Choosing to eat oatmeal with tart blueberries this morning was one of 35,000 decisions you will make before your head hits the pillow – and one of your 226.7 food decisions (Wansink and Sobal, 2007).
Why oatmeal? Why anything?
Author and speaker Simon Sinek is the most famous asker of “why” on the planet. Here’s his triple dare on his website: Imagine a world where we wake up inspired to go to work. Imagine a world where we feel safe at work. Imagine a world where we are fulfilled by the work we do.
Mmmmmm . . . imagine. Bypass asking what and how. Go straight to why. (Make seeing Simon Sinek’s TED talk one of your bazillion decisions for today.)
Why do you make the products you make? Why do you wake up every morning and go to work at that particular place? Why are natural and healthy foods important to you? What’s the “why” behind your story?
Let’s move past the obvious. We all have to eat (literally and figuratively). But there are options to making a living. We could work three fun jobs versus one we dread. We could adjust our lifestyle so revenues aren’t so dictatorial.
We could simply stop and think: Why does my company exist? Why do I devote 40+ hours to my work?
Six GreenSeeders weighed in on those two questions. Here are their answers and what we learned from them.
Much of a Person’s “Why” Begins With Love
We begin with the heart and the people it bends toward. Rooting our “why” in love gives us a sense of purpose.
Jose Guzman, GreenSeed’s production and sanitation supervisor, said: “I love my job. Working in production I get to work with many great people, which I believe is one of the key components to a great company. It all begins with the people, people who share the same passion to be a great company and give our customers the best products possible. I believe GreenSeed exists to provide excellent packaging services to our customers and consumers.”
“Why” Often Leads to Helping Others Grow
Office Assistant Samantha Lamanna took the concept of love one step further: If love is tied to our passions – making us look forward to our work or whatever task is at hand – then becoming an extension of the people we serve helps all of us to grow.
She points out: “GreenSeed’s purpose is to be an aid to good, natural food companies in their quest to provide healthy, nutritional products to consumers. Our job is to make it easier for them to get from the beginning of the process to the end of the process and not have to worry while the product is in our hands. Lots of us work hard to make our customers comfortable enough to allow us into their team and to see us as a partner instead of just a piece in their supply chain. We are here to help them grow their company.”
On a personal level, her “why” contributes to the larger company “why”: “My specific job may not impact the end result of a packaging job for a customer, but I like that all of the little stuff I do makes other peoples’ jobs easier. I get up and come here every morning because, first and foremost, I like working with the people in this company. I like the fact that I can talk to anyone (management or associate) and feel like he or she is a genuine and good person.”
Is Your Purpose to be an Agent of Change?
Materials Coordinator Dan Slinger looks at GreenSeed’s “why” from a macro level and how it impacts the greater world.
He says: “I believe GreenSeed exists to change how the contract packaging industry works. We want to be a customer service company that just so happens to be in the contract packaging sector. Our clients are amazing. They are coming up with amazing products and we are just a pogo stick to help them succeed. Our purpose is to deliver impeccable service so our clients can focus on other aspects of their business. I wake up every morning and come to GreenSeed because I enjoy it. We are free to be ourselves and grow as individuals, while still growing as a team.”
Money is a Metric. It Will Never Be Part of “Why.”
Like Dan, Second Shift Production and Sanitation Supervisor Jose Hernandez looked at GreenSeed’s “why” as being part of a larger ecosystem – how we contribute to people who enjoy the healthy food we package.
He points out that money – oftentimes thought of as the big prize – is not part of his greater purpose: “GreenSeed exists because of the vision we have of changing people’s lives in how we make and bring to their tables healthy food with trust. I believe that a job is not just working for money. Working for a place that gives you inspiration because of what they do or make is what makes me feel happy at GreenSeed. I don’t work for GreenSeed. I feel that I am a family member of this organization for which I invest my time and work with my team. I do it because I enjoy it and not because I get paid to do it.”
Why We Serve Others Reveals a Big Part of Our “Why”
Materials Manager Joe Bantz narrows our focus into understanding our “why.” He paints a picture. The picture has people serving one another with boundless consequences.
He says: “We are here to open people’s minds to living a healthier lifestyle with the foods that we package and believe in. We are here to work with our customers, and have the answers for them before they even have to ask a question. We want to give them an experience that blows them away and leaves them knowing that their products are safe with GreenSeed’s care. I come to work every morning because GreenSeed feels like a second home. I work with amazing people that are always willing to help. If we happen to run into a problem, no one points fingers. We get together and figure how we can solve problems together. It’s a great feeling coming to work knowing you have the full support of the team.”
Will We Find Happiness When We Find Our “Why”?
Throughout millennia, studies have explored happiness. Mayra Cervantes, quality systems coordinator, brings us back to those moments when we close our eyes and wonder in the dark if we’re truly happy.
She says of GreenSeed’s “why”: “We are here to make sure all the products being packed in our facility are delivered with quality. We are here to assist our customers in everything so they feel confident that their brand is going to be successful and that every person who consumes each product feels happy because they know that it is healthy and safe for them and their families.”
On a personal level, she talks of the happiness that comes from pride of work and helping her family: “I’m helping my husband who is a very hardworking man to ease the worries of providing for a family and I want my children to learn that success lies in the satisfaction you get from being honest and giving your best effort. I believe that to make a good name for yourself is a very important thing so I work hard to make a good name for myself and by doing that, being dedicated and always trying to do my best, in my own way, I’m helping GreenSeed Contract Packaging to make a good name too.”
What’s Your “Why”?
While GreenSeed’s exploration into “why” isn’t scientific, one central ingredient seems to be a love for serving others – customers, coworkers, our families. Dare we say that exploring “why” leads to happiness and more fulfillment through the giving of ourselves? We think so.
Borrowing from a past tweet by Jenna Blumenfeld, senior food editor for New Hope Network: “The natural industry is so amazing because we have love-driven stories when it comes to food and ingredients. Share them.”
Yes, let’s share. What’s the “why” behind your story?
GreenSeed Contract Packaging is a Batavia, Ill.-based packaging operations company passionate about healthy foods and nutritional products. Contact the company at (630) 761-8544.
Wansink, B. & Sobal, J. (2007). Mindless eating: The 200 daily food decisions we overlook. Environment and Behavior, 39:1, 106-123.