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The Driving Force Within: My “Why”

December 7
by
Jenn Lasko
in
Overcoming Challenges
with
.

One reason as to why companies fall short of being great can be summed up by Simon Sinek’s philosophy, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Sinek draws a circle diagram to better describe his philosophy. The circle consists of three rings; the outside reads “what”, the middle reads “how”, and the inside, “why”.


Although this philosophy is intended for those to work from the inside-out, that rarely seems to be the case. What most people do, and this explains Sinek’s theory as to why these individuals do not achieve their full potential, is think of what they’re going to do, how they’re going to accomplish it, and then worry about why. The “why” is the most important factor, it explains the purpose.

In reality, those who fall victim to this majority like myself, are actually living their lives backwards and have unknowingly set themselves up for anything but greatness. After understanding the meaning behind Sinek’s concept and reflecting on my own personal life, I find this philosophy hard to live by.

As I progress through college, I realize I’ve developed the same system most mediocre companies have adapted, by starting from the outside in.

I have witnessed myself struggling through classes, trying to pass, not really interested in the material itself. I decided to go to college because I assumed what the majority assumes and that is, the higher the education, the higher the salary you will be paid. But what exactly is my purpose?

When I think of Simon Sinek’s concept and relate it to my own life, I understand the importance of being passionate. I think a lot of young adults my age become pressured and ultimately confine themselves to the status-quo rather than just follow what they truly believe. I find it extremely hard to talk about myself, and I do not mean basic information that can be found on social media, I’m referring to something a lot deeper than interests and hobbies. I’m lacking passion. I’m lacking the first step to Simon Sinek’s philosophy.

For a while I’ve adopted my own philosophy in life, and that is to never stop progressing.

I’ve always believed that as long as I can live by that, I will always keep striving for better. But with this concept, what will I ultimately achieve? There’s one vital necessity lacking in order to work towards something wicked and out of this world. Passion. My idea of passion is a driving force embedded within ourselves that, only when tapped into, can something great come about. The closest I’ve ever come to being passionate about something was when I used to compete in track.

I come from a small high school with a graduating class of about 150 students. I had the same coach for spring and winter track, along with cross country. We were a group one blue division school with a passion for achieving something great. My coach always told my teammates and I to never settle for being mediocre. This was something I silently repeated to myself everyday before I prepared for practice.

I did not care what the odds against my team or myself were, we just decided to compete despite who may be standing next to us on the line. Our work ethic on and off the track was fueled by a passion that disregarded the status-quo, the idea that small schools only have a chance to compete against other small schools and are not even considered competition against the bigger schools. I am proud to say I was apart of not only one season, but all three, that defied this common ideology.

It was only after graduation that I was really able to take the time to reflect back on all of my team’s achievements. What I realized was yes, we did have a common goal and really worked towards it knowing what our purpose was, but none of our accomplishments could have ever happened if it were not for progression.

Progression is what fueled our passion.

Each chance to race was an opportunity to run better than before. We had to work with only a limited amount of girls, some competitions we had girls running the maximum number of events a runner was allowed to compete in. I’m not entirely sure that at the time I was aware of what we were really doing, but I do know the bond between my teammates and I was something that could not be penetrated.

When it came down to relays, I always ran my best times. I became so close to the girls on my team because we were so devoted to what we were doing that other kids would refer to us as a cult. I look back and realize a lot of my efforts were because of them.

I had a talent for running, a phenomenal coach, and truly devoted teammates. Out of it came something greater than what we could’ve ever expected. I set a bar for myself and wanted to reach it. I had found my passion at that point in my life. It consumed me.

I believe you know you’ve found your passion when you allow what you’re doing to change your life. You have to constantly think about it, you have to experience failure and then you have to wake up the next day getting right back into it. If you’re passionate about something, nothing can take that feeling away.

I mention my high school experience of running because I have yet to latch onto anything that has even come remotely close. I look forward to once again connecting with something that’ll not only change my life, but others around me as well.


“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” If you don’t believe in yourself, chances are others will not either. Establish your driving force within, and progress from there.

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