Entire books have been written on the importance of understanding your why (and I recommend that one!). I’m not going to rehash all of them, but I will agree with the fact your why, aka being On Purpose, is a key element of the ACTION plan. It’s such an important element, that I’ve already talked about it here on this blog. 

Until you have a compelling why driving you to achieve an Aspiration, you’re unlikely to take meaningful steps to get there. This is the reason so many new year’s resolutions fail. Without a why, we lose interest. We can’t stick with the change. The why is our motivation to be Consistent and keep taking positive action. 

Even if you and I have the same Aspiration, it’s highly unlikely that we would share the same why. When I’m taking positive action On Purpose, it reflects my unique experiences and interests; yours will too. My why would likely not motivate you because our experiences are different.

Let’s take exercise as an example. The reason why I exercise is because I want to walk unassisted when I’m in my 90’s, just like my great uncle. For another person I know, their why is because many of their relatives died at younger ages and they exercise to hopefully not have the same happen. For another, it’s that they want to continue to fit into their current clothes so they don’t have to buy new ones. There are endless why’s for something as simple as choosing to exercise. The key is to find the why that is true for you.

Another way to think about your why if you’re struggling is to determine what you stand for or against. This is often a meaningful reason that leads into a compelling why. My family has been significantly impacted by cancer, so I support causes and engage in activities around finding a cure. I also have a love of the natural world and the environment, so again this helps me direct my energy toward volunteer efforts

In a world where we have unlimited choice and access to information, being On Purpose also helps to narrow your focus and stay Targeted. You can easily filter out those positive actions that are good, but not necessarily aligned either with your Identity or your why and what you stand for (On Purpose).

#PositiveAction Struggling with your resolutions? It’s time to revisit your why and get clear about how you can approach them On Purpose this time!

On Purpose is the fifth element of ACTION, part of a series focused on positive action. If you’re new here, welcome! You may want to start at the very beginning with positive action

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay, edited by me, which is maybe why the sizing seems off!

I’ve been thinking about purpose a lot lately, maybe because I was able to witness an example of a life well-lived during the Honor Flight. Or maybe because I’ve been working on manifesting (making real) some big dreams, like writing a book! I’ve had several reminders lately to keep my focus on my purpose that were worth sharing.

My purpose is to educate and empower others to take positive action. I get to do that through my career coaching, where I help clients get unstuck, move forward, tell their best story, and find meaningful work. I get to do that when I’m speaking to a group. I also get to do that through my volunteer work with the Climate Reality Project. Interestingly, I also get to do that as a parent, friend, child, co-worker… really any relationship I have with another human is a chance to live into my purpose.

The challenge comes when life starts to happen all around. It’s easy to focus on all the tasks that need doing, without remembering the why (purpose) behind those tasks. Lately, I’ve been struggling with a few administrative-type tasks and finding ways to get them done sooner and better. When I think about the task itself, it makes me want to cringe or run away! But when I think about how it enables me to live out my purpose, the burdensome administrative task becomes easier. 

As another example, I have been enjoying a period of growth in my business and it’s been awesome, but it’s also made everything feel a lot more busy. That rushed, overwhelmed feeling likes to sneak in at times like that. I had mentioned how busy I was to a good friend and he immediately asked me, “Are you so busy that you can’t help one more person this month who is struggling in their job?” Hmm. Good question. When I listen to the busy, my brain wants to freak out and turn down opportunities. When I listen to my purpose, I can say with confidence, “Yes! I can help.”

I made a deliberate choice to start living life on purpose and it’s a change that’s been transformational for me. However, making the choice once doesn’t make it real. I have to consistently choose to be on purpose in order to live into it. I’m grateful for the reminders that keep bringing me back to that fact.

#PositiveAction Do one thing that brings you closer to working on purpose today. It could be defining your purpose, course correcting, or saying yes to an opportunity.  

 

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay