I remember the first real job I quit. Even though I was recently given a raise and enjoyed my co-workers, I was way too stressed. I was also spending too much time at work and not what really matters to me at the time. I gave everything to that company and I had bigger things in mind for myself.
Eventually I realized that there was more to life than this specific job. As a result, I put in my two weeks notice and found a gig that allowed me to enjoy what mattered in my life.
This isn’t an anomaly. Employees aren’t motivated by just compensation. Their motivated by factors like challenging work, recognition, meaningfulness, and quality of work life. In other words, we’re motivated by a sense of purpose.
But, this type of motivation isn’t just confined to the work environment. Knowing your purpose helps you find your comfort zone, or start a business. It also comes with the following benefits.
When you decide what really matters most to you, you’ll be able to increase your focus. This is because it forces you to do one thing at time, use time efficiently, and keeps you moving in the right direction. What’s more, when you have focus, you’re better suited to block out distractions.
Let’s say you’re meeting a client at a restaurant you’ve never been to. You wouldn’t just hop in the car and start driving. You would put the address in your GPS so that you are guided in the right direction.
When you know what matters, it guides you throughout your life — both personally and professionally. Additionally, it simplifies your decisions. This is because it encourages you to only make decisions that will help you arrive at your destination.
Knowing your purpose helps you find your true passion. And, as you probably know, passion is what pushes us to do incredible things. Without that spark, we’re not as motivated to reach our dreams, goals, and ambitions.
When you believe in something, you develop the courage to overcome those fears that have been holding you back. For instance, starting a business is frightening. But if your purpose is to start a company that makes the world just a little bit better, you’ll be able to conquer those fears.
“When we lead lives based on what matters to us most, we’re happier and more fulfilled,” writes Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. “However, when we lead lives based on ideas that don’t fit anymore, we use random things to fill us up and typically end up feeling empty anyway.”
This is because “living from our authentic values” guide us in making decisions. It also helps us define goals, connect with the right people, and ensures that we’re always on the right path.
Doing what matters to you will attract the right people, events, and circumstances into your life.
It helps find that mentor who will help you get your startup rolling. You’ll want to join that new yoga class to help you get in shape or sharpen your focus. And, you’ll take advantage of any new opportunity that comes your way if it fits into your bigger picture.
Let’s say you just got a job offer. A really good job that is paying you a ton of money and comes with unbeatable benefits. The problem? The company doesn’t gel with your values.
You politely turn down the offer. The reason? You have integrity because you know what’s important to you — and it’s not a six-figure salary.
This may not sound important, but as David Brooks wrote perfectly in The New York Times:
“If you live for external achievement, years pass and the deepest parts of you go unexplored and unstructured. You lack a moral vocabulary. It is easy to slip into a self-satisfied moral mediocrity. You grade yourself on a forgiving curve. You figure as long as you are not obviously hurting anybody and people seem to like you, you must be O.K.
But you live with an unconscious boredom, separated from the deepest meaning of life and the highest moral joys. Gradually, a humiliating gap opens between your actual self and your desired self, between you and those incandescent souls you sometimes meet.”David Brooks
It’s true. In fact, those things that seemed really hard to do become a lot easier.
Think about when you first joined the gym. You probably couldn’t lift much weight or stay on the bike very long. But with your purpose pushing you along, you’ve kept at it. Now you’re lifting more weight than ever and are able to stay on the bike for thirty minutes without getting winded.
Let’s face it, when you know your purpose, you’ll end-up enjoying every minute of life.
That’s because you’re doing something that makes you happy and fulfilled. It also helps you find creative ways to overcome any situation, instead of being held back because of fear.
Make no mistake about. Knowing what really matter is the driving force behind motivation. But, how can you focus on what matters most?