Once you have decided upon your values, vision, mission, purpose, and goals, the next step is for you to analyze your starting point. Exactly where are you today, and how are you doing, in each of the important areas of your life, especially as they relate to your goals?
Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric for many years, once said that the most important quality of leadership is the “reality principle”. He defined this as the ability to see the world as it really is, not as you wish it were.
If you want to be the best you can be and achieve what is truly possible for you, you must be brutally honest with yourself about your point of departure. You must sit down and analyze yourself in detail to decide exactly where you are today in each area.
Imagine that you’re out at sea on a boat, voyaging to a far-off destination. Your boat springs a leak, which immediately becomes your priority. You jump down and start bailing water to prevent going under, but forget that nobody is left to navigate the ship. One day, after doing nothing but bailing water for who knows how long, you poke your head over the bow and wonder where the heck you are and how you got there. This is the purposeless life. People can become so preoccupied with just staying afloat that they fail to realize that nobody is at the helm.
Unfortunately, clarifying purpose takes time – quiet, uninterrupted time – which is something many of us feel we don’t have. We rush from one obligation to another without a “50,000 foot” view of where we’re going. It may seems self-indulgent to stop and reflect on questions of meaning and purpose, but journey will demand it.
We do better in cultures in which we are good fits. We do better in places that reflect our own values and beliefs. Just as the goal is not to do business with anyone who simply want what you have, but to do business with people who believe what you believe, so too is it beneficial to live and work in a place where you will naturally thrive because your values and beliefs align with the values and beliefs of that culture.
Now consider what a company is. A company is a culture. A group of people brought together around a common set of values and beliefs.
The goal is not to hire people who simply have a skill set you need, the goal is to hire people who believe what you believe.
The goal is to hire those who are passionate for your WHY, your purpose, cause and belief, and who have the attitude that fits in your culture. Once that is established, only then should their skills set and experience be evaluated.
Great people don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them.
When you know what to think and do, then you must use your will to compel yourself to think and do the right things. That is the legitimate use of the will in getting what you want – to use it in holding yourself to the right course. Use your will to keep yourself thinking and acting in the Certain Way. Do not try to project your will, or your thoughts, or your mind out into the space, to “act” on things or people. Keep your mind at home; it can accomplish more there than elsewhere. Use your mind to form a mental image of what you want, and to hold that vision with faith and purpose; and use your will to keep your mind working in the Right Way.
Wallace D. Wattles
Purpose is the primary fuel of ambition. Purpose create a destination. We can only become fully engaged in life when we feel that we are doing something that really matters. Purpose is what inspires us, lights us up, and floats our boats.
The morality of Alexander’s ambitious purpose notwithstanding, it’s very clear that once he had lost it, he rapidly lost everything. If we are to succeed in our endeavors toward greatness, we must learn and apply this final lesson of Alexander’s to our journey. Simply put: if purpose dies, the entire adventure quickly follows suit.
But what is a purpose, exactly? The dictionary defines it as follows: The reason why something is done or why something exists. It is something set up as an object or an end to be attained; an intention.
Where the goal is the what, the purpose is the all-important why.The purpose gives goals meaning. When the intention to make something happen is weak – when you’re just not feeling the “fire” – it’s not going to happen. People that ignore purpose don’t go very far in life. Nobody can love what they don’t feel in their hearts.
As you can guess, finding our purpose is not easy. A small minority of people have known their purpose since childhood, and have no need of guidance on the subject. For most of us, such a harmonization of mind and spirit is hard to achieve, and needs working on, even when it is achieved.
It is worth working on, though, because not only will it help you be more effective in making a difference, it may help in other areas of your life.
So what is our purpose? What do we stand for? Which raises the question – who are we? Who we are, and what we do, are often two very separate things. Discovering our purpose will help us to understand better who we are.
Something more is necessary, however, that merely to see the picture clearly. If that is all you do, you are only a dreamer, and will have little or no power for accomplishment. Behind your clear vision must be the purpose to realize it; to bring it out in tangible expression. And behind this purpose must be an invincible and unwavering FAITH that the thing is already yours; that is “at hand” and you have only to take possession of it.
Hold to the FAITH that the imaginary is being realized, and to the PURPOSE to realize it. Remember that it is faith and purpose in the use of the imagination which make the difference between the scientist and the dreamer. And having learned this fact, it is here that you must learn the proper use of the Will.
Wallace D. Wattles
You need to find an activity that maximizes the help and value you can give to others while at the same time maximizing the fulfillment and satisfaction you can give yourself. Making a difference, if you are to get excited about a project, and sustain that commitment over a period of time, needs to be one of enlightened selfishness. This is why finding your purpose – and thus finding meaning – is so important.
Meaning manifest itself in many ways, but one unifying thread is the sense of purpose that comes out of who we are, and what we hold dear. Without it we are rudderless. We are no longer, in Oscar Wilde’s phrase, “captain of our souls”. Not only can we find no meaning in what we do, we can also fall prey to betraying what values we do have, resulting in a sense of emptiness, and depression.