“Start with Why” by Simon Sinek, is now a business classic. Sinek wrote this book back in 2011 and he has built an entire business around people and companies finding their “WHY”. You can watch his powerful video on TED.com, to understand why, WHY is the most important thing in a leader’s life. When you or I look for that life, that job, that relationship which will catapult us to our legacy and to significance, we must first begin with knowing our WHY and from our WHY, we can find our WAY.
What is your purpose for being here today? Knowing your purpose or your WHY is the lifeblood of “Intentional Living”. John Maxwell described it best: “If you know your WHY and focus on going there with fierce determination, you can make sense of everything on your journey because you see it through the lens of WHY.” Think about this sentence for a moment. It makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? How many people do you know who completely derail, loose focus, take off-ramp after off-ramp and never seem to get anywhere, much less move forward toward their dream? I know I know far too many.
When you know your WHY, finding your WAY is so much easier. If a person does not have a purpose in life, there is no meaning either. Our purpose gives us meaning. Meaning gives us hope and significance. Significance is not one spectacular thing, but rather many small things which add up to “Significance”. That is a huge distinction. As you or I focus on others and less on ourselves, our significance actually grows.
When we live out our WHY this gives us “confidence” and that in turn attracts others to us. They want what we have. In business, others will pay a good sum to learn this skill. A byproduct of confidence is “security”. I am reminded of the “Learning Staircase” here. There are four steps in the learning staircase. The first step is “unconscious incompetence” – simply put we live is blissful ignorance of what we are unaware of and do not know. The second step is “conscious incompetence” – here we are painfully aware that we do not know something and we dwell on our ignorance day and night. The third step is “conscious competence” – this is the moment when we know everything there is to know about something and we are no longer dwelling in ignorance. The final and fourth stair is called: “unconscious competence” – this means you do things without even thinking about them because you have “mastered” the skill or knowledge. Think about brushing your teeth for instance, or driving to a familiar place and arriving and not remembering how you got there. These things are rote.
As we become unconsciously competent in our lives and at work our WHY adds fuel to our strengths. Then your strengths can strengthen your WHY. The more you layer your WHY, the more impact you have on others. And knowing your WHY keeps you in the game longer. This is where many people fall away, because they think they “have arrived” and no longer need anything more. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Here are the three questions to find your WHY…and EVERYBODY has a WHY!
1.What do you cry about?
2.What do you sing about?
3.What do you dream about?
Your answers are “CLUES”. Try to distill your three answers into one word. That best describes you; this is where you begin with the inspiration to live out your WHY.
Please email me with your questions, comments or suggests at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next month we will discuss:
Putting Others First: Doing something that makes a difference