Published: 21st September 2019
Canteen Fundas: To do inspired work, start with the ‘why’
Here are a few life lessons that you'd need in college and in life, apart from what's taught inside the classroon
Rahul and Rinku were sipping tea in the college canteen with Rakesh, their senior.
‘Bhaiyya,’ asked Rahul. ‘How do some people do great work while others don’t?’
‘Yes bhaiyya, how can I be motivated and passionate about my work?’ asked Rinku.
‘I suggest you watch this TED talk by Simon Sinek titled ‘Start with Why’,’ said Rakesh. ‘It’s based on his book by the same name.’
‘What is it about, bhaiyya?’ asked Rahul.
‘It’s about what Sinek calls the golden circle which is basically three concentric circles. The outermost ring is the ‘what’, the middle one is the ‘how’ and the innermost is the ‘why’. We all know ‘what’ we are doing, some of us know ‘how’ we do things, but very few know ‘why’ we do what we do. Most people look at their work in the order of ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ and rarely go beyond the ‘what’. But if we start with ‘why’, then it leads to passionate, inspiring work.’
‘Will this work when it comes to studies and other activities at college bhaiyya?’ asked Rinku.
‘It’s relevant to everything. If I ask ‘what’ are you studying, you will say you are studying xyz course. Everyone can answer that. But it does not lead to passionate work.’ If I ask ‘how’, then some of them might answer ‘how’ they approach their studies. Since they are more involved, they probably get better results, said Rakesh.
‘Hmm, true’ said Rinku.
‘Very few know ‘why’ they are studying. The purpose. It is when you go beyond the easiest answer of ‘getting a job’ that you find your deeper purpose. Maybe you want to study so that you can save the environment or make people happy…something you care about. Once your ‘why’ is clear, your ‘how’ and ‘what’ will change. There will be a purpose behind how and what you do when you start with why. Now, tell me what your ‘why’ is?’
The two juniors looked at one another. Rakesh smiled.
‘It may take some time, but look for an honest answer. Sinek says that people whose ‘why’ is clear make inspirational leaders.’
‘The golden circle seems like a wonderful idea,’ said Rinku. ‘I will start with ‘why’ in all that I do from now on.’
‘I’ll watch Sinek’s TED talk on YouTube,’ said Rahul.
‘It will be 18 minutes wisely invested,’ said Rakesh. ‘Apart from feeling inspired, you will also learn about leadership, communication and inspired action.’
‘Thanks, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘I’m inspired to pay the bill.’
Pro tip: Ask yourself ‘why’ you are doing whatever you are doing. What’s the purpose? You will find more purpose and be more passionate about your work.