good enough.

The solution is to set a timeframe and deliver just what is required. Though you can dive deep into the intricacies of the subject, you have to be aware when that is needed and wanted. Make sure you give people what they want! You will find happiness in roles where your intellect is constantly challenged!

Clarify – To clarify or create clarity

Clarify WHYs often say:

“So you will be here at 11:26 or 11:27?”

“We need to get clear on that.”

“Are we seeing eye to eye?”

“I need clarification”

You seek to be fully understood at all times. Everything has to be crystal clear. It’s important for you to know that people get what you are saying. You feel successful when you know with confidence that your message has been fully understood and received so decisions can be made.

Your need to be clearly understood almost borders on fanatical – this is a challenge! It might come across as overbearing. You may find yourself explaining something for multiple times even though people have said they already understand you. These individuals might avoid you because they do not want to go through the questioning.

The solution: because you’re masterful with your ability to speak, this will get in the way of listening. Start listening, verifying, and moving on. Listen for when someone tells you that they understand you!

Simplify To make things simple.

Simplify WHYs often say:

“Let’s break it down to its essence.”

“Just give me the facts.”

“I don’t want all of the extra just tell me like it is.”

“We need to keep things simple.”

You make everyone else’s life easier. You break things down its essence which allows us to understand each other better and see things the same way. You’re looking for ways to simplify, from recipes to business systems. You feel successful when you eliminate the complexity and remove unnecessary steps. You have few choices in your closet because why make it complicated when you can just make it simple!

The biggest challenge you face with your WHY is to embrace the fact that others are okay with chaos. You see chaos as added layers of complexity and contributes nothing, most do not see it the same way. You have a hard time with the mess, disorganization, and someone giving you lots of detail. If something is complex, you cannot stand it because it’s complex, only the person that understands that complexity can do it and to you, that’s not useful.

The solution: well, there is no easy answer. Humans are messy by nature and are not prone to seeking simple solutions like you are, so really it’s acceptance and celebration that are your friends. Accept that others do not do things like you do, and celebrate the contribution that you make to everyone around you.

You Might Feel Like Most of These

So those are the 9 WHYs!

You might be thinking – “I see myself in many of the 9 WHYs.”  

The reason you feel that way is because your WHY is the first step in developing your Personal WHY Formula. Your Personal WHY Formula is your WHY-HOW-WHAT. WHY you do what you do, HOW you bring you WHY to life and WHAT people can count on from you. Your WHY is just the start of understanding what makes you… you!

Learn more about discovering your WHY-HOW-WHAT with the Personal WHY Formula workshop. You can find the course at this link.