“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” -George Bernard Shaw
What is your purpose? Without a purpose it is difficult to figure out and do what it is that you really should be doing. Think about it for a minute and look at where you are today, how did you get there? Is it where you want to be? For many people life is a series of unplanned events that ends up being less joy-filled than they desire. If you aren’t living life with a purpose, then it is difficult to be a high performing individual.
We are all designed to be high performers, and yet only a few really achieve that status. Only a few define their purpose and goals for life; The starting point for high performance is having a well defined purpose. Before even writing down a set of goals to accomplish or a life plan, decide on your “why” first.
Why do you want to do what you think you should do? What is the purpose behind doing those things, achieving those goals? For some, it is to create financial security, and in the process of doing that, something else gets lost that creates less happiness rather than more.
So, your first step in creating a plan for the next few years is to step back and really be clear on the purpose for doing. Define your “why”. Let’s start with an exercise that can help provide some clarity around your purpose. This may take some time, or it may be pretty clear to you right now. Get a sheet of paper and write down…
My purpose is to be _____________________________________,
to do _____________________________________,
so that ____________________________________.
What do you want to be, to do…and as a result, the “so that” part will give you a reason to work on a goal. Having a goal without a strong enough “why” behind it will disappear like so many other worthwhile things. Look at someone who wants to quit smoking (that is the goal), but what is the “why”, the purpose behind quitting smoking. If it isn’t strong enough, then the goal is going to fall flat, there won’t be a big enough WHY behind it to provide the daily, hourly, minute by minute desire to realize the goal.
One of the reasons to work with a coach is to gain clarity on your purpose so that you can develop some powerful goals that are achievable. Many people in life and in business want to improve, to do better, to get more out of life, and enjoy it in the process. Right now, it isn’t happening, and it leads to frustration, stress, and even burnout and withdrawal.
It may take a few minutes to define a clear purpose and direction you want to go with your life. You may have more than one “to be” (to be a good parent, to be a good leader, to be of service, …). Create a powerful “so that”, to make sure it is something that you really want to achieve. Make today the day you write down your purpose, and be ready to move forward in your life.
“Cherish your visions. Cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.” -James Allen