Simon Sinek: The Number One Reason Why You’re Not Succeeding | E145

Last updated: Jun 2, 2023

The video is an interview with Simon Sinek discussing the importance of understanding one's "why" in order to find purpose and success in life and career.

The video features an interview with Simon Sinek, a bestselling author and visionary thinker, discussing the importance of understanding one's "why" in order to succeed in life and career. Sinek explains that many people know what they do and how they do it, but few can clearly articulate why they do what they do. He also touches on the idea that one's "why" may be driven by trauma or insecurity, but emphasizes the importance of discovering and staying true to one's purpose. The interview is part of a podcast series called "The DiReva CEO USA Edition."

  • Uncomfortable conversations are not taught to leaders or students.
  • Knowing your "why" is more valuable than knowing trigonometry.
  • Most people can articulate what they do and how they do it, but very few can clearly articulate why they do what they do.
  • Having a clear sense of purpose or "why" is essential for finding success and fulfillment in life and career.
  • Some people's "why" may be driven by trauma or insecurity.
  • Individual athletes who set themselves a selfish goal often suffer depression when they achieve it.
  • Our sense of joy, fulfillment, love, and purpose comes from serving others.
  • Self-awareness is crucial for personal growth and improvement.
  • Practice and persistence are key to achieving meaningful goals.

Simon Sinek: The Number One Reason Why You’re Not Succeeding | E145 - YouTube

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The Importance of Knowing Your "Why"

  • We don't teach leaders or students how to have uncomfortable conversations.
  • Knowing your "why" is more valuable than knowing trigonometry.
  • Most people can articulate what they do and how they do it, but very few can clearly articulate why they do what they do.
  • Many people make decisions that are inconsistent with their true cause or "why."
  • Having a clear sense of purpose or "why" is essential for finding success and fulfillment in life and career.
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The Importance of Finding Your "Why"

  • Simon Sinek drifted away from his "why" and lost his passion for his work.
  • He realized the importance of knowing his "why" after a close friend noticed something was wrong.
  • He discovered that every person knows what they do and how they do it, but very few can clearly articulate why they do what they do.
  • Knowing your "why" is essential for finding fulfillment and energy in life and work.
  • Many people give superficial answers for their "why," but these are not enough to sustain passion and purpose.
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The Relationship Between Trauma and "Why"

  • Some people's "why" may be driven by trauma or insecurity.
  • Israel Adesanya, a UFC champion, was bullied as a child and became a fighter as a result.
  • It's important to distinguish between a "why" that is intentional and one that is trauma-driven.
  • A person's "why" is usually fully formed by their mid to late teens.
  • The process of discovering one's "why" can work for people of all ages.
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Simon Sinek: The Number One Reason Why You’re Not Succeeding | E145 - YouTube

The Importance of Purpose in Life and Career

  • Having a clear sense of purpose is essential for finding success and fulfillment in life and career.
  • People cannot do life or career alone and need support from others.
  • For anyone who wants to be a better version of themselves, purpose comes from knowing their "why."
  • Knowing your "why" helps you make decisions that are consistent with your true cause.
  • Simon Sinek's book "Start with Why" has been influential in helping people find their purpose and passion.
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The Importance of Knowing Your "Why"

  • A "why" is always positive and striving for something.
  • Our experiences when we're young shape who we are.
  • Decisions that are inconsistent with our true cause can lead to discomfort and not knowing who we are.
  • Individual athletes who set themselves a selfish goal from a young age often suffer depression when they achieve it.
  • These athletes sacrifice relationships and major life events to achieve their goal.
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The Problem with Selfish Goals

  • Individual athletes often set themselves a finite, selfish goal.
  • All of their relationships are based on helping them achieve this goal.
  • When they achieve or don't achieve this goal, they realize they don't have many friends or a sense of purpose.
  • Broadway performers and senior executives can also suffer from this problem.
  • Selfish goals are not fulfilling for any social animal.
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The Importance of Serving Others

  • Our sense of joy, fulfillment, love, and purpose comes from serving others.
  • Personal achievement and setting goals are not wrong, but they should be in the context of something even bigger.
  • Team sports don't suffer from the problem of selfish goals because they require working together.
  • Personal achievements are finite, while serving others is infinite.
  • There's nothing wrong with personal achievement, but it should be balanced with serving others.
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The Importance of Relationships

  • Individual athletes who set themselves a selfish goal often sacrifice relationships to achieve it.
  • Relationships with others are important for a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
  • Love and sacrifices made for others are worth it and bring joy and fulfillment.
  • Personal achievements are finite, while relationships and serving others are infinite.
  • Our legacy is not in our personal achievements, but in the impact we have on others.
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The Importance of Seeing Life as a Continuum

  • Curtis Martin's story of using football to build a platform for giving back later in life.
  • Seeing life as a continuum rather than an event is healthier.
  • Arbitrary goals can be flawed because they lack a long-term perspective.
  • Self-awareness is key to filling in gaps and blind spots in our lives.
  • Living with gaps and blind spots can lead to stagnation and unhealthiness.
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The Importance of Self-Awareness

  • Self-awareness is crucial for personal growth and improvement.
  • We all have blind spots and missing pieces of information.
  • Living with blind spots can lead to mental or physical unhealthiness.
  • Seeking out information is key to becoming a better version of ourselves.
  • Self-awareness can come from relationships, classes, or other sources of feedback.
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The Importance of Setting Meaningful Goals

  • Arbitrary goals lack meaning and a long-term perspective.
  • Meaningful goals are based on a person's "why" and contribute to a larger purpose.
  • Meaningful goals provide motivation and direction for personal growth.
  • Meaningful goals can be achieved through self-awareness and understanding one's strengths and weaknesses.
  • Meaningful goals can change over time as a person's priorities and purpose evolve.
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The Importance of Practice and Persistence

  • Practice and persistence are key to achieving meaningful goals.
  • Practice helps to develop skills and overcome weaknesses.
  • Persistence helps to overcome obstacles and setbacks.
  • Practice and persistence require discipline and commitment.
  • Practice and persistence can lead to personal growth and a sense of accomplishment.
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The Importance of Seeking Awareness

  • It is important for every human being to seek awareness in how they show up in the world and how the world impacts them.
  • Being healthy and being a better listener are services to others.
  • We have neglected the socialness of our animal and social media, which has complicated our ability to be human.
  • There are benefits to being healthy and being a better listener, but we have neglected the social aspect of these activities.
  • We have taken these very pro-social activities and made them selfish.
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The Misconception of Vulnerability

  • Many people mistake vulnerability and broadcast.
  • Posting a video of yourself crying because of the loss of a relationship on social media is not vulnerable.
  • Being vulnerable requires practice and is difficult and uncomfortable.
  • We choose broadcast because it is easier, not because it is better.
  • The reason to learn to be vulnerable is for our service to others.
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The Confusion of Being Present

  • We have confused being present with practicing being present.
  • We don't get to decide when we're present; we get to practice being present.
  • You are not present until someone else says you are.
  • Social accolades can only be assigned by another.
  • Practicing meditation and mindfulness has mental and physical health benefits, but the primary reason is to learn to focus on one thing.
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The Value of Meditation Practice

  • Practicing meditation helps you learn to focus on one thing.
  • If something interrupts your focus, you label it a thought and push it out of your head.
  • The ability to put your thoughts out of your head is valuable when listening to a friend who is going through a hard time.
  • The meditation practice that you've been doing is now valuable in this moment where you're focused entirely on what they're saying to you.
  • Every distraction, every screech of a car tire outside, everybody who's talking is not a distraction anymore.
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The Importance of Sacrifice for Others

  • Being present for others is important for finding purpose in life.
  • Doing things for others gives a deep sense of purpose and meaning.
  • Sacrificing for another is the most beautiful thing we can do.
  • There is no such thing as equal sacrifice, one thing will always have to be sacrificed for the other.
  • The joy and love of business, relationships, and friendships come from sacrificing for another.
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Translating Personal Goals for Others

  • Translating personal goals for others gives them a higher purpose.
  • It is important to feel the purpose and not just put it out there generically.
  • Working out for a partner can be a noble reason.
  • The aesthetic stuff is about confidence and feeling good about oneself.
  • There is a line between building confidence and building insecurity.
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The Importance of Small Sacrifices

  • Small sacrifices can be just as important as big ones.
  • Doing small things for others can give a sense of purpose and meaning.
  • Some people are good at disappointing themselves and need to learn to sacrifice for themselves.
  • Building confidence can come from doing small things for oneself and others.
  • There is a line between building confidence and building insecurity.
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The Importance of Being Present for Others

  • Being present for others is important for finding purpose in life.
  • Listening to others and holding space for them can give a deep sense of purpose and meaning.
  • Being present for others means putting aside personal thoughts and advice for the moment.
  • At the end of a conversation, hearing "thank you for being there for me" is an indication of being present for another.
  • Doing things for others gives a deep sense of purpose and meaning.
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The Importance of Self-Awareness

  • Self-awareness is the foundation of personal growth.
  • Reading books is not enough to grow and evolve.
  • Self-assessment is a data point, but it needs to be buttressed with the assessments of others.
  • As social animals, we need each other to watch our backs and tell us what's working and what's not working.
  • People who read books but don't change may not be self-aware about certain things.
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Increasing Self-Awareness

  • Self-assessment is important, but it's not the only thing.
  • Asking for help is a great act of service because it allows someone else to have the joy of sacrifice.
  • Denying someone else the joy of giving you the gift of a compliment is selfish.
  • Never asking for help is also selfish.
  • Great relationships work by taking turns and allowing each other to sacrifice for one another.
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The Importance of Purpose

  • Having a purpose is important for success.
  • Purpose can be in the moment, like doing something for someone else.
  • Having a purpose helps us stay committed and not let others down.
  • Running with a buddy helped Simon stay in good running shape because he never wanted to ruin their run.
  • Purpose doesn't always have to be big and lofty.
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The Importance of Feedback

  • Feedback is important for personal and professional growth.
  • Self-assessment is a data point, but it needs to be buttressed with the assessments of others.
  • As social animals, we need each other to watch our backs and tell us what's working and what's not working.
  • Feedback can be difficult to receive, but it's necessary for growth.
  • Building trust by asking for help is important for personal and professional growth.
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The Importance of Seeking Help and Building Strong Relationships

  • It's important to be willing to ask for help when struggling.
  • Asking for help can strengthen relationships.
  • We can't do everything alone, we need a community.
  • We need to prioritize taking care of our personal relationships.
  • Creating a strong tribe or crew is important.
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Creating a Culture of Feedback and Vulnerability

  • There's no single solution to creating a culture of feedback and vulnerability.
  • It's important to react positively to feedback, rather than denying it.
  • One example of creating a culture of feedback is implementing a system of peer review.
  • Another example is implementing a 360 review system, where team members provide feedback on each other's strengths and weaknesses.
  • Specific examples should be given for both strengths and weaknesses.
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The Importance of Knowing Your "Why"

  • Knowing your "why" is important for finding purpose and success in life and career.
  • Our "why" is the reason we do what we do.
  • It's important to focus on the "why" rather than the "what" or "how."
  • Our "why" should be the driving force behind our decisions and actions.
  • Knowing our "why" can help us overcome challenges and stay motivated.
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The Importance of Empathy and Understanding Others' Perspectives

  • Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.
  • Empathy is important for building strong relationships and effective communication.
  • It's important to understand others' perspectives and experiences.
  • Listening is a key component of empathy.
  • Empathy can help us connect with others and build trust.
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Peer Review Exercise

  • Participants take turns reading their own weaknesses.
  • The group has the opportunity to add to the list.
  • Participants give a little speech before the exercise starts, acknowledging that giving feedback is uncomfortable.
  • Feedback is given as a gift and should be received as such.
  • Participants then read their strengths and anyone can add to the list.
  • The exercise helps participants discover their blind spots and strengths.
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Tree of Monkeys

  • Peer review can be used to determine promotions.
  • Senior leaders often only receive positive feedback.
  • Peer review can provide a more accurate picture of an individual's character and conduct.
  • Peer review can be implemented in different ways depending on the culture of the organization.
  • Good leadership involves knowing that it's hard to get the truth and having trusted relationships to get an inside scoop.
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Replacing Judgment with Curiosity

  • Leaders often create a narrative based on hearsay or direct stories.
  • Good leaders take reports and stories and go on a journey to discover what's really happening.
  • Leaders should replace judgment with curiosity to find out the root cause of a problem.
  • There may be underlying reasons for an individual's behavior, such as personal issues or job qualifications.
  • Any person in the organization can be a good leader by replacing judgment with curiosity.
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The Importance of Honesty in Setting the Tone

  • Replacing judgment with curiosity creates a positive environment.
  • Rank sets the tone for honesty within a company.
  • Sanctioning a lie, even a small one, can lead to a culture of lying.
  • Challenging oneself to not tell a single lie for 48 hours can be difficult.
  • Being honest does not have to be brutal, but it must be true.
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The Art of Being Honest

  • There are ways to be honest without hurting people's feelings.
  • Timing is important when giving honest feedback.
  • It is not always necessary to give critical feedback immediately.
  • Being honest does not mean being brutally honest.
  • Being honest can be done in a way that is constructive and helpful.
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The Negative Impact of a Culture of Lying

  • Ethical fading can occur within a culture of lying.
  • People within the culture can make highly unethical decisions while believing they are acting ethically.
  • A culture of lying can lead to a lack of trust within a team or organization.
  • Creating a culture of honesty can lead to a more positive and productive work environment.
  • Being honest can lead to better decision-making and problem-solving.
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The Importance of Truth in Building Relationships

  • Being honest is essential in building strong relationships.
  • Being honest can lead to better communication and understanding.
  • Being honest can help to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts.
  • Being honest can lead to greater trust and respect within a relationship.
  • Being honest can help to build a foundation of mutual respect and support.
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Ethical Fading

  • Ethical fading starts from the top, it's usually a leadership problem.
  • Excessive amounts of pressure to hit certain short-term goals lead to ethical fading.
  • Rationalizing is a big part of ethical fading.
  • The old slippery slope is another part of ethical fading.
  • Excessive use of euphemisms is also a part of ethical fading.
  • When enough of those things happen, ethical fading shows up where you now have real issues.
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