The “Why” Behind Great Work

by Jun 15, 20160 comments

I’ve admired many people in life and all of them seemed to know exactly what they were meant to be doing from the time they were very small.  At least this is how the story goes.  It is as if they somehow popped out of the womb knowing they were meant to work with chimpanzees in Kenya, organize a march on the Mall in Washington D.C., or create an insanely great product that changed the world.  This process seemed so magical to me that I decided to interview as many of the people I admire as I could to discover their secrets.  To date, I’ve interviewed over sixty admirable thought-leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders, and I’ve asked the same questions: How did you first get started doing what you do now?  When did you know this was your Great Work?  Did you always have this passion or did it show up later in life?

As I looked a little closer at their lives, much of the time I discovered that their magnificent accomplishments took years of trial and error.  I discovered that many were not committed to a single
 focus from the beginning, but rather to their own passion and curiosity.  I discovered that most of the time they did not set out to be great at anything, they really just wanted to solve a particular problem.
What they has in common was an insatiable curiosity, an unwavering commitment to their path, and a willingness act – even when things got tough.    When I began to look even closer, I discovered that their greatness came about only after looking in the rear view mirror… that at the time they were sorting through the chaos of their situation, if they had thought about it, they might not see their “why” so clearly.

We can all take bit of comfort in that.


P.S.  My latest book —Find Your Big Why: The Simple 3 Step Formula to Uncover and Live Your Passion— is available for preorder on Amazon:

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