Goals are Great, But Whys are Better

Andrew Ingkavet

Jul 11, 2017

The dictionary defines goals as: “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.” Goals are a target we aim at. Goals can be wonderful. They give direction to focus attention and motivation in times of resistance. They can be a way of measuring our progress. With guidance, setting goals is an extremely powerful and effective method to improve a student’s skills and knowledge.

If goals are set properly, we know specifically what needs to happen before we say “success.”

How Do We Know if a Goal is the Right Goal?

To Do This We Use S.M.A.R.T. Goals

By asking if the goal meets the S.M.A.R.T. standard, we know we are on the right track.

Even Santa uses this S.M.A.R.T. standard! When I was a young child, I would always know exactly what I wanted for Christmas. One year, it was a toy Winnebago camper with the Mom and Dad dolls. It was very specific! It was measurable, attainable, realistic (maybe) and had a definite deadline. Of course, I needed to tell Santa how much I wanted it!

Goals are Great, But Whys are Better

Why do you want to achieve this goal? The reason we choose to take action is often not examined. By linking into our core beliefs, values and motivations, we can supercharge our desire and action.

Above is a short video clip by Simon Sinek, author of the book, Start With Why. He discusses how knowing your why can also make it clearer for your customers.

I highly recommend you take some time to do the exercise in this worksheet. By knowing your why, you can recharge yourself when the going gets tough.

In the first module of my training for music teachers, the Musicolor Method, I ask: “Why are you a music teacher?” By taking the time to reflect deeply on this, we can tie into some very deep motivations.

How to Find Your Why — Ask Yourself These Questions

And to really get beyond the surface level of that question, you can continue with subsequent questions:

1 — “And why else?”

2 — “How?”

3 — “And what more?”

For example:

Why Do I Teach Music?

I teach music because I have a great love of music.

And what more?

I want to share my passion and skills with the world.

Why else?

My life was transformed by music. With music I gained access to a social group who shared similar passions. I found an identity.


Through my musicianship, I was no longer seen as an outsider, but one of them. Along the way, I developed the vital skills of focus, problem-solving, how to learn, and perseverance.

And what more?

I want to teach music to practice other life skills. It’s a vehicle to mastery of life, no matter what profession or field of endeavor.

And why else?

We are all vibrating beings. From the smallest nano-particles to the largest galaxies, there is motion, vibration, frequency. You can say we are all made of music. By learning to listen, harmonize, we become better humans.

That’s why I teach music.

Your Inner Core

By knowing your why, you tap the inner core and find original passion from when you started your business. When you articulate specifically and clearly without holding back, you reveal the truth behind all action. This truth is your inner core. Your strength. It’s what make you “you” and not Picasso, Beethoven, Bird or Kafka.

Goals are great, but whys are so much more powerful. Celebrate your true mission and revisit your why daily. Carpe diem and bon chance!

About the Author

Andrew Ingkavet is a music teacher with a thriving school in Brooklyn, NYC. He is the CEO/ Founder of the Musicolor Method®, an online curriculum/training for early childhood music education and author of “The Game of Practice: with 53 Tips to Make Practice Fun.” Andrew is passionate about the importance of music education to develop life skills in children.

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