I have a great deal of respect for Simon Sinek -- and have, ever since I uncovered his TED Talk, "Start With Why" (also the title of his strikingly popular first book). His messages are, indeed, worth pause and reflection, but what beguiles me most is their cut-through-the-confusion simplicity. No obfuscation, no over-complication. This is how it is.
No surprise, then, that I was struck but a recent tweet from Sinek that reminded me of a core truth of success we so often forget. He wrote:
"While dreams of greatness are great, we must remember to appreciate the joy of the start."
There are three things I want to call out here that, in my mind, underscore this message:
First, as much attention as we give achievement, no achievement is possible without an idea that becomes a goal that leads to planning, commitment, and ultimately, action. Too often, achievements hang in thin air like some magically suspended bauble. Let's celebrate the achievement at all its points -- because every step was required to get there.
Second, while Sinek doesn't directly address this in his tweet, I'm also reminded that we're sometimes too goal-focused. In other words, we lose the joy and impact of the journey when all we care about is the destination. Tennis great Arthur Ashe has an apt quote in this vein: "The doing is often more important than the outcome." Why? Because the doing is where we experience life, where we learn, where we overcome challenges. The achievement -- the end point -- is merely a marker that signifies how much we've grown along the way.
Third, appreciation does not play second fiddle to hustle. We hear a lot about hustle in the entrepreneurial and business spaces. It's the secret sauce to true success, some would say. But if you don't appreciate the journey -- however difficult -- how long can you last? And how strong will your relationships be? What sort of impact can someone have who hates the journey and pushes forward simply to say they made it? Appreciation of opportunity, capacity, and experience are all key to making the sort of impact we dream of making.
So yes, let's "dream of greatness," but embrace the start, the journey, and the love of the game.