One of my favorite TedTalks is “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek. Sinek really helped me change my mindset and the way that I think about all the things that I do. I believe that starting with your ‘why’ can really put you on the path to success. It can show you if all the things that you are doing are worth your while and are meaningful to you. Now I’m sure you are asking yourself, “What is starting with your ‘why’?” Keep reading to find out!
Sinek starts the TedTalk by talking about the what, the how and the why. We all know ‘what’ we do, most of us know ‘how’ we do it, but the fuzzy part for a lot of people is ‘why’ they do what they do.
When we are in college, it is a pivotal time in our lives to be setting ourselves up for the future. Whether it is picking a major, lining up an internship, or engaging in an extracurricular activity, we want to be building our resumes and bettering ourselves for the future. We often get so caught up in having a long and extensive resume that sometimes we do not stop and think, “Why am I doing this?” Sinek says that your ‘why’ cannot be putting it on your resume. Instead, your ‘why’ should be your purpose and the reason you wake up every day. All the things that you do should be connected back to that ‘why.’
Your ‘why’ can take a while to form and it can also change as you progress in life. Here are some things you can start to think about.
What are your values? We may have values that we automatically go to, ones that we have been using for a while, but do we ever stop and think about ‘why’ those are our values? We rarely connect our values back to our ‘why.’ Values are supposed to be what guides us in our decisions and in our lives. If our ‘why’ is important to us, it should also be what guides us. Making sure that your values and your ‘why’ align can be a good place to start.
What drives you? You have to ask yourself what is going to make you want to get up every morning and go to your job or go to your club or organization. There is a reason you want to go into your field of study or be a part of that group of people – ‘why’ is that? The drive should not be money or a resume booster, but something deeper and more meaningful. This is where your ‘why’ will start to form. Are the activities you are partaking in meaningful to your life and your future?
Will my ‘why’ stay the same? Not always. Your ‘why’ is something that changes with you. As you start changing, your ‘why’ might change as well. If your priorities change, that also may affect your ‘why.’ It’s important to be aware that your ‘why’ is fluid.
With all this being said, your ‘why’ will not come to you overnight. It will take time to work through. My ‘why’ is that I wake every morning to help make other people realize their full potential. When I look back on all that I did in undergrad and all that I am doing now, I really do think that I live by that statement. My top value is personal growth, which to me means not only helping myself grow as a person but also helping others do the same. Right now, as an LC, I get to travel and impact the lives of so many women in our organization. I want to continue to do this by studying higher education and getting to work with college-aged students for the rest of my life to help and develop them to be the best versions of themselves.
It is a comforting feeling when you feel like the pieces of your puzzle come together to make your vision come true. I hope you can start creating those pieces in your life that will help you really establish your why.