“Our visions are the world we imagine, the tangible results of what the world would look like if we spent every day in pursuit of our why.” – Simon Sinek, Start With Why
Sinek’s talk is one of the most watched YouTube videos of all time, largely focused on business’s asking this critical question, “Why are we in business?” My own company is focused on this very question at the moment, prompting me to finally read Sinek’s book a few weeks ago. But you can’t ask why of your work without asking the same question of yourself. What is our purpose in our work, and in our lives? Why are you doing this? Think carefully, for it means more than a paycheck and a Netflix subscription when you get home.
Every now and then we find ourselves stumbling upon a place where ideas converge, and where the path ahead divides into any number of directions. Which way do we go? If we all agree that life is shorter than most of us want it to be, doesn’t it make sense take the path that offers the greatest opportunity to fulfill that personal mission? Defining that mission is the tricky part. A mission that requires deep thinking.
“What are you chasing? Why? Is the chase aligned with your deepest values and Ultimate Mission?” – Dr. Jim Loehr, The Personal Credo Journal
We all have talents. But we can be pretty good at something and not be all that passionate about it. And you never really master something that you’re subconsciously going through the motions with. Whether career, art, relationships or athletic pursuits, if it doesn’t whisper to our soul we simply aren’t going to thrive in it.
“Ikigai (pronounced “eye-ka-guy”) is, above all else, a lifestyle that strives to balance the spiritual with the practical. This balance is found at the intersection where your passions and talents converge with the things that the world needs and is willing to pay for.” – Chris Myers, Forbes, ‘How To Find Your Ikigai And Transform Your Outlook On Life And Business’
Call it your “Ultimate Mission”, your “Why”, “Ikigai” or simply purpose. What you call it doesn’t matter so much as what it is, and what you do with it. These are powerful questions that demand deep thought. Determine where your passions and talents converge. Envision the world as you’d like it and set about making it. Align your chase with your deepest values. And perhaps the deepest question of all, determine what exactly you’re living for and do something about it.
“It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something.” – Dr. Leo Buscaglia
I’ve re-written this particular blog post seven or eight times. Work is piling up in the in-box while I re-read it once again. Do I publish or just keep editing this indefinitely? Who really cares? Well, I do, and that’s as good a sign of where my passions meet my talents as anything. Who else would obsess over a bunch of words on a random Monday post? Maybe this is my something after all. At least a good chunk of it anyway.
The things we do for love…