RU GSE Student Blog

A Student Perspective

Find Your Golden Circle


As I’m getting ready to graduate in 88 days (who’s counting?), I’m starting to reflect on where I’ve been as I try to figure out where I’m going. In taking on this endeavor, I can’t help but remember back to a video I saw early on in my graduate school career. It’s a TED talk by Simon Sinek called “Start with Why.” 

If you haven’t already seen this video, check it out RIGHT NOW! If you have, well—watch it again because it’s just that good.

Now that you’ve watched it, let’s break this down.

The What: the nitty gritty of your daily work; the tasks, the requirements

The How: the way in which you approach your work; the strategies, solutions, methods

The Why: your purpose driving the work you do

So, what do you think about this golden circle business? Does it make sense? What strikes a cord in you? As you ponder these rhetorical questions, take a quick second and let us know what drives your current work.

Do you focus more on your WHAT instead of your WHY? How does this make you feel?

WhyUniversityLike you, most of my daily work falls unfortunately into the WHAT and WHY categories. Sometimes, I struggle to reach the WHY. Between the stress, unexpected tasks, and late nights, it’s hard for me to always focus on why I’m doing what I’m doing. It’s a very simple concept with a profound impact. Knowing, understanding, and embracing why we do our work is at the core of the work itself. The why keeps us going when the what tries to bring us down…

So, you may be asking yourself—WHAT does this all mean to me?

As graduate students, we all pretty much have an idea of where we want our professional lives to take us. We’ve chosen a field in education in some way, shape, or form, and we’re in graduate school in order to launch our careers. But, why are we doing this? Why are we taking classes, doing field work, and working late hours?

Knowing your purpose will only help better guide your next steps, whether that be another year of school or a new job. Beyond knowing your purpose (your why), it’s just as important to share your why with others through your everyday work. After you finish reading this post, think about your why, and share it in the comment section.



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2 thoughts on “Find Your Golden Circle

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