12 Mar Harness the power of purpose to achieve your professional and personal goals
Harness the power of purpose to achieve your professional and personal goals
Purpose is a word that I’ve been hearing a lot about recently. Usually in relation to finding more purpose and meaning in our work. It’s not surprising really. When our work has significant meaning for us, we’re more likely to bounce out of bed in the mornings, excited about the day ahead, and we generally feel more fulfilled and content with our lot.
And, maybe you’ve experienced the opposite – that Monday morning feeling when your only reason for getting out of bed is because you have to get to work so you can pay the bills. Whenever I’ve felt like that, I feel flat and heavy and find it very hard to bring my best to whatever I may be doing.
Some years ago that became a regular feature for me. Fortunately, I was able to take a year out to reassess my own purpose in relation to my life and work. Despite a successful corporate career and co-founding a global consultancy business, I was unsatisfied and questioning my purpose.
During my time out, I went on a journey of self-exploration and personal development and one of the key things I learned about purpose is that we always have one. Every single thing we do – small or big – is driven by a purpose. The question then becomes whether it’s a purpose that you’ve consciously chosen or whether it’s one driven by your unconscious desires.
When I claim my purpose is to eat healthily and then scoff that yummy chocolate cake loaded with calories and sugar, my real purpose is to eat that cake – usually because I want to ‘treat’ myself, because I ‘deserve’ it. And so, my stated purpose of eating healthily wasn’t really what I wanted.
When I talk about wanting to get out and about and do more exciting things at the weekend but end up on the sofa watching TV, I’m ‘off-purpose’ in terms of what I said I wanted to do. The reality is that I’ve done exactly what I wanted to do at some unconscious level – which was to watch TV.
And, so I came to realise that purpose has a part to play in every area of our lives, not just in relation to our work, and, when you learn to harness its power, almost anything is possible.
Just under a year ago, I ended up in hospital for four days. Excruciating pain in my right hip rendered me immobile. I was diagnosed with early onset osteo-arthritis plus a labral tear in the right hip. The consultant advised that, apart from pain killers, there was nothing they could do for me. He said “You are too young and too active for a new hip so you will just have to put up with it”!
The pain in my hips had been going on for the three years leading up to this. Upper back pain had been an ongoing challenge for twenty years. Over that time, I’d spent thousands of pounds and hundreds of hours with chiropractors, osteopaths, physiotherapists, pilates teachers etc. You name it and I’d spent money on it, in my effort to be rid of life-limiting pain.
I was very upset at the consultant’s diagnosis and refused to believe that nothing could be done. Research led me to an exercise system that restores good posture and reduces pressure on painful joints. Now, nearly a year on, I am pain-free. I walk my dog for an hour a day, dance often and have even been abseiling (and, yes, that is me in the pic above)! I’m more active now than for many years.
All of this is because I have learned how to harness my power of purpose. It’s taken an hour of exercise six days a week since last December to achieve this result. There have been set backs and times when I questioned whether it would work and my commitment wavered. But, each time, I’ve re-engaged with my purpose to live life free of pain and found the motivation to keep going.
I didn’t used to know how to do this. In fact, I have a filing cabinet drawer full of exercises prescribed by various therapists who’ve tried to help me. I never followed through on their advice; I wanted them to fix me so I never applied myself to doing my part.
Learning how to overcome the, often, self-imposed obstacles and motivate myself to create this result is a gift I treasure. And, it is a gift that keeps on giving, as I harness my power of purpose to achieve other goals important to me. I now have a thriving business doing meaningful work that I love (helping others achieve their goals). My dog – whose primary purpose in life is food! – now comes when I call rather than running away to raid picnics and scavenge for food. Where I used to have a scrubby lawn and a couple of trees, I now have a garden full of plants and colour. I’ve traded watching travel adventures on TV for jumping into trains, planes and automobiles to create my own. And – most of the time! – I’m able to walk past the chocolate cake.
And, it’s a gift I love to share so, if you can relate to what’s written here and want more for yourself, come join us for the next Power or Purpose course. Do you have unfulfilled dreams? Are there other priorities getting in your way? Do you procrastinate when the going gets tough? Or, are you at a crossroads wondering what next or wanting more but not sure quite what? The Power of Purpose is a CPD-accredited course that can help you deal with these questions so you can live life as an exciting adventure to which you bring your very best self.
The next six-week programme runs from 18.30 to 21.30 on Monday evenings, starting 26th October through to 30th November, in Belsize Park. To find out more or to register, contact me on 07808 720150 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.