How To…Pursue Purpose
In a previous blog we talked about How To…Discover Purposeand today I want to talk about what to do after you’ve discovered your purpose and that very thing(s) you were put on this earth to do. Far too many times we get afraid of the big picture that we allow it to stop us from taking the baby steps it takes to get there. But we’re committed to winning together right? So we’re going to actively and productively pursue purpose in order to make the greatest impact in our respective areas.
1. Discover your why
One of the most important driving forces towards pursuing your purpose is understanding your “why”. Why do you want to pursue this purpose? Who will benefit from your purpose? What is the reason you feel this is what you were created to do? What impact are you aiming to create? Because I promise if “making money” is your motivating source… that’s absolutely not your purpose, that’s a paycheck. Instead of pursuing success… pursue impact and the success will come on its own. Before you can pursue your purpose you have to get very clear about your “why” because that is what’s going to push you forward even when you don’t FEEL like being productive.
Knowing who is counting on you to pursue your purpose will serve as a push when you need it most. For me, my “why” is knowing that sharing my struggles will help someone get through theirs. At my most recent speaking engagement I had the honor of telling my story, and afterwards so many women came up to me sharing how they’d dealt with similar struggles. Seeing the tears flow, I knew I made an impact and that was the greatest reward possible. Being able to connect with so many and bond over sharing stories. Getting to hear the stories of others was the best payment I could’ve possibly received. Money will come and go, but accepting impact as your payment will serve as motivation to focus on the next step of impact.
2. Get organized
Once you your “why” it’s time to put in the work…but you have to be organized in order to be the most productive. Sure you can make progress without being organized, but we want to make the most impact and be as productive as possible. It’s important to be productive and not simply filling our time being busy, in order to do that you have to get organized. Last week we talked about How To…Get Organizedso if you’re struggling getting started, take a look.
Last week we talked about the “how” of getting organized, today I want to talk about the why. There are many benefits to being organized with the #1 benefit being productivity. Being organized can reduce stress and make you happier, and we all could use less stress right? Additionally, being organized has been proven to provide you with a natural boost of energy. And my favorite benefit of being organized, it lets you enjoy more “me” time…because your work is done!
3. Create a schedule
Creating a schedule for yourself helps you stay focused, requires you to get organized, and holds you accountable to your purpose. Having a schedule of posting #MotivationalMonday video blogs every Monday and #ThoughtfulThursday blogs every Thursday keeps me focused. Creating a schedule helps us stay engaged in our purpose, one piece of advice I give to anyone starting out is to create a routine and a publishing schedule. If it’s writing blogs, sending emails, or even posting on social me…create a routine that your audience can expect and will hold you accountable.
Get structured and allow yourself to be on track with those goals you’re aiming to accomplish. Even if you have to get an hour-by-hour calendar to schedule every moment of your day…do that. If you aren’t able to stay focused then you need to create a system that will allow you to do so on a consistent basis. No one said purpose would be easy…but remember your “why”’ and it will push you forward.
4. Accountability is key
If you do not have an accountability system in place, it’s time to do just that. Every area of life that I’ve been successful in has been because I had supportive people holding me accountable. And the areas where I haven’t been as successful as I’d like to be has been in large part because I didn’t have anyone holding me accountable. Your accountability partner should have your permission to ask the difficult questions and be able to challenge you in certain areas of your life. It might be simple to say “Oh I’ll just hold myself accountable” but when the time comes do you actually?
Far too many times we’ll allow how we ‘feel’ to determine what we do…and I must be honest and say that your purpose does not care one ounce about how you ‘feel’. And while I’m ruining the fun, I must also let you know that your goals don’t care much about your feelings either. With that being said, having someone holding you accountable will give you that much needed push to get up and do it. Additionally, your accountability partner should be ready, willing, and able to help you celebrate your wins and remind you of them when you get discouraged.
5. Do. The. Work.
Honestly guys, it’s really that simple. We can talk all day long about the what’s and how’s for any given topic, but it means absolutely nothing if you’re not willing to put in the work. There has got to come a point in your path to purpose that you make the decision to just get up and do it. One of my biggest pet peeves (don’t judge but I have a lot lol) is when people constantly talk about the things they want to do or come up with these fabulous plans that they forget all about days or weeks later. Personally, those people get placed in the “shhh…show me” category after habitual cycles of limited follow through. Being fair, I hold myself to the very same standards. I will very rarely discuss things that I am working on, would like to accomplish, or have planned until I have made some progress in that direction with action.
If you’re not willing to do the work, the previous four steps are honestly a waste. Do. The. Work. Period. Every single day, you should be touching your goals and purpose and making steeps in that direction (regardless of how small). You may not be able to accomplish the goal today, but there is absolutely something you can accomplish to make progress in the right direction. Sometimes when I’m not in the mood to workout, but still go…it’s not aways the best workout but it’s better than the desired alternative. I celebrate those wins too! It’s not always going to be easy to do the work, but I promise you that it will be rewarding when the results begin to flow in.
*Bonus* Find balance
So I’m going to be honest and say, this is something I’m working to master at this time because with so much on my every growing to-do list I sometimes find it difficult to master balance. I am learning to accept that I can have absolutely everything and I can be successful in many different areas, but I cannot do everything in one day. I understand that it will require intense sacrifice, but I also request proper rest and balance along the way because I’m more productive when I have a regular self-care routine. Also, I cannot wear all of my hats on the same day and I cannot master everything in one day.
Sometimes a given area will have to take the back burner in order to be successful in a given area, and it may sit there for the day, week, monthly, or longer. As long as it doesn’t stay there long enough to stunt it’s growth or for me to forget about it…it’s okay. Some days I have to focus on being a good cheer coach, or manager at work, or sorority sister, or business owner, or family member, or friend…but every day isn’t the day for everything. Sometimes you have to ask yourself what are today’s priorities? What can I be successful at today? For example, today’s priorities for me including being the best manager I can be, balancing my responsibilities as a business owner, and being a loyal Child of God. This past weekend my priorities were being an engaged cheer coach and being a good big sister. And tomorrow’s priorities will likely be different.
I’ll leave you with a paraphrased quote from TD Jakes. He was asked how he’s able to balance his involvement in many different areas of life and diverse genres of business, and his answer changed my life forever. He said (again I’m paraphrasing) that every day he knows he’s going to drop the ball and every day he’s going to disappoint someone. BUT it’s his job to make sure that he doesn’t create a HABIT of disappointing the same person or dropping the same ball. What I got from that was it’s okay to not be perfect with everything every day, you just have to find balance and ensure the same area doesn’t slack consistently. Pick the ball back up and recover!