I'm re-reading one of my favorite books, again, and it's giving me all the inspiration it did the very first time I picked it up. It's a book by Simon Sinek, Start with Why, and it's fantastic.
I'm not going to even attempt to summarize it here, as there are other folks that have done that in much better capacity than I can, but I will use some examples in my own life to show how his lessons on why it's most important to understand WHY you do what you do, to fully understand your purpose, motivations, and how to achieve joy in life.
The main idea is that in order to make an impact, to have others understand and relate to you, and to understand yourself, you must start with why. That is, don't begin with how you do things, or what you're doing when you, say, travel to foreign lands. You should instead be able to explain to yourself (and others) why you're staying late at work or why you're visiting a remote village in China.
It's kindof like having your own mission statement, but bigger.
I can't tell you what your WHY is, but I can relate to my own experiences and endeavors. For the past 15 years I've been involved in conservation travel, conservation biology, and expedition leadership. I work and travel because I love it, and I enjoy teaching others about our natural world and I plan and guide big nature expeditions involving all sorts of difficult logistics.
Those are the whats and hows. Great, but not where to start.
If I were to explain this starting with WHY, it might look something like "I'm saving our natural world through conservation travel."
I know that it's hard for this to have meaningful impact in a short blog, but you can see how there is indeed the what, and the how, but also the why. The why is actually more of a guiding principle because it's less precise.
The WHY is actually more of a road sign for the whats and the hows. If you start with WHY, you'll make sure that you're always on the right path, no matter how you move down it.