Simon Sinek on Learning New Ways to Use Your Passions

In Chapter 15 of 16 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, author and public speaker Simon Sinek answers "How Are You Learning to Apply Your Passions in New Ways?"  Sinek first gets clear on what he wants to do - "inspire people to do the things that inspire them" - and then plays the game of finding new ways to do it.  From branching out skills into short-form and long-form writing to working in new industries such as military, politics and government, Sinek sees himself as a student of inspiration and leadership always looking to learn more and grow.  Simon Sinek teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people.  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:  How are you learning to apply your passions in new ways?

Simon Sinek:  The goal of life is to know why you do what you do, right? To wake up every single day with a clear sense of purpose or cause or belief. And the fun of life is just find all the different ways to do that, right? So like I said, I know why I get out of bed in the morning. It’s to inspire people to do what inspires them, right? If we can do that together, we can change the world. Then I imagine this world, I imagine a world in which the vast majority of people wake up every single day to inspire to go to work and come home every single day fulfilled by the work that they do. So to find new ways to do that is almost the game, you know, I can speak, I can write, I can teach, you know? I can write short form, I can long—I can write long form. It also makes me open to other people’s ideas. It makes me open to new industries. I never imagined I’d be working in even half the industries I’ve been exposed to. From government to politics to military, big business, you know, entrepreneurs and every industry you can imagine. And it’s always because it’s—I’m not saying, oh, I’m this kind of consultant, or I’m this kind of expert, I mean—anybody who calls themselves an expert, be very cautious, you know? Because if you think you’re an expert, it means you have—you don’t think you have anything else to learn, right? If anything, I’m a student of inspiration, I’m a student of leadership, I’m a student of these things. You know, I show up every day to want to learn more.