“Quand tu veux construire un bateau, ne commence pas par rassembler du bois, couper des planches et distribuer du travail, mais reveille au sein des hommes le desir de la mer grande et large.
If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
I, like most of you I’m sure, had a niggling question in the back of my head throughout my youth. That question propelled me in a number of directions, compelled me to study the world around me with great interest and fueled my wanderlust. The question took many forms, but most often it came dressed simply as “Why am I here?”
To be sure, life is meaningless without purpose. Life devoid of purpose is drudgery. Thoughts of “Why bother,” “Why me?” and “Who cares?” float in and out of consciousness when you are short on lofty aspiration and long on temporary abstraction.
It is for this reason that I have chosen to build my companies around a vision, specifically, a vision of a healthier world. We’re not here to make a widget and get as many widgets as we can into the hands of faceless customers. We are here to transform the world we have the privilege of passing through for however many years we have on earth.
Given this, every one of my employees is encouraged and taught to see that every interaction, every task, every decision matters in relation to our shared purpose. We have set for ourselves mighty goal of transforming the lives of each and every person we serve for the better. And I will be the first to acknowledge that our success in this endeavor hangs entirely upon the willingness of each and every one of us to be passionate about this goal.
You must be inspired to be an inspiration!