#4: “People Don’t Buy What You Do, They Buy Why You Do It” – Inspiring Change

Why are some people successful and some aren’t? Why do some thrive when others fail, even if they have the same resources? Hope. During his TED Talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”, Simon Sinek said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it, and what you do simply serves as the proof of what you believe” (Sinek). People want to work with someone with the same beliefs, they want to know someone really has hope. Passion is what drives us, and it’s what makes us get “instincts” or “gut feelings.” First, you explain to someone why you do something, then how you do it, and then what you do. Few people care only about the what. If you tell someone what you do, only so many people will say, “Okay, I’ll buy into what you say”, you need to say why you do it, to create passion. I didn’t realize how important believing is as a storyteller, but it seems believing is what makes or breaks a story.


A lot of people wonder, “What even is autism?” In the blog, MOM – Not Otherwise Specified, a mom with a son, Bud, on the Autism Spectrum visited her son’s classroom and answered some common questions his classmates had. She said, “[Let’s pretend your brain is a] simple machine…a toaster. And let’s pretend that MOST of us had toaster brains…Now, think about the pretend world that we have just created. In our world, MOST people have toaster brains. So…the most important thing a person can do [is make toast]. So, in our pretend world…Bud has a perfectly wonderful hair dryer brain, [but] it’s going to be hard for him, because we toaster-brained people have decided that the most important thing that people do in our world is make toast. And Bud probably can make toast with his hair dryer, right? But he is going to have to work a lot harder to make toast with his hair-dryer brain than we will with our toaster brains. It will probably take him a lot longer to make his toast” (MOM-NOS).

Autism itself is not a disability, it’s the confines of what society values that makes it a disability. Someone with autism can be good at things that others aren’t, but those talents are not necessarily valuable in our society. Since people on the autism spectrum also learn differently than those who are not, there are special needs schools. In Vermont, there are 21 special needs schools. These schools’ purpose is to help people with “hair dryer brains” or even another type of brain learn to their full potential and teach them how to live in a toaster-brained world. My question is, how are these schools different from regular public schools? I know that not all people on the spectrum are the same, and for some these special needs schools would work best and regular public schools would work best for others.


I believe all children should be able to reach their full learning potential regardless of their gifts or challenges, whether it is at a regular public school or a special needs school, because I believe everyone deserves to have as successful a future as they can. I know with passion, persistence, and hope, I can create change, because as Simon Sinek said, Martin Luther King “…gave the I Have a Dream speech, not the I Have a Plan speech” (Sinek).


MOM-NOS. “A Hair-dryer Kid in a Toaster-brained World.” Web log post.MOM-NOS. Blogger, 13 Mar. 2010. Web. 1 Oct. 2016.

Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action. By Simon Sinek. Perf. Simon Sinek. TED. TED, Oct. 2010. Web. 1 Oct. 2016.

Feature Image by Rafael Sato

Emily Pecsok

One Response to “#4: “People Don’t Buy What You Do, They Buy Why You Do It” – Inspiring Change

  • Emily!

    Your effort to find a story mentioning “toaster-brained” and “hair dryer brains” allows readers to experience the “why” your topic is important to you. The creation of experiences through storytelling using imagery, maybe later leading to an emotional response, allows you to develop the “what” with your audience. As you noted, “why” and “what” are important to develop a following, but effort is where you will find your passion!

    In continue to enjoy reading your posts.


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