I’ve started reading Jason Sinek book Start With Why and like most books of this ilk it’s tough getting through all the repetitive cherry peaked examples and struggles to get to the point. It suffers from the modern problem of a book that could and should have been a blog post.
The idea it covers do help with loss of things though. It talks through the importance of communicating why you do something or why you have created the things you do, first. It does this in a very business centric way, it’s a business book after all, but it also applies to everything you want to do, even if you are communicating it just to yourself. Something I started thinking about it after watching a Maurice Moves video a few months ago.
In it, he discusses the things he writes in his notebook and a few tips about productivity – sounds like my kind of video doesn’t it! However, it is very different from most others about this subject. He plans everything in his notebook, including his desires and motivations, and by writing these out he gains a new perspective.
By being clear about the ‘why’ of what he wants to achieve, he quite often finds that the ‘what’, or the results, he would like to achieve is not always what he defines at the start. Sound confusing, let’s look at his example.
He started his YouTube channel, wishing to get to 1 million subscribers. When asking himself why he wanted this goal, it was so he could monetise his videos well and earn enough money for this to become his ‘job’. By clearly defining the ‘what’ and validating this through asking ‘why’ he discovered that the perceived result of wanting subscribers, is actually a symptom of the actual desired result. The actually desired result was creating enough revenue to live from, which has nothing to do with channel earnings, it is merely a symptom.
As Alan De Botton puts it “it’s bad enough not getting what you want, but it’s even worse getting to the end and realising it isn’t what you wanted all along”. Don’t fall into this trap and start asking why, to everything.