To have purpose is to have something to live for
When we lack a clear and consistent purpose, we are functionally and philosophically lost. Our inner compass is broken.
If our purpose has little hold on us, we will easily become distracted and ineffective. A common war tactic is to distract the enemy away from their primary assignment or purpose and then take it from them. This happens every day to those lacking a clear and compelling purpose.
A sustainable vision and the goal steps leading there are birthed from purpose. Visions and dreams fail because they have not been cultivated from the deepest part of the soul. A good idea is not conviction. When purpose takes hold, vision and values are the byproduct adding dimension and texture.
Writing is the hard work many leaders skip. Some read and that is good but writing is even better because it helps you make sense of your world and how you have chosen to engage it. You have time. You make time. But what do you write about?
You write about the kind of person you want to be. You write about what captures your thoughts. You write about your leadership convictions and values. You write about what is right and what is wrong. You write about the culture you are developing. You continue to write because it makes you better. And if you get better, everyone benefits.
It takes some time but you will eventually be able to describe your purpose with just TWO WORDS. The first word ends with the letters ING and the second word is your object or your focus word. ING at the end of your first word illustrates the ongoing nature of your purpose. You can and probably should also write a sentence around these TWO WORDS enveloping them into a purpose statement. A well developed purpose transcends context. This means, no matter your context, you will be able to exercise your purpose.
My first attempt at this started in my late twenties while reading the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. My first writing attempts were horrible but I never stopped trying. And I continue to refine my thoughts even to this day.
The first edition of my TWO PURPOSE WORDS was INSPIRING FAITH. I am a passionate person and I have always enjoyed watching people work hard and succeed at whatever their endeavors might be. I chose faith as my focus word because I am a person of faith and I also believe it to be the most important spiritual muscle we have. Though I do not use these TWO WORDS as much as I once did, they still represent me well. I’ll share more next week.