Thursday, March 15, 2012

Start With Why

"Kenya will be too small for you in the next two years, if you stay on the path you're on. If I were you, I would travel, see the world and come back home when people are ready for me."
Okay...that's like a warning right?
I thought so too, but nothing beats listening to a conversation and knowing that the person saying the words above is not kidding-and that in his eyes lie some pain and fear of loss. I watched as the two people talked and sipped my tea-while pretending to listen to Clay Aiken .
The person who uttered these words was a 60 year old member of Parliament-and one of my favorite Kenyan writers. The person these words were directed at was seated there stumped-but in that moment I could feel her pain and fear-for if you've never noticed, pain + fear = loss. The kind of loss that's associated with the real self. There are so many people who live their lives just for the sake of it. I happened to talk to a few friends who hate their jobs but they keep going to work. So when I asked them why they still work, their answer was 'we need the money.' So, when I asked them why the chose to work for the organizations they are in it all came down to the money-and that got me stumped. One of them in a moment of frustration said 'you're talking yet you ain't working.' I smiled and said he was right. I looked at him again and felt different-it wasn't funny seeing my friend overworked and in a foul mood, but I was glad I am not him.
Have you ever asked yourself why you are doing something?
Like when you set out to do something, has it ever occured to you to be clear on why you are doing it?
My room mate, is a Certified Public Accountant-yes...I feel so dumb right now- but well, she does not have the same enthusiasm I have for books. She has been reading a 300 page novel for a month now-but give her anything with figures, and she smiles like a toddler whose seen a jawbreaker! So, what am I getting at? We all have talents-things that come naturally to us. How come with such ability nothing comes to be in Kenya and in most places around the world? Simple, we are all for the bottom line. Like my room mate says, in accounting what matters is the bottom line. She often says if it doesn't balance then it's not a balance sheet.
We are like that sadly so. But on the other hand, look at various people who have inspired us-look at Steve Jobs and how big he made Apple-look at Bill Gates, look at Martin Luther King-all these people started with why. They believe in things and share that with us-not the what or how, but the why.See this talk : Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action .
And Simon Sinek's book "Start With Why" explains all this and he says " If you hire people just because they can do a job, they'll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they'll work for you with blood and sweat and tears." How about we change how we do things and  Start with Why

How can one change the world if one identifies oneself with everybody?