Simon Sinek has taught every entrepreneur to “look for your why”: great advice indeed! But to truly understand the power of why consider the story of Henri Matisse.

In the last decade and a half of his life, the great artist Henri Matisse was diagnosed with cancer, underwent dangerous surgery, spent most of his time in a wheelchair, and lost much of the dexterity that allowed him to create many of his masterpieces.  He also created some of the most popular, impressive, and enduring pieces of his career.

Under circumstances that would have caused many to “retire” – to give up and rest on former laurels – Matisse was driven to continue and, in many ways surpass, his previous accomplishments. Driven by a deep need to express and create, Matisse worked with his associates to take the materials he was already familiar with (white paper and gouache) to develop new techniques that allowed him to extend an already impressive legacy.

If your why is because it gets you a bigger paycheck, or because if you do it long enough you may not have to do it anymore — maybe you need a better why.

Upgrade my WHY!

Photos and more info at: ArtsObserver