Pastor, educator, and author Francis Chan said, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” How often are you on autopilot, functioning from a place of habit rather than choice, being reactive rather than pro-active? I am not going to lie, taking responsibility for your thoughts, actions, and impact is not easy…but it can be simple, as simple as asking yourself, “What do I want, and are my emotions, efforts, and energy supporting those desires?”
Many of my clients suffer from a lack of purpose and absence of meaning. One of the reasons this occurs is that we often feel that purpose and meaning ‘should’ naturally reveal themselves to us, when in fact, they require proactively making conscious choices and taking strategic action.
Mindfulness has become such a powerful buzzword that it graced the cover of TIME magazine in January of 2014. Defined as “giving your attention fully to what you are doing,” mindfulness is definitely an important tool to increase the value of your actions. I even lead seminars on Mindful Leadership & Living, but if those actions on which you focus are not intentionally aligned with your goals and values, then they won’t necessarily help you have the impact you want, or experience the sense of purpose you crave. By determining what is important to you and what outcome you want to achieve, you will not only create a “structure for success” that will help you achieve your goals, you will be more likely to find stimulation and satisfaction in the process.
We miss out on much of life when we allow status quo to take the place of strategic focus, when we let our unconscious response subvert conscious choice, and when involuntary reactions take the place of purposeful actions. Look at your daily routines and habits and evaluate which ones have become patterns you blindly follow, expectations you habitually reinforce, or rules you feel compelled to abide. I encourage you to set an intention for your experience and create moments that you provide you optimal outcomes and enjoyment. First answer the question; what values do you want to honor, and then align your choices with those values. That way you will not only find purpose in what you do, but also meaning in whom you are being.
PS – Author Adam Gopnik observed that there is a difference between getting older and growing. The former is an automatic and unconscious process, while the latter is a conscious intention to learn and evolve—always remember, the choice is yours.
PPS – If you want some support creating a structure of success to intentionally live your values and achieve your goals, please contact me for a complimentary sample phone session (stacey@theCoach4you.com).