One of my favourite TED talks is Simon Sinek’s How Great Leaders Inspire Action. In fact, it’s one of the top 20 TED talks of all time. If you haven’t seen it, you can check out the video below.
His central idea – that “people don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it” – applies to leadership at work and marketing for sure.
But having clarity on a personal level about why you do what you do is also important.
Why do you do what you do? Is it to support your family? Is it to bring you joy? Is it because you love helping people? Is it because you want to travel as much as possible?
As a mom, my children underlie everything I do, even when it doesn’t seem like it (I have been accused of being selfish…).
I’m building a dental practice, and I do this for financial stability for my family (though that’s not really happened so far).
I’m also building a blog because writing brings me joy and I want to inspire people to live lives they love, because ultimately, I want to be able to set an example for my kids where I’M living a life that I love so that THEY can create lives that they love.
What also drives me is the thought of looking back at my life and finding myself filled with regret. I know I’ll regret playing it safe and trying to maintain the status quo. I know I’ll regret not writing regularly, even if it’s crap. I know I’ll regret focusing completely on work and ignoring the small joys in life.
Sometimes, to be honest, I make a decision based on what I think I’ll regret more, because no matter what choice I make, I know there will be regret.
The clearer I get about my “why,” the easier it is to make decisions, and the easier it is to identify that I’m on a path that I’ll regret.
I don’t want to suggest that all of my decisions are regret-based, because they aren’t. Mostly I choose to do things in alignment with my core desired feelings, with my long-term goals, and with my personal priorities. I am driven by my “why.”
Do you know what your “why” is? How much thought do you give to your day-to-day decisions and how they support your “why?” When you think of your short-term actions, are they supporting your “why” long-term?
Want to know more about the importance of knowing your “why?” Check out Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why.
After you’ve read start with why, read Leaders Eat Last. I’ve got it on my nightstand right now, along with The Artist’s Way and The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well (Penguin Life).
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