We’re often confronted with thoughts and ideas of what we want in life.
- What are our goals?
- What do we need to do to get there?
- How can others help us or give us the steps to take?
- Where can we find the support and encouragement to get there?
This is all great and even important. But it fails to identify the essence, to penetrate to the core and get at the driving question that can open up a world of opportunity for personal and professional growth:
- Why do we do the things we do?
- Why do we get up at 5 a.m. when other people sleep in?
- Why do we do the hard things others won’t?
- Why do we work as hard as we do, make sacrifices, work long hours, tirelessly build our businesses and improve our lives?
You might ask, Why must we start with WHY? Why is WHY so important? If I know what I do and how to do it, can’t I get to where I want to go? Maybe. But you might take much longer and arrive at the destination alone. The driving motivation of the world’s most effective and successful leaders is a force that’s hard to describe, but easy to be attracted to and inspired by—WHY.
Why was Michael Jordan so driven to be the best basketball player of his time, and arguably ever? Michael Jordan wasn’t massively successful and inspirational because of his field goal percentage or because he practiced his shots from the field longer than anyone else in practice. Why was Steve Jobs so committed to his vision and what was his WHY? Steve Jobs and Apple weren’t massively successful because their iPhone had the most features and the coolest design. In fact, other phones were often faster and larger with more features. Why has Mark Zuckerberg been so wildly successful in pioneering an entire industry now ubiquitously known as social media? He wasn’t driven by money and fame; we’ve seen him balk at both. Zuckerberg and Facebook haven’t been so successful because they offer the most features and have taken the most traditional road to become a public company and social goliath. For these leaders and so many others, success is not attributable to the what or the how.
What sets these leaders and visionaries apart from all the others, is that they all started with WHY. And so must you.
“Before we can stand out, we must first get clear on what we stand for.” —Simon Sinek
The driving motivation of the world’s most effective and successful leaders is a force that’s hard to describe but easy to be attracted to and inspired by—WHY.
As you go about your day today, think about WHY you do what you do.
What insight did you gain today about WHY you do what you do?