Leadership Education

Why Do I Do What I Do?

In an earlier blog post, I explained how I completed a group project on Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why. The key takeaway from the book is the idea of the Golden Circle as a basis of leadership. If you need a refresher, I recommend you read the post here. If you don’t want to read it (don’t worry, my feelings won’t be hurt), here’s a quick synopsis:
The Golden Circle explains to us that howwhat, and why are the three main things we ask ourselves when performing tasks.

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 9.54.37 PM.pngWhat is the most basic question one can answer. Everyone knows what it is they are doing, creating, or selling.

How is what many of us can answer to differentiate ourselves from others. Different techniques and abilities make us more unique and stand out from the crowd.

Why is what comes as a conundrum for many, yet is the most important of the three. Why do we get out of bed every morning and do whatever it is we do? What is it that makes us passionate about what we are doing?

Fast forward to this semester, and my LDR 200L class has delved deeper into the topic of the Golden Circle. We watched Sinek’s Ted Talk and discussed why having a ‘why’ so important. The answer to that question is simple: people are more likely to stand behind someone who bases their actions on passion and inspiration. People love to believe in a cause greater than selfish reasons like making money. To put this in a real-world example (and Sinek even uses this himself during the Ted Talk), Martin Luther King Jr. was one of countless civil rights leaders… But what was it that set him apart? That would be his dream. His dream = his why. People witnessed a fire burning inside of him during his famous speech and they wanted to help fuel it. They saw the potential for change because they could sense that he truly believed in cultivating a brighter future.

Since Sinek theorizes that true leadership comes from having a “why”, or an inspiration for whatever it is you’re doing, we were put to the task of finding our own “why’s.” Now, for an eighteen-year-old first-year college student, this came as a very difficult assignment. Think about it: the question is quite synonymous to “What is your purpose in life?”. I have struggled with the idea of my purpose for quite some time, but actually putting it to paper was mortifying.

With some deep brainstorming, I came down to some essential things I want to accomplish in my life:

  1. To change lives and motivate others to strive for greatness.
  2. To encourage compassion, education, and positive action within communities.
  3. To show others that their involvement in society can truly make a difference.

With these thoughts having been expressed, the task at hand almost immediately became easier. I have key things in my life that I will continually strive for day in and day out… And I now have it all condensed into one sentence.

So, why do I get out of bed every morning? Why do I do everything I do?

To inspire others to believe in their own potential and be a force of great change.

A fulfilling life comes from understanding one’s potential, and furthermore from putting that potential to action. Creating an environment of open-mindedness, positivity, and desire for change can lead to monumental heights. I am not involved with leadership simply because I want to facilitate group activities; I want to spark curiosity and willingness in the minds of individuals without inspiration. If we can all gain the desire to work towards a greater society, just imagine the outcome… I think it’d be incredible.

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