START WITH WHY
In his fascinating discussion of The Golden Circle in his book, “Start with Why,” Simon Sinek challenges companies — and individuals — to work from the inside out. The why is at the center; it’s at the heart. When asked, we can easily answer what we do, and perhaps even how we do it, but seldom do we have a ready response to why we do what we do. The how is our course of action and the why is the cause of our action. It takes a deeper understanding to be able to articulate our why succinctly and meaningfully.
So why do I want to know my why? It’s for your own benefit. But, it’s also good to give a clear response when we are asked by others.
Personal development courses often encourage participants to develop a 10 to 12 word life purpose statement — also called their why. The power of your why is realized when those words turn into actions. My own personal life statement — which is about 12 words — has served me well when I’m faced with choices or options. Sometimes it has led me to say “no” to a seemingly great option, and other times to say “yes.” The most important thing is that I understand why I’m making my decision.
For centuries, mariners have navigated by the North Star. Why? It’s in line with the Earth’s axis. It doesn’t rise or set, but stays in the same spot above the northern horizon while the other stars circle it. To navigate effectively through life, we want to set our sights on something that doesn’t move. My why is the North Star.
The story is told of a sailing ship that found itself hundreds of miles off course. The captain was puzzled. Everything — the rudder, the ship’s compass — was working correctly. So how did they lose track? They found that the ship’s carpenter had hammered a nail into the wall beside the compass, and the iron in the nail had deflected the compass just enough to make a huge impact over over several weeks.
So remember, in the words of Simon Sinek, always start with your why. Let it be your North Star.
Live your life from the inside out,
Bob Adam, General Manager, Mannatech U.S.