How easily can you answer this: why did you get up this morning?
It’s not meant to be depressing, annoying or inferring that religion is the answer, although maybe it is!
However you feel about this question it gets all of us thinking about a topic that’s as relevant in business as it is to the rest of our lives…purpose.
There will be those who can answer that question easily – you’ll probably do more with your day. You’ll probably find decision making easier, have clarity around your day to day activities as well as what’s next.
However there’s a risk of confusing purpose and goals. Purpose sits higher up the ladder than goals. It’s what helps us decide on how we set our goals, how strong our convictions are and how we go about achieving them. Purpose is something really personal, it sits at the core of everything we do – it’s the context for our lives.
This isn’t about being focused. Of course being focused makes us more effective.
The most successful leaders, those who have achieved great things in their lives so far, have a very good understanding of their purpose. Why they, as individuals, exist. It enables them to make things happen and not be passengers in their own lives.
A great way to test this is to recall any regrets or bad decisions you’ve made. Whether from work or your personal life (it’s best to have a mix) it’s important to write them down. When you have a half dozen or so, review them. Notice any patterns, or themes? It’s likely you’ll find any decisions you regret don’t align with your purpose. You might not be able to put your finger on exactly why, but you’ll feel it. Something about that decision wasn’t right.
Knowing why we do what we do is a key part of the journey in business and life. And make no mistake, they are both one and the same.
Defining your purpose makes choosing a vision a much simpler task. Vision leads to goals. Goals lead to accomplishment.
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