Simon Sinek on How to Identify Your Passion and Create Results From It

In Chapter 16 of 16 of his 2009 interview with Capture Your Flag host Erik Michielsen, "Start With Why" author Simon Sinek shares why passion is a result and not an action. Finding one's passion requires creating a process to make it actionable. Sinek shares why the first step is to identify what you love and then to continue to enable this root element through action.

Simon Sinek is a trained ethnographer who applies his curiosity around why people do what they do to teach leaders and companies how to inspire people. He is the author of "Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action". Sinek holds a BA degree in cultural anthropology from Brandeis University.


Erik Michielsen: What are your thoughts and what is your approach in finding and building upon passions?

Simon Sinek: Passion is not an actionable word. It is correct that those who do what they are passionate about do better, but it is not helpful advice.  The question is where does passion come from?  Passion is a result.  Passion is an energy.  Passion is the feeling you have when you are engaged in something you love.  Passion is the feeling you have when you would probably do this for free and you can't believe someone pays you for it.  We mistake that passion is something we do in our private lives but it shouldn't be done in our careers.  I'm a firm believer in you are who you are and anyone who says they are different at home than they are at work then in one of those two places you are lying.  The goal is to make everything you do at home at work something you are excited to do.  So how do you find the thing that you are excited to do?  It is easier than you think.  What are the things you would do for free?  What do you do when nobody tells you to do them? How can you recreate that feeling and be paid for it? I'm very involved in the art world.  I love to go to museums and galleries and I love to go see dances and performances because I want to see how others are interpreting the world.  That inspires me.  New ideas, new thoughts, new ways of looking at the world are things that interest me, privately, and I seek it out and pay money for it.  So, does that mean I have to have a career in the arts?  No.  That means I have to have a career where new ideas are explored, where people are experimenting and trying things out and I have to explore new ideas and try things out and I'm just as excited to go to work each day as I am to go do something on a Saturday night.  The idea of finding your passion is ironically simple. You should be doing something you love sometime. What is the stuff that you enjoy and what is the stuff that you love?  Who are the people you love and what do they all have in common?