The Power of Purpose

It’s not enough to be industrious, so are the ants! What are you industrious about?

Henry David Thoreau

Here is the truth about Achievement…

You don’t have to be smarter than everyone else, or better looking, or more connected or luckier to make it big.  You just have to focus – really  focus – on what you want and how you can get it. The reality is that most people are quite unclear about what they want and their desires for their lives. Sure, they want to be successful and achieve greatly, but when asked what, how, when, who and why, they are pretty foggy about the details.

Remember using a magnifying glass to burn paper?  You could leave a piece of paper in the sun all day and it would be unaffected by the sun’s rays.  But concentrate the sun’s rays with a magnifying glass and within seconds the paper would be on fire. That’s the power of focus. People with a clear purpose are far more focused than the majority.

Purpose – It means the reason for which something exist, is done, used or made. There are three main areas where we need to be absolutely clear  of our purpose

Life Purpose…

This begs the question on a macro and philosophical level – “Why do I exist? What do I aim to achieve with my life? What result would I like to produce through my influence as a person? Most of us can’t answer this – we coast through life, looking for the next small pleasure and try to avoid pain, with little dynamic driving us forward.  Possible life purposes, if you are not clear on yours, could be: Creating a happy family; Be a master in your field; Have enriching relationships with people, Make a contribution to humanity; Help other people; Reach a high spiritual awareness;Leave a legacy or Have amazing adventures.

It does not really matter what your life purpose is, all that matters is that you have one. For several reasons: It will inspire you, get you up in the morning, influence people around you, makes you more effective, clear about what you have to do and how to do it. It will make you grow and unlock your potential and hidden talents.  Make sure you write it down and put it some place where you can see it.

Job Purpose…

Test yourself and write down the your 3 most important tasks at work and order them in priority 1,2,3. If you can do this without thinking too much, you have crystal clear job purpose. Once you are clear on this, you will immediately start performing better at your job or business. One of the great diseases of our modern day society, is the overwhelming number of tasks we must do every day. Mountains of e mail, avalanche of meetings, endless to-do lists, etc. Vagueness leads to failure, if we are not clear on the top priorities and get caught up doing the trivial activities we are bombarded with.

Weekly Purpose…

It Involves sitting down once a week and establishing the one main task for the week. This will establish your focus for the week, amidst all the trivial tasks. A few minutes of focussing can lead to a sizable improvement in personal effectiveness. A clear weekly focus on that task will make your mind return  to it again and again until it gets done. Imagine… in a year’s time you would have completed 52 important tasks – 52 big steps towards any big goal, is a lot of progress.

The Amazing RAS

These techniques are effective because they help your brain process information far better than it can when you are not clear about your key purposes in life. This is due to a part of the brain called the Reticular Activation System. It is the center where all outside information pass through, to be filtered by the brain. Because there are millions of pieces of information coming at us every day, the brain has to choose which are useful and which are not. An example of RAS at work is If you are a keen soccer player, your RAS will pick out all relevant information about soccer such as newspaper articles, headlines, matches, scores, games etc, even out of the corner of your eye, or from the TV or radio in the next room.  As this is “important” to you, your RAS dutifully filters out and brings you only the relevant data. If you have no clear purpose or goals, programming your brain with what’s important to you, you will miss out on all this amazing computing power. (Search for this on the Web for more background and explanation)

Clear purpose is an absolute prerequisite for excellence in any area of your life!

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