Whether you consider yourself a world-class performer or not, you have a lot in common with those among the elite either professionally, academically or athletically. You may sometimes fall off your purpose or lose it entirely. ‘Is this really what I am meant to do in the long-term?’ ‘What is my purpose or the best way for me to make progress today?’ ‘I need to switch gears, so how do find my (new) purpose?’ Athletes retire or get injured, senior leaders switch careers, academics change fields of interest, so they are not immune either! Lacking clarity on purpose can feel like the middle place, and it doesn’t tend to be too comfortable (at least not in my experience). Partly because we are not making progress towards something where we are making an impact for ourselves and/or for others.
The good news is that we can learn from what world-class performers do a little differently to be more purposeful, so we can move towards being world-class at what’s important to us.
Here are a couple of tips to get started:
- Believe purpose is possible. Sounds simple and like a no brainer, right? Not so fast! When we are not confident that something is possible, we tend to have very narrow focus. For example, if you are frustrated and tell yourself over and over again that purpose (short or long-term) is not possible or unlikely, you will have on blinders to the things that light you up or the things that are meaningful. Negative Self-Talk (a topic for another day!) is like practicing something over and over again in your head that that re. Think of it as walking through a beautiful field with a frown on your face, looking down at your shoes. You miss all the beautiful flowers!Consider this. On May 6, 1954 Roger Bannister ran the first sub-four minute mile when no one thought it was possible. Just 46 days later, Mr. Bannister’s record was broken. Once he ran a sub-four minute mile, others started to believe they could do the same. They did.Start to believe in your ability to find and live into your purpose which will help you to be aware of the possibilities. Others have and you can too.
- Slow down. If you don’t, you are avoiding putting in the work. Do Olympians win gold medals without putting in the time? Of course not. If you want to live more purposefully, you must put in the work too, and that means creating the time to be still, reflect or the time to possibly try new things or gather information. In our busy lives, we must ask, ‘What is most important to me right now and why?’ If becoming more purposeful tops the list, start scheduling time with yourself for this very endeavor or with other people who have what you want.
- Get intentional. Now that we believe becoming more purposeful is possible, we have created the space to allow for progress, we must get intentional about going after it. That means we create a daily or weekly routine to make progress. Here’s an example: ‘I want to grow my business, but I am not an experienced business owner. I lack purpose on my daily activities, so I will meet with a business coach once a week or with a mentor.’ Maybe you have no idea what your purpose is (You are not alone btw.), so you may set an intention to try something new once a month or meet up with someone who is passionate about what they do. The more detailed the better. What, when, who and what level of presence will you have? Bring your ‘A’ game!
World-class performers tend to be extremely purposeful, but it’s not reserved for the elite few … YOU can have world-class purpose too.
Just like getting better at anything, it takes time, practice and effort.
I consider all of you world-class performers who can next level your ability to be more purposeful. It’s more than that actually, we all must next level our sense of purpose. The world needs you to be as amazing as possible, especially now.
Originally published at www.sherylkline.com