The best advice I got for finding your passion in 5 principles by Simon Sinek
I am by far no professional in this subject because I am not sure if I have found my “spark”. But I decided to share some interesting thoughts with you that I had after I saw Simon Sinek’s speech.
I struggle to find a way in between choosing something that I enjoy and pursuing it and, on the other hand, wanting to know exactly my spark, my passion, my drive, and what makes me unique. I guess that it´s somewhere in between those but I don´t know how to find this way in between.
That´s when I stumbled across Simon Sinek’s 5 rules to find your spark. They are partly different than a lot of the advice I read and heard before. And I will do my best to follow his advice and hopefully, in some time, I can tell you that I found my spark. Although I don´t think that I lost it, it´s just that I cannot describe it or catch it fully. I hope that I will one day be able to formulate it in words because I believe that having this clear spark or passion would make a clearer picture and plan for my future that I could then follow easier because I know exactly why I want to do everything. But it´s also possible that I am overthinking this and it´s not really needed to know it exactly. Also, it´s likely that the spark changes over time but I hope to find the underlying factor that sparks everything else that I am doing. The meaning that makes me stand up in the morning more energetic than I ever stood up.
However, right now I am not there, and I try to focus on what I can do. And that´s where his rules helped me to clarify it a bit. Before I thought that I can just do something, try to be open-minded and hope. But his rules suggest that we can do a lot of seemingly small things in all areas of our life, every day. So, here are his 5 rules to find your spark:
First, go after what you want. Simon explains that there are only two possibilities. Either you see the things that you want, or you see the things that prevent you from what you want. Hence, it´s important that you focus on the things we want. Think about why you want them and pursue them. You pursue what you want, as long as you are not limiting somebody in his way to pursue what he/she wants.
This one is probably the most important one for me since I am often worrying if what I am pursuing now is an ideal choice. I think this one is a lot about getting to know yourself better, to learn more about yourself and the world. When you go after what you want, you build the base to find your spark. You get skills and experiences that guide you towards your spark. And maybe finally you find it. However, even if not then it´s still okay because you pursue things that you believe in and that are meaningful to you and you learn about yourself and in the end, the journey is the goal, isn´t it?
The journey is the goal.
Second, sometimes you are the problem. He says that you should take accountability for the things you are doing good but only if you also take it for things that you did bad, failed at or mistakes you made.
I had to check the difference between accountability and responsibility to make this one clear for me. The difference is that accountability is not shareable while responsibility can be shared. Further, you are accountable after a task is done (or not done) and you are not only responsible but also answerable for your actions.
This one is extremely difficult but also important. We have to pursue what we want but we are also accountable for everything we do, the good and the bad.
I like how already those two rules work together. When you are accountable for the good and the bad while you pursue what you want. Then, you are already limited in what you can do. Hence, doing something that gives you what you want while doing something really bad to other people or the environment falls out of the equation. You are forced to think about the consequences.
You are 100 % accountable for everything you do.
Third, take care of each other. I really like the story he tells for this. He says that they asked a Marine what skills you need to become a Marine. He responded that he cannot tell what you need but he can tell who doesn´t get to become a marine. He told that no egoist ever has the possibility to pass the training. No matter how big, strong, smart, capable or experienced he is. The people that make it are often tiny, small, weak, and fearful people. And from those, the ones that find the strength to help their mates, even when they are so afraid that they can barely stand or when they are exhausted as if they are empty or freezing so that they shake. He said that those people make it that, in the darkest moments where they feel burned out, find the energy to help somebody else, to give some encouraging words or share even if they don´t have a lot.
I like again how this rule combines extraordinarily well with the first rules. When we focus on what we want, take accountability for what we do and do our best to help each other… This would be an amazing world if we all would try our best to do those more together. We would create good things for ourselves, not beat each other up, and even help each other further. Just imagine for some seconds how our world would be if most people would think like this.
“If you’re not making someone else’s life better, then you’re wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other lives better.”Will Smith
Fourth, be the last to speak. This rule, he got from a unique leader, Mahatma Gandhi. Why unique you might ask? Well, because he is almost universally regarded as an amazing leader in the whole world. And when asked how he learned to be a good leader he told that he watched his father who was a chieftain in his village. He said that he learned two things about leading while observing the counsels. First, they always stood or sat in a circle. Second, his father was always last to speak.
This has at least two big advantages. First, you get to know what everybody else is thinking and you can adjust your response according to that. Second, everybody feels heard, valuable and a part of the whole.
So, after the first three rules that are more about yourself in the world, this rule is about being a leader. And I believe more and more that there are not some leaders in the world but that everybody is a leader. The leader of his/her own life and responsible and accountable for his/her actions and the people around yourself. We lead by example and it´s our choice how we lead. It´s our choice what leaders we become. Some of us become bigger leaders like Gandhi but we all are leaders, just in different orders of magnitude.
Speech is silver, silence is gold.I hope the translation from a German saying is okay.
Fifth, you deserve the Styrofoam cup. Remember gratitude and humility. He said that the freebies you get are for the position you have and not for you. He mentioned the example that a man went to a conference for the second time. The first time, he had a very high position in the government, and he got all the conveniences you can imagine for free. One of those conveniences was a porcelain cup with coffee he got before his speech. The next year, he had a different position and he had to take care of everything himself, even the coffee he had to take himself from a machine.
The lesson of this is to be grateful and humble. No matter how high you go up, don´t forget that the freebies you get are not for you but for the position you have.
I really think that being grateful and humble are two extremely important skills to learn and not forget for everybody. It keeps us in the present and protects us from becoming arrogant or presuming. It keeps our feet on the ground.
“Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want.”Jim Rohn
All those principles together are not so easy to
imagine working together. Therefore, I imagined a random example that hopefully
illustrates all parts together:
Just imagine you try your best to follow those principles. You pursue what you want, let´s say you play music. Then, you become better at it and you still enjoy it. Maybe you become famous, maybe you only make enough money for a living. However, while you do this you always remember that you are accountable for what you do. So, you treat everybody good. You take care of your body and mind and you take care of the people around you. From your crew, colleagues up to your family and friends. You remember that all the seemingly small things count since you are 100 % accountable for everything that you do. When you talk with other people you try your best to always speak last and really listen. You try to find compromises for everybody. And you don´t forget yourself in those compromises. You enjoy your time because you pursue what you love and at the same time you encourage and lift up other people around you. You create a positive and uplifting environment around yourself. And you continue improving. Because you enjoy it it´s easier to pursue it. As with everything there are highs and lows, but you have this amazing environment around you that is also pushing you when there are difficult days. Even if you become a world-famous musician you stay with both your feet on the ground and never forget that you deserve the Styrofoam cup.
So, after thinking more about those guidelines, I believe that they are a great starting point to find your own spark. But maybe more important, those are worthy rules for life. If more people would think about striving for what they want without limiting what others strive for, take more responsibility, take care of each other, would focus more on listening instead of speaking and be grateful and humble. Then, the world would become certainly a better place.
But, let´s start with what we can do. Let´s focus on ourselves. Let´s try to implement those things in our lives and encourage others to do the same!
I hope that you also can take away some good thoughts from these rules. Success with implementing parts of it in your life.
All the best,
Bonus quote because I like it a lot and got reminded while writing this post:
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”Albert Einstein