Does What You’re Doing Actually Matter? (+ free workbook)

Written by Scott May 16, 2011

Simon Sinek Start with Why

 

“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.” -Hardy D. Jackson

Think of how you spent your day today.

What did you do for the majority of it?

How about the week?

Seriously think about it. Now answer one simple question…

Does any of it matter?

Are you spending your time in a way that matters? Both to you and others?

Do you care about your work? Is it based on a cause you stand behind? Is the world better as a result? Are you better as a result?

Do you even know why you’re doing what you’re doing?

Sadly over 80% of people aren’t happy with their work and even more don’t have a clue as to why their doing it. Is that any way to spend the majority of your time on earth?

Everything Starts with Why

When I was on the Summit Series boat a few weeks ago I met Simon Sinek author of the unbelievable book and concept Start with Why. I had recently seen his TED Talk: How Great Leaders Inspire Action (I’ve now seen it over 20 times) where he first planted the importance of why in my brain. Thoughts have been running wild ever since. (I give Simon full credit for this post. Thanks for waking me up my man!)

And for those of you who have not seen his talk, watch it right now. It has changed the course of how I interact with the world on every level. That is not an exaggeration. And Live Your Legend was built on Starting with Why from the ground up.

Most people know what they’re doing and some even know how they’re doing it, but very few know why.

The problem is that the Why is the only part that inspires people. It’s your purpose, your belief, your (or your company’s) reason for being. Whether you want to end world suffering or just trim your waistline by getting yourself to stick to one spoonful of peanut butter instead of five, without a why you are nowhere.

Unfortunately since those with a why happen to be the exception, most the world is lost. They’re sleepwalking.

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

How often do you ask people what they do? How often do you tell others what you do? It’s something society has drilled into us (and it drives me crazy). We’re missing the why without even knowing it.

I have news. No one cares what you’re doing. No one even cares how you do it. I don’t care how mind blowing it is.

They only care why you’re doing it. Once you connect with your why, you give them a belief they can adopt – but not until that emotional connection is created. Then the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ become wonderful ways to justify the why. People buy on emotion and justify by logic. They buy on why.

Side note: For the purpose of this article ‘buy’ can mean any type of influence and is not limited to purchasing a product – be it adopting your view, joining your cause or even voting for you. It’s about getting someone on your side.

Facts, figures and stats don’t sell.

They don’t inspire. Especially since any competitor in most any space surely has similar numbers to tout. They’re table stakes. What does sell is your vision of how you can affect the world. That is the only place passion can be found. Passion isn’t buried in some mind-numbing competitive analysis. It’s in the vision, the belief, the why.

Take two of the more powerful brands: Apple and Patagonia

  • Apple makes tech gadgets. There are countless companies doing the same thing, but we buy from Apple because Apple believes in challenging the status quo, in being different and making life fun.
  • Patagonia makes outdoor clothing. So do 50 other companies. But I buy from them because Patagonia believes in igniting the human spirit, in saving the environment and seeking adventure.

I am proud to be behind these causes. I want to be behind them. I get others behind them. And as a result I probably pay a 30-40% premium to do so. And I love it.

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

My Why here is simple

I have a fundamental belief that if I can get those around me doing work they love, we can literally change the world. We can end the majority of bad moods, misconduct and frustration, and if enough people get on board, we can cause a revolution. I believe deep in my soul that if everyone lived and worked their passion and woke up excited, the world would be a fundamentally different place.

That is what keeps me up late at night and waking before my alarm.

Embody your reason for being

My belief has become so fundamental to me that I’ve realized I need a business and brand that fully embodies it. One that screams daily adventure, constant experimentation and learning about yourself to find your purpose and live it. I have been working on this new brand for months now (thanks to a lot of your help and feedback) and it’s finally almost ready. I hope to launch it in just a few weeks.

Don’t worry, the content and focus of my work and writing won’t change-it’s just time to have a business, name and brand that firmly back my why.

For me this will mark the new beginning of my quest to help the world understand their passions and use them to do work they love. It’s one that never ends and I intend to be on it for the full ride.

We are not meant to do things the way they’ve always been done. We are meant to find and follow our own paths. This leads to greatness.

Our days are meant to be enjoyed. The only unsuccessful day is one spent unhappy. We deserve to spend our time on things that actually matter to us. I assure you that if we accomplish this, they will matter a hell of a lot more to the world than whatever we were working on before.

You are all here because you share my belief and wanted to be a part of the tribe. I’m grateful you’ve joined the action. As of last week we hit over 4,000 of us on the same mission! New believers join everyday. If you know someone who should be a part of the tribe but isn’t, please send them a link to this article. If you haven’t joined yet, I hope you will.

Sorry for the tangent, but I’ve been dying fill you in on the latest!

A Why is the only reason meaningful things get done

If you don’t have a why for what you’re doing, then sit down and find one. The below free workbook will help.

If you can’t find one then drop what you’re doing and do something you give a sh*t about.

Because without a why, not only will you not inspire anyone else, but more importantly, you will never inspire yourself. You are the first person you must get on board. Nothing important ever gets done without a powerful enough reason. Running a marathon or leading a revolution – it all starts with why.

Understand your Why

What is your belief of how the world should be? What is your reason for being? It doesn’t have to be some grand earth-shattering belief. It just has to matter to you. If you care enough, trust me, others will care too.

Most of us who aren’t already living it, have an idea of what it is (or at least what it’s not), you just may have been suppressing it to be more ‘realistic’ (btw, realistic never got anyone anywhere).

If you don’t know then I’m almost sure you have people close to you who have suggested something: “Oh you would make a great coach or speaker or writer or teacher”.

Listen to them and listen to yourself. Then start investigating. That’s the stuff that matters. Not what some job role or area of study says you should be. What do they know about you anyway? Not much. Few people do. That’s why you owe it to yourself to start searching.

Live with passion

When I approached Simon on the boat, I thanked him for his work and told him about our growing crusade here with my writing and coaching. He looked at me with the deepest conviction and congruency, right into my soul, pointed his finger so it was about 2 inches from my chest and said “Listen. The work you’re doing matters. What you and I are doing is changing the world. It literally has the chance to create world peace in a way even the United Nations couldn’t dream of.” He then gave me a small coin, something he called a ‘token of inspiration’, thanked me and we went our separate ways.

He embodied his why so much that it left me shaking with energy. He had given me an even greater responsibility to spread my cause, my belief, my why.

There are big things ahead guys. For you, for me, for all of us. But they’re only going to happen if we sack up and do something about it.

I’ll go first as long as you promise to follow suit.

I can’t wait to show you the refocused vision for ReadingForYourSuccess. I have a feeling you’re going to like it!

So…Does what you’re doing really matter?

Tell us in the comments,

Scott

Need help finding your Why? – Free Workbook!

I created a free subscriber-only workbook with three pages of my most thought-provoking questions and actions to help you find your Why.

This workbook is free for people who subscribe for email updates from Live Your Legend. To get the workbook, just enter your email address on the linked page (don’t worry if you’re already a subscriber you won’t be double-subscribed, you’ll just get access to the workbook).

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“It was 18 months ago when I came across Live Your Legend and it just completely blew my mind. I was living this life thinking I have to kind of just do this. Then it was like a kid on Christmas Day with my wife thinking ‘we don’t have to do this anymore.’ It was literally a life change. It opened so many doors. Thanks for everything you’re doing.”

- Simon P., Singapore