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  • Katharina Faber


Fulfilment is not a privilege, it is a right. Every single one of us has a deep-seated purpose for our life, a belief or cause that is the source of our passion an inspiration. And that's what Simon Sinek calls your why.

As he states in his book, Start With Why, Simon believes that fulfilment is not the same as happiness. Fulfilment is deeper, it lasts. The main difference is that happiness is connected to liking something and fulfilment is connected to loving something. When you think about your job, you do not necessarily feel happy in it every day but it might still provide you with fulfilment because it makes you feel part of something bigger than yourself.

This belief is founded in a model that is called the Golden Circle. It explains how legendary leaders like Martin Luther King or Steve Jobs were able to achieve what others were not.

Every individual (and every organization) operates on three levels. These levels make up the Golden Circle: What we do, how we do it, and why we do it. We all know what we do - the job we have, the activities we do in our free time. Some of us know how we do it - our values or the traits that make us different from others around us. Very few of us know or can articulate why we do what we do.

But knowing your why is the foundation of the Golden Circle and the guiding principle for our life - why do you get out of bed in the morning? Hard to describe and to put into words? Absolutely. Your why is a feeling, a belief. And feelings are difficult to express with words. However, it is so powerful. When we align our lives with our why, our connection to ourselves is much stronger and more meaningful than if we just continue going through life focused on our whats. What that is what starting with why is all about. And here is the reason why knowing and articulating your why is so difficult. The what of the Golden Circle corresponds to the neocortex of the brain. That part of the brain is responsible for analytical, rational thought and language. It is there to help us grasp facts, figures, features and benefits. The Why and the How of the Golden Circle correspond with the limbic system of our brain. The limbic system is that part of the brain that is responsible for all our behaviour and decision making as well as our feelings. But where the neocortex is connected to language, the limbic system is not. This separation of our brain is the sole reason why we find it difficult to put our feelings into words. Once you understand your why, you can follow whatever makes you feel fulfilled and understand what drives your behaviour when you operate in your optimal state. Knowing your why is the first step towards leading an intentional life!

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