Thanks to a recommendation from a friend, I recently read Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why, and it is a game-changer! It is definitely in my top three books–and I’ve read a lot of books!
I am not going to do a book review but I am going to touch on the main point of the book, and that is purpose.
Sinek reminds us that we should start every endeavor, including life, with an understanding and recognition of purpose. He explains:
“Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief – WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?”
Many times we get caught up in WHAT we do (write) and HOW we do it (blogs, books, articles, etc) and we completely neglect WHY we do it (inspire, teach, enlighten). WHY is the most important. WHY is the purpose. It is the WHY that gives life and breath to your WHAT and HOW.
When you have a deep sense of purpose (WHY) then you can effectively perform your WHAT. And, interestingly, your WHAT can change.
For instance, my WHY is “to help people be fulfilled by reaching their full potential.” This, I feel, is the purpose of my life. It is what makes me fulfilled and what motivates me to do anything. I want people to be fulfilled. I want them to reach their full potential in business, in relationships, in spirituality and in life.
That is my WHY. My WHAT is teaching–it is how I will accomplish my WHY. I feel that by teaching, I can fulfill my purpose. I can help people reach their full potential and be fulfilled by teaching them. I dedicate hours and hours to reading, learning, and growing so that I can pass the information on, and effectively, teach people how to succeed.
My WHAT can change and I can have multiple WHATs. For instance, along with teaching I could create products that helped people reach their full potential. No matter my WHAT, my WHY remains.
HOW I teach is by writing, speaking and mentoring. This too can change with time and practice.
So, here it is:
Jeremy’s WHY: help people be fulfilled by reaching their full potential
Jeremy’s WHAT: teaching
Jeremy’s HOW: blog, books, speaking, mentoring
I challenge you to take a step back and look at your life. WHY are you doing WHAT you do? What is the purpose? Everything you do can become more fulfilling and effective if you start with WHY.
Maybe you’re not just a “barber”… you’re someone who is empowering people to feel more confident and setting them up to take chances that will lead to greater success. Maybe you’re not just a “teacher”… you’re equipping young men and women to change the world. Cutting hair or teaching is WHAT you do, but you’re WHY is what drives you to do it!
Check this out: When you have a sense of WHY, you’re not just a title, you are a positive force for change in the world–and you recognize that! When this the case, you feel better about yourself and stay motivated! You begin to do the things you do, not for yourself, but for others. You enjoy your life! Like Tony Robbins says, “The reason you’re miserable is because you’re focused on yourself.” If all you think about is your title (“I am this“) and you neglect your purpose (“People are this because of what I do”) you’ll lead a shallow, discontented life.
As Gary Keller points out in The ONE Thing, “…the best path to attaining [success and fulfillment] is through purpose-driven priority.”
Be a purpose-driven person! Not a task driven purpose. Don’t get caught up in your WHATs and HOWs. Focus on other people.
Start With Why!
If you enjoyed this or it could be helpful to someone you know, share it. It would mean the world to me!