“I am one of the people who loves the why of things” — Catherine the Great
What has “why” got to do with your goal? It turns out, just about everything.
In his seminal TED talk about the Golden Circle, Simon Sinek says great leaders inspire others by starting with “why”. My belief is that before you can inspire others, you must first inspire yourself.
Great leaders have big goals to accomplish & they need others to help them accomplish those goals.
When you are inspired it increases the likelihood that you will spark the inspiration in others so they will be attracted to you and your work. They will want to come alongside to help you accomplish your goals.
Sinek says, “The Golden Circle is a little idea for those who wish to feel inspired and for those who wish to inspire others.” He feels so strongly about this idea that he invites you to download the golden circle slides and presenter notes here.
He credits the success of the freedom movement led by Martin Luther King, the company Apple lead by founder Steve Jobs, and the take-off of the first airborne people mover by the Wright Brothers, as being due to each of those individuals having, not just a “what” and “how” question in their goal, but also a “why”.
Most people go about goal setting backward. They start with asking how before even knowing exactly what they want to accomplish or why they want what they want. In fact, the why needs to come first — before the what and the how. Why? Because when you start with why it increases your odds of accomplishing your goal to a superlative degree. You will do more things and do them faster and more efficiently in your quest.
Think about the last time you went on vacation. I know this seems like a switch in topics but stay with me, I intend to make a connection for you.
Do you recall the last time you went on vacation? Say you were taking a caribbean cruise, or going on a tour of your favorite European countries, or an adventurous trek up the Himalayas (this last one would be my choice).
Now, think back to the last day or two before you left for that trip. What were you doing? Likely, you got into a flurry of action trying to tie up all the loose ends of your business or your job.
You took only the phone calls that were urgent. You sent off only the e-mails that were absolutely necessary. If you were in sales you probably tried to close as many open deals as possible. You sent out final contracts. You made sure that everything that needed to be taken care of while you were away was delegated. You were decisive in your every move. Visa ready? Check. Passport ready? Check. Clothing, camera equipment, sunscreen, bathing suit in the suitcase? Check.
Someone looking on would probably say you looked like a mad person due to the frenzy you were in to get everything done.
If you want to hear a hilarious rendition of this scenario, check out Zig Ziegler’s “day before vacation” recording on YouTube. It is amazing how much we can get done when we have a strong reason. In this case, it was the motivation to go on vacation with a sense of satisfaction that everything at home was taken care of. It was the desire to have a sense of peace and freedom while enjoying a refreshing break.
You got into action and probably accomplished more in that short space of time than you had accomplished in the entire previous month, all because of the reward that you anticipated (the relaxing vacation) and the feeling you would get from said reward. When you have a strong why connected with your business or in other areas of your life, you will be motivated in this same way to get into action and stay in action.
So ask yourself these questions and take time to ponder the answers. Why do I want what I want? Why is this goal important for me? When you have answered these questions, ask again, Why? Why? Why? Keep asking. The real answer will come. It’s like peeling an onion. Keep peeling until you get to the core of your motivation.
How will you know when you have the real answer? You will feel an emotional connection to it. It will move your heart. For some people, it moves them to tears. You want to get there, or as close to there as you can.
Well, If you have read the First of Five Goal Setting Mistakes Guaranteed to Bore & Sabotage You you know I’ve already taken the “R” out of the SMART goal setting acronym. My friend David Agius, District Manager at the Cooperators, has added another change.
He says, “We need to add a letter to the end of the SMART acronym. The letter is “Y”- SMARTY. Why? Because the goal needs to be emotionally charged and personally motivating. That’s how smart people get it done.”
Tell us: What happens when you peel the onion off your WHY?
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