This blog section is dedicated to what self-improvement books I am reading and my observations. Today, we start with Why. Start With Why by Simon Sinek guides us to asking the right question first. Sure, How and What are very important questions to succeed in business, but what would happen if we first asked Why?
Part 1 is dedicated to first help us understand how the WHY applies to the real world and to illustrate the author’s point through real life examples. Chapter 1 of Part 1 does not start shyly. It immediately opens with the premise that we all make assumptions, and this is not a good thing.
Why are assumptions so bad?
The simple answer is that assumptions cause us to make decisions based on our world view without asking the question why. Regardless of how much data we collect, at some point we must make a choice. Sometimes, we are lucky in that our assumptions don’t get us into trouble and we have successful results.
But here is where it really gets dangerous. When we make assumptions and succeed, we chose not to question the assumptions and just assume we were right. Therefore, when we need to make a similar decisions with similar assumptions, we could be setting ourselves up for failure. For those who believed the earth is flat, a couple mile journey is of no consequence, but what about when they need to travel to the other side of the earth. The flat-earth assumption costs them dearly.
Real life application
So what does this mean? Simply put, we need to keep our eyes open. Understand when we make assumptions and be prepared to confront them with the next decision. With every success or failure, we must evaluate what really happened and why it turned out for or against us. Not every success is positive and not every failure is detrimental. But ignoring the why can derail us entirely.
Are you reading along with me? I would love to know. Send me a message and we can discuss the chapters further as we go down this journey of discovery.
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