There are many experts who have studied behavioral science and organizational leadership such as Brendon Burchard, Simon Sinek, and Tony Robbins whose valuable work supports what happens when people are fully aligned with their life’s purpose, their Why. They are truly happy, fulfilled and able to sustain long-term motivation to keep going at whatever their objectives are, even when things get tough. They become resilient people, who have grit, because they have complete clarity around their purpose.
When we are clear about why we choose to do what we do, it impacts how we do those things.
We all get the same 24 hours in a day. How we utilize that time is a direct reflection of how committed we are at any given moment to our purpose, our Why.
We are defined by the small moments throughout our day. Are we being courageous? Are we vulnerable and compassionate? Or, are we leaving destruction in our wake to fulfill our purpose?
These are important questions to ask oneself regularly. For example, did we hurt someone’s feelings to get through to them in order to make a point? Taking stock of our intentions and delivery (our actions) can lead to greater self-awareness and help us reset in the areas of our lives that need improvement. If my why is to help others lean into their why, then making someone feel shame isn’t part of the equation. I can’t continue along my journey at the expense of yours.
Some days we will get it right and other days we will fall short. This is natural. It’s the human condition. What we should strive for is an ongoing feedback loop with ourselves and even finding a friend, mentor or family member to keep us accountable. Keeping our purpose to ourselves doesn’t allow others to keep us honest with our dreams. To unlock success, we must accept that How and Why are inextricably linked. You need one to do the other well, and vice versa.
There is great power in analyzing how we do things and making small improvements, however it all starts with being more mindful about our actions. I recommend starting each day by setting an intention, then writing down the top five things you want to get done that day. Now you have something visual, what you wrote down on paper or typed into your phone or computer, to link to your intention and guide what you need to do. The next step is having self-dialog and asking yourself how you will achieve these daily goals with an optimal mindset that’s in alignment with your purpose.
It may sound like a lot of work at first, and you may even feel a bit awkward doing it, but these modifications can have the best influence on the outcome of your career and life.
Shawn Achor, a Harvard scholar who has authored several books around positive psychology and how happiness can fuel success at work, found that, “optimism is the greatest predictor of entrepreneurial success because it allows your brain to perceive more possibilities.” He says, “only 25 percent of job success is based upon IQ. Seventy-five percent is about how your brain believes your behavior matters, connects to other people, and manages stress.”
When positive daily rituals become a part of life including proactively being a positive-minded person, it becomes second nature like turning on the coffee pot or brushing your teeth. Building healthy habits will have a lasting impact on how we approach all facets of life.
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