7 min read ⌚
A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team
Unfortunately, most of our lives we spend so much time doing things, that we don’t have the time to ask ourselves why we are doing them. Really: what’s the meaning, the purpose of it all?
After pointing out to you almost a decade ago that you should always start with a why, Simon Sinek is back to teach you how to “Find Your Why.”
Who Should Read “Find Your Why”? And Why?
Simon Sinek is too popular to ignore anything he does.
And “Start With Why” – his debut book – was one of the things which made him so big. So, when that book gets a follow-up, it’s only normal than the answers to the above questions are as generalized as possible: 1) everyone; 2) because everyone wants to have a purpose and a direction in life.
Or, to quote Simon Sinek himself: “Find Your Why” is a book “for all of the people who want to learn their WHY, who want their companies to start with WHY, who want to help others find their WHY . . . for all of the people who want to help build a world in which the vast majority of people wake up inspired to go to work, to feel safe when they are there and to return home fulfilled by the work they do.”
About Simon Sinek, David Mead and Peter Docker
Simon Sinek is a British- American leadership consultant and motivational speaker. To say that he is one of the biggest names in both areas may be an understatement. His TED Talk, “How great leaders inspire action,” is the 3rd most viewed TED talk of all time. “Together Is Better” and “Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe” are just as beloved.
David Mead is a corporate trainer whose worldview was turned upside down once he met Simon Sinek in 2009.
Inspired by his Golden Circle concept, he started working closely with him, first by developing content and then by organizing popular workshops. He has presented their ideas to over 150 organizations located on 5 continents.
Peter Docker is a keynote motivational speaker and popular leadership consultant. He is a former international negotiator for the UK government and Royal Air Force senior officer with combat experience.
In 2011, he joined Simon Sinek and his Start With Why team. His main focus is transforming Sinek’s theories into practical coaching manuals.
“Find Your Why Summary”
Have you ever asked yourself what’s the point of it all? What’s the meaning behind the things that you’re doing? What’s the purpose of your life?
Or, in short:
WHY are you doing what you’re doing right now?
It can be a depressing thing, we know. To tell you the truth, we ourselves have rarely bothered to ask our hearts and untethered souls such a troubling question. And even now, as we do, we are stunned to face the silence and the lack of satisfying answers.
But don’t take our word for it.
Simon Sinek went through the same process as well. At one point during his life, he discovered that there was nothing which really made him happy. He had lost all passion and enthusiasm for anything. His friends noticed his depression, so, naturally, they tried helping him by offering some advice.
Until Sinek decided to delve deep into his past and discover his WHY. Soon enough, he did: he wanted to inspire others. The rest – as they say – is history.
So, why don’t you go and try doing the very same yourself?
Dig deep in to your past and discover whether something you have done sometimes filled you with a feeling you won’t mistake for anything other than happiness. If so, stop – for a second, a minute, an hour, a week, a month! – and think it through why that was.
For example, a woman the authors worked with had all but given up on her life. She didn’t know what to do – and even less why to do it.
Through a series of long – and rather painful – conversations, the authors of “Find Your Why” did manage to locate the root of all her sadness: an abusive father. However, that part belongs to the past and psychology studies. The one which follows belongs to the future and motivational books.
Namely, the woman had a sister. And the thing that really made her feel as if she did something good with her life was few acts of self-sacrifice when she protected her sister. There was the revelation, there was the WHY: she wanted – really, really desired – to help vulnerable people in need.
And, suddenly, her life made sense again.
However, discovering your WHY sometimes may not be as simple. You may need some external help such as the woman did in the above example.
So, try to casually slip your WHY conundrum in a conversation with some of your friends. Start retelling stories from the past and see where that will lead you. The only thing you need is a good listener with observant and curious mind. Because these people will try to find your WHY for you.
Few of them – and you just might have a winner.
Key Lessons from “Find Your Why”
1. There’s No Point in Doing Anything Which Lacks a Profound WHY
2. Discover Your WHY by Digging Deep into Your Past
3. Next Time You’re Out with Someone for a Cup of Coffee – Please Tell Them Your WHY
There’s No Point in Doing Anything Which Lacks a Profound WHY
The only things you should be doing in life are the things which make you get out of your bed – happy and smiling. And the things which make you happy – are usually those you do because of a profound reason.
If you remember Sinek’s “Golden Circle” explanation, this WHY is the center of the said circle, enclosed within the HOW and the WHAT. And it is what people buy – they don’t buy WHAT you do, neither HOW you do it. They buy it because of the WHY, the story behind it.
That’s why Apple is so huge. It just happens to produce computers – because it thinks differently. To them, the WHY is the more important of the HOW and the WHAT. And it is to us as well.
So, if companies can do it – why shouldn’t you be able as well?
Discover Your WHY by Digging Deep into Your Past
If you want to discover your WHY, the best way is to close your eyes and start thinking about the past. See what made you happy when you were a child – and try to find out why.
List all the stories. Maybe you’ll find some interrelations, some things which repeat as if a pattern.
For example, maybe you wanted to visit your grandparents not because you had time during the summer vacation, but because their house is next to a forest, which you were able to explore. And maybe you wanted to do the same when you went on those high school excursions.
If so – shouldn’t you be working as, say, an ecologist, instead of draining your life in that small, dark office of yours?
Next Time You’re Out with Someone for a Cup of Coffee – Please Tell Them Your WHY
Even when you discover your WHY, you’re merely halfway finished. Because – now you need to start following it.
And overcoming fear isn’t really an easy task.
However, there’s a great way to do this. And it’s fairly simple: just share the WHY. Tell it to others. Especially strangers.
When someone you’ve just met asks you “What do you do?” don’t beat around the bush saying things such as “Well, I was this and then that but plan on to become a third thing…”
Just say it out loud: “I’m an ecologist because I want to explore and preserve nature.” It may sound funny at first – but, believe us, your life depends upon it.
Because this practice will not only give you the much-needed confidence. It will also help you adjust your message. And it will also reassure you that you’re doing the right thing.
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“Find Your Why” QuotesIf we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY. Click To Tweet There’s just one problem with feelings. They can be tremendously difficult to express in words. That’s the reason we so often resort to metaphors and analogies. Click To Tweet When we align emotionally with our customers and clients, our connection is much stronger and more meaningful than any affiliation based on features and benefits. That’s what starting with WHY is all about. Click To Tweet There are two ways to build a career or a business. We can go through life hunting and pecking, looking for opportunities or customers, hoping that something connects. Or we can go through life with intention, knowing what our piece looks… Click To Tweet The opportunity is not to discover the perfect company for ourselves. The opportunity is to build the perfect company for each other. Click To Tweet
Our Critical Review
Most people are writing self-help books. As Simon Sinek writes in the Foreword to this book, he and his team are focused on creating the “help-others” bookshop section.
True, “Find Your Why” is not as groundbreaking and as inspirational as its predecessor “Start With Why.” In fact, to many, some of the ideas in “Find Your Why” may seem nothing more but recycled versions of previous ideas Sinek has persuasively presented.
However, “Find Your Why” tends to be much more practical and applicable. And, even if repetitive, it can still inspire you to change your life.