The importance of knowing your WHY

Don't wait for motivation to do something

I get this question a lot: “How do you stay so motivated?”

The reason why I have been able to live the way I do is not because I feel motivated all the time.

It is because I have a really strong Why.

Your “Why” is a statement that describes why you do the work you do and why you live the lifestyle you do.

Motivation is a fickle emotion. If you just wait for inspiration or motivation to come, you will only show up when you feel like it.

You might feel super motivated one day and completely drained the next. Waiting for that perfect feeling of motivation can lead to a lot of procrastination.

In contrast, if you have a strong why, you will be more consistent. This is even when we're not feeling motivated.

Why am I so focused on health? Being fit helps me with my career and personal relationships by giving me a lot of energy. I’ve witnessed firsthand what aging does to people’s bodies and the impact it has on the people they love.

Being fit is also tied to my goals. Without regular exercise, I do not have the energy and ability to perform well in this intensive job.

When talking about having a strong why, I thought I’d share the story of my friend, Jie Yao.

Jie Yao, is an SMU I&E scholar and Data Evangelism Lead at a proptech company in Singapore.

I have a lot of respect for Jie Yao because he has high empathy, loyal, strong Confucian values and tons of purpose.

In addition to being super driven in his career, he also exercises almost daily. He starts his day with a run, followed by strength training. After which, he begins to work. At night, he focuses on martial arts.

He does this daily and rests on Sunday.

In a span of one year since knowing him, I watched his muscle mass increase significantly.

I asked him for his WHY. Hopefully, many of these reasons can spur the audience here to pursue a healthier version of yourself.

1.⁠ ⁠Health

Like me, Jie Yao cares a lot about health span.

As we age, chronic diseases and physical decline can make it difficult to take care of yourself and do the things you enjoy.

Extending your healthspan can help you stay active and independent for longer. We only have on body and want to keep it in top form.

Looking good gives him confidence which helps his mental health.

Jie Yao’s beliefs: What he sent me via Instagram

2. Being fit is aligned to his idea of being a man

Jie Yao believes that as a man, his role is to be a protector and also good role model for his future children.

By being in good health, he hopes to have lots of energy to spend more quality time with his future children and set a good example for them.

In his words “If you're not in a good shape, how do you instill the right mindset in your kids that health is wealth?”

Most importantly, being in good health helps him to fulfill his role as a protector - to be able to defend your loved ones and stand up for himself.

“That's necessary in a world where people will take advantage of you and having a natural deterrence is an added bonus,” he explains.

3. Exercise develops his spirituality and character

Working out gives him time to reflect of his own thoughts and 放空. Exercise is a mindful exercise where he is “just one with motion through lifting, running and moving.”

Doing things which are hard also builds his resilience. He has regular practice of pushing through hardships, heading towards obstacles and bulldozing them.

He starts every morning showing himself “This is hard, but I did it… I can capable of doing more.”

“If you're kind without strength, you're weak.

If you're kind with power, that's righteous and moral uprightness.”

Jie Yao

I am glad to have motivated friends who care about career, fitness and being the best version of themselves.

As I shared with a fellow creator, @Malazai, it is important to make an effort to find this type of driven individuals.

When you surround yourself with people who are actively working on their own goals, their efforts inspire you too.


I have been following Wan Hee and felt his is a great role model for many young men and women.

His transformation from BBFA to having a really good body is super impressive.

It shows you this man has resilience, discipline, focus and self-control. You cannot buy a good body, only earn one through those qualities above.

Wan Hee makes videos about fitness, relationships, and mental health. The way he conveys his points are easy to understand, genuine and engaging.

I am a Singaporean tech worker and content creator. Every week, I share ideas on how we can become our best selves in our career; finance; health and relationships.

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