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sinek-golden-circle-e1378664887408Whoa.  You know how sometimes amazing things just fall in your lap when you least expect them, but when you most need them?  That just happened to me.  A colleague, who also happens to be a physician with specialty in psychiatry reached out to me because he is thinking of leaving clinical medicine.  He is the type of doctor that you would never want to leave clinical medicine -- caring, compassionate, involved and smart.  And yet, clinical job after clinical job, he finds himself unfulfilled.  He sent me this TED Talk:  Start With Why by Simon Sinek, and said it had put words to what he has been feeling at work.  The health system, and as such, we as physicians (and I'm sure other healthcare providers as well), are stuck in WHAT.  The WHY has been lost.

If you're thinking, what the heck is she talking about?!  Check out the graphic to the left.  It's called the Golden Circle.  It is a marketing/business innovation concept, but as I watched the TED Talk, I found myself, like my colleague, applying it to my personal life.  I didn't know it, but this was the concept I've been striving to achieve as I define what roles I allow work to play in my life, my prioritization of family, my definition of what it is for me to be a good wife and a good mother.  I have a bit of a natural ability to start at WHY and work my way through HOW to WHAT-- and I can see looking back, those times in life when I felt I was struggling, it was because I was stuck in WHAT.   Those times in life, when I felt like a well-oiled machine, content and full of gratitude, I was firmly planted in WHY.

To lay a bit of foundation:

  • WHY is your PURPOSE
  • HOW is your PROCESS and
  • WHAT is your PRODUCT (or outcome if you're talking personal life)

The point of this TED talk is that most people start from the outside and work their way in.  Innovators and those who lead start from the inside and work their way out. Said another way, it is more effective and more gratifying and more effective to start with WHY (your PURPOSE) and then figure out the HOW and WHAT, rather than starting with WHAT, and then getting stuck there, and then eventually losing track of WHY...  To quote Simon Sinek, Dr. King wrote the "I have a DREAM speech, not the I have a PLAN speech."  That pretty much sums it up doesn't it?!

I am BEGGING YOU to watch this TED Talk.  It is 20 minutes of pure amazingness.  The type of amazingness that empowers you to change your life.   I will close this blog with a quote from the talk:

“There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority, but those who lead inspire us.  Whether they’re individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead, not because we have to, but because we want to.  We follow those who lead not for them, but for ourselves.  And it’s those who start with WHY that have the ability to inspire those around them or find others who inspire them.”

Whether you are looking to be inspired or to be inspiring, this TED Talk will pump you up and give you an idea of how to get started.

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