I’m getting very close to finding my “why,” and when I do I’m going to nail that sucker to the wall. Why am I looking for my “why? “ Because a book I read recently inspired me. It’s called, “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek (http://www.startwithwhy.com/Read.aspx). It’s a study of why some people and organizations are more innovative, influential, and profitable than others. How having a clear sense of “why” is the basis for all action, thought and communication.
The book describes how some of the world’s most influential leaders had their “why,” down pat — like Steve Jobs. Steve wanted to bring the personal computer to the common man and now there are over 73 million people that can fit these into the palm of their hands! Sinek’s book describes his clear vision and unwavering commitment.
I have to laugh because one day many years ago when I worked as a receptionist at Lucasfilm, Steve came bounding through the door and up the stairs to evidently meet with Pixar, which was then the small computer division of the company located in the back of the building. It was my responsibility to make sure everyone signed in and to me he looked like someone’s unruly teenage son running wildly up the stairs on his way to meet his dad for lunch. I jumped up and hollered at him, “hey, you need to come and sign in!” Begrudgingly he tromped back down the stairs and signed in. I thought, “the nerve of this guy, who does he think he is?” This was my encounter with the “why” man himself, the man who exemplifies the power of having a “why.” My “why” at that moment was to follow corporate policy (not to have Steve Jobs bend to my will, however humorous that sounds), and his was to change the world!
“Start With Why” has sort of traumatized me because I too wish to live my life more, “whyfully.” Don’t we all? Something to ground us especially on those WTF am I doing days?! Something to help us to quickly navigate around those little inconveniences, like dinner. Or receptionists.
I would definitely recommend the book. It’s thought provoking and I’ve been applying the “why” question to many things in my life, like having a band for instance. Why do I have a band when it’s a huge amount of work, time, and cost when everyone I know goes to bed at 9:00 — which is when most gigs begin? Why? Why don’t I just focus solely on children’s music since it seems so logical and successful? Why am I producing and writing songs when I’m not sure they’ll ever be heard? Why?
I am getting close, very, very, close. And like a big stew I can smell and taste all of its flavors as they come bubbling to the surface. So once it comes together in a clear statement of “why,” I’m going to nail that sucker to the wall and maybe sign it too. Thanks Steve.