Simon Sinek on Finding Meaningful Work by Doing What Inspires You

In Chapter 6 of 16 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, author and public speaker Simon Sinek answers "What Makes Your Work Meaningful?"  Sinek first starts by doing something specific each day.  For him it is "inspiring others to do what inspires them."  What gives his life meaning is when he is able to fulfill that cause or do the thing that drives and inspires him.  Simon Sinek teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people.  His goal is to "inspire people to do the things that inspire them" and help others find fulfillment in their work.  Sinek is the author of "Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action".  He works regularly with the United States Military, United States Congress, and many organizations, agencies and entrepreneurs.  Sinek is an adjunct professor at Columbia University and an adjunct staff member at the think tank RAND Corporation.  Sinek earned a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Brandeis University.


Erik Michielsen:  What makes your work meaningful?

Simon Sinek:  What makes my work meaningful is that I set out to do something specific, in other words, I wake up every single day to inspire people to do what inspires them, right? And I know why I got out of bed in the morning. What gives my life meaning is if I fulfill that cause. Every single one of us has a ‘why.’ Every single one of us has a reason to get out bed. We have something deep, deep inside us that is formed when we’re young, that drives us, that drives everything we do. And if you’re able to put it into words, then it’s actionable, right? And this is the thing that I discovered, this thing called the ‘why’ that can be put into words. And so I know why I wake up every day and so the meaning I get is if I actually do the thing that I know inspires and drives me. I mean that’s what meaning is, right? Is when your life has purpose, and the purpose I have is to inspire and so when I get to do that I’m good.