“Start with the Why.”
In Christina Lohman’s book 6 Steps to Savvy, the first activity I’m going through is “The Golden Circles,” based on Simon Sinek’s book Start With the Why. Christina’s premise is that many grads go about their job search in a backwards and illogical way. How many people do you know that may have their “life figured out” (have a good major, good job, are self sufficient, etc) but doesn’t know why they do what they do? Maybe they don’t seem to have a purpose or a reason behind their actions and where they spend a majority of their waking hours? If you start with the “what” you have to figure out the “why” once you already have a job and a life established, and it is much tougher that way.
- You likely won’t be as happy.
- You will have a tougher time knowing which jobs to search for.
- You will have a harder time specifying your marketing (that’s what a job search is!) to your target demographic.
Do you want to get paid for what you enjoy? Figure out why you want to do anything and build your job search from there.
A more typical statement, going from what, to how, to why:
- What: I am a Cognitive Neuroscience and Business graduate
- How: The Science, Psychology and Business departments at the University of Denver.
- Why: ?????
My why statement after going through 6 Steps to Savvy:
- What: I want to positively impact the world
- How: By building businesses
- Why: Because I can. (my ability to do so = my responsibility to do so)
I want to positively impact the world by building businesses because I can.
You should have a good, strong feeling when you get to your why. We’re often told, “make logical decisions,” to “think rationally,” and (I HATE this one) “be reasonable or be realistic.”
Human beings make most of our decisions about our own lives from an emotional standpoint. It’s easy to remove emotions from the equation when you’re staring at a multiple choice exam, but when you’re building relationships, spending money, having fun, getting hurt, and all of the other things that actually go into the life we live, we make most of our choices from emotions. Recognize, acknowledge and appreciate your emotions and then build logically from there. Logical and rational can be good things, but if you ignore what you enjoy, where you thrive, or where you can have an impact you will most likely end up miserable.
That also doesn’t mean you need to stop living life to “figure yourself out.” Figure out your why by what you enjoy about living in the first place. Life is not, and should not be: easy, always fun, or immediately rewarding. It takes hard work, dedication, and sacrifice to go anywhere significant. There is nothing rewarding that comes easy. If you’re living life by your why, the struggles will pale in comparison to your goals, dreams, aspirations, and accomplishments.