“What is your passion? What do you like to do? You must find it and once you found it. You must work on it!”
That was the typical advice given my most successful people. I have to admit that is what I advise to other people as well. However, passion is an intense emotion, a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something. That is pretty much what you do. Over time, it becomes fuzzy and able dies off. The focus is so much on the WHAT and HOW. I realized it does not hit the core belief of doing things! In other words, the foundation is not strong enough to be persistence in building passion.
Then, I came across Simon Sinek TED Talk titled Start with WHY. The message conveyed by Simon very profound and deep as it connects directly to my core belief. I bought his first book, Start with Why to understand his concept of The Why. He talks about the naturally occurring pattern, a way of thinking, communication, and action that some leaders ability to inspire those around them. It helps people to focus on and amplify the passion in their work. When I said work, it does not mean 8 am to 5 pm day job only. It can be anything! Anything that requires work to make it happen. The WHY is what makes your work sustain day by day without fail. It differentiates between manipulation and inspiration.
Simon Sinek developed a simple, yet profound concept known as the GOLDEN CIRCLE. Deep within the circle, it begins with the WHY. Then, followed by the HOW and finally the WHAT as shown in the following picture.
Typically, everyone is able to explain the WHAT and the HOW? Not many people able to articulate the WHY? Let’s break it down!
Almost every person knows What they do. This is your job title, function, the products you sell, and services that you provide.
Some people know How they do it. These are the things you do that make you unique. It makes you different and unique among your peers.
Very few people know WHY they do what they do. Most people think they work because of money. But it is not about the money, money is the result. However, the Why is a purpose, cause, and belief. It is bigger than what we are. It acts as an anchor of your passion. Your Why is the very purpose you exist.
The analogy Simon used was the marketing message from Apple. Let’s say we start from outside to the inside of the Golden Circle. Now the marketing message focus on the what and how only.
We make great computers! They are beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. They are beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. Want to buy one?
Let us change it by starting with WHY;
Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. And we happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?
Comparing these two ways of the marketing message, which one is more convincing? For me, it is the second one because of the strong and robust WHY. The anchor was the belief in challenging the status quo and thinking differently.” The message was clearly conveyed to the people. Individuals who have the same belief will buy their product because they feel connected to the product. Apple`s why is so strong it connects all the Apple users as well. People do not buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.
The Golden Circle is a great tool reinforce your passion and making it a reality. You will only have one WHY. Your how and what can be adjusted to meet the need of your WHY. I discovered my WHY when I reflected on my key life event.
I failed quite a number exams during my university years. However, I hustle, and I earned the job in Shell. I made a mistake in my start of my career. However, I managed to find ways to recover my way up. I lost my father due to cancer. He had been my coach, mentor and most importantly a father. I had to step up my journey to move into manhood without him. When I connect the dots backward, I realized I survive the adversity. After every adversity, I learn and grow. I believe there is more to come! I need to learn to embrace it. That is where I learn my why.
I will put myself in difficult and challenging situations to grow individually and as a team. I would embrace failure and set back as I see it as the great opportunity. Failure is also a great teacher whereby required to be put under pressure to be a diamond.
- I must take challenging tasks in my career as an engineer in the oil and gas industry.
- I must step out of comfort zone to achieve my fitness goal to be an Elite Spartan Racer.
- I must read books with great materials to reinforce and train my mind to be positive to fight the negative energy that the environment give.
- I must learn to convey the inspirational message and share my WHY through blogging and the social network.
Based on the why you are able to make a better decision and steer direction in your career. It acts as a filter to make the right decision as a leader and as a person. It serves as a compass to point the right direction! It will inspire you to drive your passion into fulfillment.
I encourage you to discover your WHY. You can use the GOLDEN CIRCLE. You need to put yourself in different situations to discover your why. It requires clarity of WHY, the discipline of HOW and consistency of WHAT. All it takes is action!