Ep48: Feeling Lost? It’s Time to ‘Find Your Why’ | with David Mead



“Why.”

It’s an incredibly simple word that carries tremendous power when used correctly. But unfortunately ‘why’ is a question we are often afraid to ask of others because we don’t want it to look like we don’t know something. And more importantly, ‘why’ is a question we rarely ask ourselves because we either don’t know the answer…or we’re afraid of it.

The chances are extremely high you can clearly explain WHAT you do for a living.

“I’m a reality editor that works on competition shows.”
“I’m a production coordinator for a local television station.”
“I’m an online entrepreneur that teaches other entrepreneurs how to organize their business finances.”

If you spend a little time thinking about it or referencing your own portfolio or resume, there’s also a good chance that you can clearly identify HOW you do your job.

“I communicate clearly and effectively.”
“I harness the raw emotion in every story I tell.”
“I bring everything I have to every client I work with.”

But now it’s time to ask yourself….can you clearly identify WHY you do what you do?

While it might seem trivial, not having a clear understanding of why you do the work you do every single day can have a significant impact on the quality of your work, the energy and attitude you bring to your job every single day, and it can have a negative impact on your health as well.

When the bullets are flying, deadlines are looming, and stress levels are at DEFCON 1 across your entire team, if you don’t enjoy your work or understand why it’s important work to you, it’s easy to get sucked into the black hole of overwhelm, depression, and burnout.

In today’s episode I chat with David Mead, the ‘Chief Igniter’ at the organization Start With Why, and their sole mission is to inspire people to do work that inspires them. David is also the co-author of ‘Find Your Why’ which is a practical hands-on guide to help anyone find their deeper why and apply it to their work, their relationships, and their entire lives. David and I chat about the importance of defining your why, and then we walk through a very practical exercise helping me define my own why at a much deeper level than I already have in the past.

If you’re struggling to find a deeper meaning behind your work or your relationships, this episode is a must-listen.

And if you find this exercise helpful and you want to start building an action plan that will help you achieve the most important goals in your life that align with your deeper why, ‘finding your why’ is just one of the many exercises I teach in my Design Yourself program.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it
  • The concept of the Golden Circle and learning to articulate the “how”, “why”, and “what” you do
  • Recognizing when you are headed for burnout
  • “I’ve got to make money somehow” is not a strong or fulfilling enough “why”
  • Why discovering the deeper meaning in your work is essential for health and creativity
  • Living out your deepest and best self is not dependent on your job or paycheck
  • If you don’t know your deeper “why” then the “what” will never be truly satisfying
  • How to properly interrogate your “why” by honing in on the driving themes of the stories your tell about your life

Useful Resources Mentioned:

Find Your Why

Our Generous Sponsors:

This episode is made possible by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat, my #1 recommendation for anyone interested in moving more at their height-adjustable workstation. Listen, standing desks are only great if you’re standing well, otherwise you’re constantly fighting fatigue and chronic pain. Not like any other anti-fatigue mat, the Topo is scientifically proven to help you move more throughout the day which helps reduce discomfort and also increase your focus and productivity. And they’re really fun and a great conversation starter.

Guest Bio:

David Mead is the co-author of Find Your Why, a practical guide on how to discover the Why for any individual, team or organization. He’s also a guide of the online Why Discovery Course. David’s ‘Why’ is to propel people forward so they can make their mark on the world.

Specializing in organizational culture and leadership, David shifts perceptions about the reasons why organizations really exist, what leadership is and how human biology plays into it all. David started by developing content to help Simon Sinek (author of ‘Start With Why) share his powerful ideas and in 2012 he began speaking and facilitating workshops to help shift people’s perceptions about leadership and culture.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared and published by Jakin Rintelman. Special thanks to Krystle Penhall and Sarah Furie for helping to spread the love!

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).


Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, and the creator of the Optimize Yourself program. Zack helps ambitious creative professionals and entrepreneurs overcome procrastination, depression, and creative burnout so they can get sh*t done and achieve the most meaningful goals in their lives...without sacrificing their sanity in the process. If you’re interested in learning how to better manage your time, your energy, and develop ninja-like focus, download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”