Start with WHY
How many of us go to work and feel like we are just going through the motions or wake up every day like Bill Murray in 'Groundhog Day?' Great movie, but none of us want to waste our time doing a little thing called 'work' if it isn't fun or fulfilling. What do you do to make your job fun or fulfilling? Better yet, let me ask you a deeper question; Do you know WHY you are doing what you do?
Simon Sinek, an author and motivational speaker, has published a couple of books and spoken on a few TED Talks about the "Golden Circle." This sounds great, what is it?! Below is a picture of the "golden circle" and it's clear that the center circle is labeled, "Why" because this is were you need to start. Establish why you are working so hard and investing in a goal or future that you are years from living in. He noticeably mentions that people don't buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. Have you ever realized that most people communicate by starting with what they are doing and then work towards the how, then the why.
Why does this order even matter? It turns out that different parts of our brain are engaged by certain parts of communication and information. When we're talking about what we do, we're speaking to the rational and analytic part of the brain that is tied to language. However, when we are talking about our why or our how, we're communicating with feelings and dealing with human behaviors. These are 'gut feelings' that have no capacity for language.
Think about companies like Disney or Apple, and people like Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Wright brothers. What do they all have in common? They start(ed) with why! Companies like Apple, communicate with their customers very clearly about their why. "Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. We challenge the status quo by making beautifully designed products that are simple to use." It is that simple. Start with why and then move on to how and what.
I know my why and I have written out my personal mission statement. Once I had written that down, it became a lot easier to work everyday. All of a sudden, there is a clear reason why I am working so hard, expending so much energy, and investing so much time into learning and communicating, and building relationships. My why will never change, but I know that my role in how and what I do are up to me. No matter where I go or what I do, my core values stay the same.
To learn more about the "golden circle" from Simon Sinek, please watch this short video!