Defeat The Overwhelm
When you find yourself lost, scattered and standing alone amidst an overwhelming pile of tasks before you, don’t fret. Your purpose is there to weed out all that isn’t yours to do.
Your purpose is the one tool you have that guides everything you do. It helps you determine what to do and what to leave behind. It is easy to forget that as you stare into the ever growing pile of demands you face as a leader at home, work, in your relationships and community. However, your purpose will align all you do to ensure you avoid the shiny distractions that tempt us all.
Take a look at all you have to do today. That you know of.
What tasks will help you fulfill your purpose?
What tasks just get in the way?
Engage in those tasks from Step One that help you fulfill your purpose. The rest, let go of or delegate to the right people. Who are the right people? Those whose purpose is fulfilled by completing those tasks.
Fulfilling your purpose aligns all you do.
A Time Drain
Pursuing happiness is a meaningless goal because it can never be achieved.
Goals that help us fulfill our calling can always be achieved. They never distract us from our purpose. Pursuing happiness is a lifelong pursuit that can never be satisfied, and completely throws us off the path of doing what we were made to do.
When we pursue happiness, we never actually experience what we set out to gain. This is because pursuing something only brings reward at the end, and if we can’t reach the end then we will never experience our desire.
At every stage of life we are equipped with all the tools we need to do what we were made to do, and there is never a time that opportunities do not make themselves available.
When we stand in fulfilling our calling, we can begin from the moment we are born, and we can continue until we take our last breath. Once you understand why you’re here and what your calling or callings are within that, you’ll see all the moments you had the opportunity to fulfill it, and all those times you missed that opportunity.
Take the time to clarify your purpose, align all you do with that purpose and be the leader we all need you to be as you fulfill your calling everywhere you are.
Pursuing Happiness vs. Your Calling
When we pursue something, we spend every day working towards it. This is similar to fulfilling something, because we also work on that every single day.
There are, however, many differences between pursuing and fulfilling.
When we pursue something, the steps we take towards it mean nothing to the greater story around us, and the goal is always a self-centered ambition or desire.
However, when we fulfill our calling, we fight for the dream that we envision every day, and we experience that dream every day. When we fulfill our calling, we are blessed with the joy that comes with every moment. We stand where we are meant to be.
When we pursue happiness, however, we only feel that brief emotion when the goal is reached, leaving everything else along the way. We are left in misery for us and everyone around us.
Don’t Waste Your Life Pursuing
Wasting time is one of the biggest enemies of fulfilling your calling. We all focus on living in the day-to-day mindset and surviving our everyday duties. We are tossed in a sea of aimless activities that make no difference in the greater story around us. We struggle through our lives, counting down the time until we can retire, hoping life will be more fulfilling or meaningful once the everyday grid is over with.
But every one of us needs to be living in the present. We need to focus on where our calling presents itself in every aspect of life and meet the opportunities that come there. We need to seize every moment we get to fulfill our calling instead of watching them all pass by. Instead of waiting for the day when we can give up on work, we need to look for every area we are able to fulfill our purpose in the calling we’ve been given.
Don’t waste your life pursuing. Spend your life fulfilling.
Pursue Your Calling
Our society tells us what we need to do in order to help others. They tell us we need to go to school and become a doctor, a nurse, a lawyer, a police officer, and thousands of others. So countless people never give what they are meant to give, and instead struggle to fill a role that wasn’t meant for them.
We pursue what others tell us is of value instead of engaging in the value that is ours to bring. The result is that we miss out on the bigger story around us.
Pursuing the calling our society tells us to pursue may provide for our physical needs, but only our true calling provides for those needs and ushers the dream into reality for us and all those we serve.
Your calling is anchored in your purpose. Your purpose is why you’re here. Your calling is doing what you are meant to do, where you are meant to do it, with those you are meant to. Your purpose and calling go hand in hand. But they are not the same thing. You can pursue a calling. But what happens when you pursue your calling; the one that fulfills your purpose?
When we work to take care of our own needs, they will never fully be filled. You are here to help meet a need in others. In meeting that need, you step into the story you are meant to be a part of. In that, all you need is available so that you can realize your purpose in all you do, as you fulfill your calling.That’s how it works. Which is why we must pursue the calling we are meant to have. If all of us meet the need we are meant to help answer, all the needs in the ultimate story will be met.
Pursue your calling. Fulfill your purpose in all you do.
All of us have the ability to do what we are meant to do, but we don’t because of one lie. This is the lie of “I can’t”.
We tell ourselves this because we are afraid of the hard work and risk that comes with fulfilling what we are meant to do. We get caught in the easy way and striving for happiness. But when we pursue happiness, we become devalued by everyone around us. But why? Happiness is about us. Fulfilling why you’re here, where you’re meant to be, doing what you are meant to do, is about others. When we pursue happiness, those we want to value us, see our selfish wants instead of us fulfilling our calling and answering their needs. The longer we walk down the path of pursuing happiness, the more support we lose from those we wish were on our side. They walk away and we lose all the comfort they bring.
And without comfort, we try to drown our misery in more fleeting happiness. All this because we tell ourselves “I can’t”. But the truth is, everything we need to fulfill our calling is available to us. The path of obedience to your calling is hard, but as you walk it out those around you will value you for meeting the need you answer. The comfort that comes from that, mixed with the joy of fulfilling your calling, allows you to turn “I can’t” to “I can”.
Purpose Shapes Your Decisions
Decisions shape our lives, our families, our companies, our communities and world. But what shapes our decisions? At the core, it’s your purpose. But what happens if you don’t know why you’re here? What happens if you confuse your purpose with what you do? Well, you end up in the wrong place, doing what you hope is the right thing, with those you hope will value what you bring.
Don’t leave your decisions in the hands of hope. Clarify your purpose and anchor your decisions in that purpose. End up where you are valued, doing what you are meant to do, with those who value what you bring.
Purpose shapes your decisions.
You Are Enough
You are enough to fulfill your purpose.
Here’s the lie. You’ve either been told that you are not enough and never will be enough or that you have to be more than enough. And that applies to not only you as a leader, but to your family, your team, company, community and country. Both of these statements are the same lie. But here’s the truth. You are enough when it comes to fulfilling your purpose. You have been given all you need to fulfill your purpose. It may not look like it. It definitely doesn’t always feel like that. But the truth is, you have been given all you need to fulfill your purpose.
This goes for you, your family, your team, your company, community and country. If you need something to fulfill your purpose you have it. It’s either out there that you can go get or learn from those who have it and if not, it’s yours to develop.
The key to knowing that you have all you need to be the valued leader others need you to be as you fulfill your purpose is to first clarify your purpose.
You are enough. Be valued. Realize your purpose.
You Know Your Worth
You’re teaching others how to devalue you.
Here’s the truth, you know what you’re worth, but you are doing things that actually teach others around you how to devalue you. And you are not alone in that. Every single person, family, team, company and community we’ve helped to fulfill their purpose and be valued over the past 25 years has done the same thing.
We doubt ourselves or we believe others when they doubt us. Doubt is the enemy.
Doubt’s job is to rob you of your value. We need your valued leadership. Your family needs your valued leadership. Your team, company, community and country needs your valued leadership.
Doubt causes us to do some very specific things that lead others to doubt us and themselves. When you doubt, we all lose out.
To stop doubting is hard. But once you clarify your purpose you’ll know your worth without a doubt.
Clarify your purpose. Be valued.
Be Where You Are Valued
You are valued everywhere you are both needed and wanted.
There are people in your life and work that need you but don’t want you. Likewise, there are people that want you, but don’t need you. The challenge to being valued as a leader is to stand in those places where you are both needed and wanted. By doing that you stand in your opportunities.
So many of us, myself included, have spent too much time trying to convince the people around us that they should need and want us, instead of just being where we are needed and wanted the most.
If you stand where you are both needed and wanted, those you lead in those opportunities and those standing on the sidelines looking in will experience and recognize your value as a leader.
When it comes to being valued and having the opportunities to value those you lead, you simply need to stand where you are both needed and wanted.
Be valued. Be where you are needed and wanted.
Every one of us is being devalued in key relationships.
Each of us is being devalued for one simple reason. What you are doing does not align with why you’re here.
Your job, the different roles or positions you have in key relationships and what you do in those must align to and fulfill on why you’re here or you will continue to be devalued where you want to be valued.
Clarify your purpose and then align all you do to fulfill that purpose in every area of your life.
Avoid being devalued. Clarify your purpose and fulfill it.
Lead Don’t Control
People want to be led, not controlled.
However, most of us as leaders lead with our agenda instead of our purpose. We have something that we want done so we create an agenda, call a meeting and then try to convince everyone that what we propose is the right direction.
When we lead with our agenda instead of our purpose, we end up controlling people. And when that happens, we lose those we are leading.
Agendas don’t lead people, purpose does. And when you place an agenda before your purpose, you will be devalued simply because you will be measured on what you accomplish instead of why you’re here. What you accomplish has value simply because it either fulfills your purpose or it doesn’t. And when you align your agenda to your purpose, you can easily measure if what you are doing has value or not.
Be valued. Lead from your purpose, not your agenda.
The Lie On Purpose
You’ve been taught a lie about your purpose.
In helping leaders be valued everywhere they want to be, I’ve seen one lie that keeps coming up. We’ve all been taught that our purpose is what we do. But the truth is, your purpose is why you’re here. Your purpose is why you’re here, not what you do.
What you do must align with why you’re here and fulfill your purpose if you want to be valued as a leader, but your purpose is not what you do, it is why you’re here.
Your value as a leader comes from you fulfilling your purpose everywhere you are. At home, work, in your community, country and our world. You are valued as a leader because you fulfill your purpose in what you do. What you do must come out of you fulfilling your purpose or you will be devalued.
Your purpose is a why not a what.
The Elegance of Purpose
The grind of leadership is exhausting.
Leadership is hard. When we focus only on what we accomplish, or can accomplish, the daily grind wears us down.
As we move our focus from what we do to why we are here, the landscape of leadership takes on an inspired horizon.
To watch someone moving within their purpose is like a perfectly choreographed dance. They flow from moment to moment, without hesitation, doubt or the fear of uncertainty that plagues those stuck in “What”.
The reason we get stuck in what we do is simply because we’ve believed a lie. We’ve all been taught that purpose is what we do.
I remember as a young boy being asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The lie about purpose lives at the heart of this question. Although this is an important piece to consider, this question doesn’t give you the information you need to understand your purpose and where to focus your time and efforts.
This question points to things that interest you, things that you are passionate about and things that you just like doing. However, when you measure the question of “What do you want to be?” with “Why are you here?” you get very different results.
You begin to break down the lie as you set out to answer the question “Why are you here?” See, your purpose is not a ‘what’ or ‘who’. Your purpose is why you’re here. What you do and who you are must align with and fulfill why you’re here or you will be dismantled by doubt. You will be devalued, guaranteed.
To understand the difference answer me this:
What did you accomplish yesterday?
Whatever your answer to that question is, you will struggle through “Is that enough?” Even if what you accomplished was enough.
However, when you ask “How did what you accomplished yesterday help you fulfill your purpose?”, you learn and move forward. Here, you do not destroy yourself or feel the need to pat yourself on the back. You simply are empowered to own what you did (or didn’t do) to take steps to fulfill your purpose. Knowing why you’re here simplifies leadership for you and all those you serve. It removes the grind and allows you to dance, moving as you are meant to.
What you do and who you become are because of your purpose. This is key in changing the grind of leadership into the dance that leadership needs to be for you and all those you serve everyday.
Without understanding your purpose, you will miss out on what you are meant to do and who you are meant to be. A bold statement I know. But I say it because I don’t want you to miss out on what you are meant to do and who you are meant to be. Those you lead at home, work, in your community of friends and neighbors, in your country and even globally, need you to be the valued leader you are meant to be. They need your leadership. You need their leadership.
Don’t fall for the lie that your purpose is what you do. Your purpose is why you are here, not what you do. Clarify your purpose. Be the valued leader you need to be.
The Valued Leader™