Start with Why

“Working hard for something we do not care about is called stress, working hard for something we love is called passion.”

Simon Sinek

In college, I had a great manufacturing professor start class one day in an interesting way. He stood in front of a cluttered table covered with papers, a dirty mug, and scattered books.

“May I have a volunteer?” my professor asked.

A student walked to the front of the room.

“Clean this table.” said the professor.

The student organized the clutter on the table in a neat manner and stepped back after feeling satisfied with its newly arranged state.

“Terribly wrong. Please sit back down” said the professor.

The day’s lesson then went into a discussion about why we should always start a task with asking “Why?”. Otherwise, we are doomed to miss the mark. The professor said the student’s performance was inadequate because he was planning to use the table for open heart surgery, and therefore it needed cleaned to a higher standard (thankfully, he was only saying this as an example).

In the same way, the importance of understanding the “Why” behind every task, project, brand’s existence, or even why we get out of bed in the morning is essential for directing our energies towards positive outcomes.