What’s Your “Why,” And Why Haven’t You Discovered It Yet?

Photo by Cea.

Photo by Cea.

The Best TED Talk Ever

Have you ever heard of a guy named Simon Sinek who has this little TED Talk video called “How Great Leaders Inspire Action?” I believe this is the most viewed TED talk to date. In my humble opinion, it’s also the best TED talk I’ve ever seen.

This guy gets it. This guy understands what inspires people to accomplish amazing things in their lives.

Before reading and further, I would encourage you to watch the TED Talk YouTube video link I have embedded into this post.

The Golden Circle

As part of Simon’s research into how great leaders inspire action, he codified the concept of “The Golden Circle.” The Golden Circle is simply a diagram of 3 concentric circles. The outside circle is labeled “What.” The second circle is labeled “How.” And, finally, the inner circle is labeled “Why.”

Photo by Gavin Llewellyn

Photo by Gavin Llewellyn

Simon believes that most people and organizations work from the outside in. They start with “what,” then move on to “how,” and then many times they never even move on to “why.” Most people’s “why” is fuzzy to them anyway. As a result, they aren’t as successful as they possibly could be.

In this video, Simon Sinek lays out the supposition that individuals who achieve great things as well as attract a passionate following start from inside The Golden Circle, and then work their way outward.

They start with their “why,” then move to “how,” and finally “what.”

3 Examples Of Powerful “Whys”

In Simon’s talk, he gives us three primary examples to support this Golden Circle concept: Apple, Inc., the Wright Brothers, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Apple, Inc. has a cult-like following because they “think differently.” The company’s mantra is to challenge the status quo. Their following is attracted to the company’s “why.” Apple just happens to build great computers, software, and peripherals as an expression of their ultimate “why.”
  • The Wright Brothers had a dream to figure out how to build a flying machine. They didn’t have a lot of money or additional resources. They mostly used equipment from their bicycle shop in Dayton, OH. What they had, though, was an incredible passion to figure out how to accomplish this flying thing. Their “why” was stronger and bigger than the others who were trying to accomplish manned, powered flight around that same time period in 1903.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream. He had a long-term vision of a country that had a completely integrated society of both blacks and whites living and working together. People of all colors were attracted to his vision. The peaceful march on Washington, D.C. in 1963 and eventual end of segregation were the direct result of his “why.”

Who Cares? Why is “Why” So Important?

Why is “why” so important? From the standpoint of The Golden Circle, the “Why” of any individual or organization is the driving, passionate, motivating force to accomplish any great movement.

So, what’s your why? Do you even have a why? Do you have a vision bigger than yourself, that it keeps you motivated in your career, business, and life?

If you don’t have a great, motivating “why” for your life, don’t worry. You still have time. Spend some quality time meditating and journaling about what you’re passionate about. Attempt to pinpoint what gets you out of bed in the morning. What motivates you (or has the potential to motivate you) to live your best life and accomplish great stuff along the way?

3 thoughts on “What’s Your “Why,” And Why Haven’t You Discovered It Yet?

  1. This is great. You would have to be an idiot to misunderstand this media ? Its inspiring, educational but easy to understand

    • Haha, thanks Peter. I love your “straight to the point” candor. I appreciate your leaving me a comment.

      Cheers.

  2. Pingback: My Top 10 Favorite Personal Blog Posts In 2013 | LARRY JONES

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