Living Your Purpose

How do you define and live your personal purpose?
I think that you have to answer three main questions with crystal-clear clarity:

First, what are you currently doing that you believe in and are proud of? To prevent drifting, you have to know where you are. You have an unique set of skills. You have been trained and understand the demands and challenges of your role. Given your knowledge of your job, how does your role at work connect with your purpose?

The second question is: what positive difference do you make to those around you? Are you a positive influencer who lives your purpose? What do people say about you when you are not around? What if you did not show up at work for a week, would it matter?

The third question is: ‘Does your work contribute toward your personal purpose?’ You are at work a majority of the time. Your time at work should be an opportunity to help you become the person you want to be. If what you do at work does not add to your personal purpose in some way – like providing you the funds, knowledge, skills, time, or connections with others who can help guide you toward your purpose – then you may need to make adjustments. If you connect your personal purpose with your job, everything at work will be a lot easier and more fulfilling.

For example, one person’s purpose is to help the less fortunate in our area. His job provides him resources, skills, and knowledge to help hundreds of people every year. His job also provides him connections. Several of his co-workers, and their friends, invest their time and energy to help him fulfill his purpose thus he can help thousands of people every year. His job is not the end to fulfill his purpose, it is the means for him to become the person he wants to be. The more successful he is at his job, the more funds, knowledge, skills, time, and connections he has to live out his purpose.

Here are a few points to ponder as you coach your team from drifting to purpose:

  1. Do you come to work with your purpose of doing a task … or are you coming to work because your task will help you achieve your purpose?
  2. Have you fallen into a comfortable niche and drifted instead of pursuing your purpose?
  3. Do you believe in what you are doing?  If so, you will achieve your best and enjoy life to the fullest.

Based on the book LeaderShift … Making leadership everyone’s business.

Subscribe to David’s blog here: https://davidcottrellblog.wordpress.com/

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Moments of Impact

Throughout the years, I have taken my kids to Disney several times. They loved to go there. Everyone feels the magic at Disney.

Recently I read about someone whose job was to clean rooms in a Disney hotel. One day, while cleaning a guest’s room, she saw a newly purchased Mickey Mouse sitting in the corner. When the family returned to their room, Mickey was sitting on the edge of the bed watching Disney cartoons on the TV. The lady whose job it was to clean the room found a way to create magic for that customer. Was that magic? Of course not, but the exhausted kids who returned to the room that evening thought so. Her small act will be talked about for the rest of those kids’ lives. The individual in housekeeping could have left Mickey sitting in the corner, but she was looking for ways make a positive impact and create happiness. Her lesson to us is that, regardless of your role in our organization, you can deliver moments of impact if you pay attention and look for ways to make a difference with our customers.

One of the shifts in our new book, LeaderShift is the shift from duty to passion. Duty is an obligation or burden. Passion is a desire, hunger, craving, even obsession. If you are buying something, which type of person or organization would you rather deal with? Someone who considers you a burden or someone who is obsessed about your business?

Customer passion results in moments of impact. You have to be ready when that moment arrives – it may come and go in an instant. The moment could be exceeding your customers’ expectations. But, opportunities for moments of impact also appear internally. For instance, when a meeting gets sidetracked and someone intervenes in a positive way to refocus the meeting. Or, when your accounting group prepares a financial report in a new way that strategic decisions can be made more quickly. Or, when human resources expedites insurance paperwork so that a new associate can get the unexpected, rapid medical treatment they need.

Moments of impact are all around us if we keep our eyes open for them.

Here are a few points to ponder as you coach your team from duty to passion:

  1. Is your team delivering moments of impact or moments of apathy?
  2. People buy from people more than any other influence. Does your team exhibit passion for your customers?
  3. What can you do to reboot your passion?

Based on the book LeaderShift … Making leadership everyone’s business.

Subscribe to David’s blog here: https://davidcottrellblog.wordpress.com/

Don’t Drift

Not long ago a couple were in Hawaii on vacation and decided to try snorkeling. Snorkeling is not exactly a dangerous sport, but they were responsible and took snorkeling lessons. Soon they were prepared to go out on their own and ventured into the Pacific ready to discover the beauty of the ocean.

They were having a great time. No one else was snorkeling in the area … in fact, there was no one within sight. The water was perfect – calm, gentle, and relaxing. As they snorkeled face down in the water, they were fascinated by the radiantly colored fish, spectacular plant life, and the coral reef. It was a remarkable experience, but it was about to become unforgettable.

The woman lifted her head from the water and looked around. She quickly realized that they had drifted. She could barely see their hotel off in the distance. Her husband was only a couple of yards from her. When she got his attention, without saying a word, they could read each other’s thoughts: ‘Yikes! What are we going to do?’

There was only one option. They began swimming for their lives. They swam for quite a while before getting to where they could stand up in the water and return to the beach. Once they reached the beach, they collapsed in the sand, exhausted.

When they woke up that morning, they had no idea what was in store for them. They had come close to disaster while enjoying what they thought was a peaceful and relaxing time. They had drifted. They did not realize what was happening to them until they looked up. Then they were shocked to find they were not where they began and certainly not where they intended to go.

Many people drift. In fact, I think the majority of people drift at least occasionally. They drift in their professional careers and they drift in their personal lives. Then, one day they look up and discover that they are far away from where they thought they would be.

It doesn’t have to be that way. You can choose to be a drifter and or choose to live and work with meaning and purpose.

Purpose is not just a goal; it is purposefulness, a higher purpose that only you can define. Purpose powers everything. Your purpose does not change based on temporary events that come and go. Purpose has permanence. It defines how you approach your job, handle an issue, react to surprises, and deal with things that may seem unfair. People who understand how their job fits into a broader purpose are engaged and creative. And, they make better decisions.

Do you come to work with your purpose of doing a task … or are you coming to work because your task will help you achieve your purpose? Think about it. If you come to work because your work ultimately helps you accomplish your purpose, you will enjoy your work more and be more productive as well.

Here are a few points to ponder as you coach your team from drifting to purpose:

  1. Without purpose, you drift.  There is no reason to work just to get tired.
  2. Write your purpose down on paper.  You will clarify where you want to go and then you can ask others to come with you.
  3. Identifying your purpose is not just a nice to do.  It is essential to your success.

Based on the book LeaderShift … Making leadership everyone’s business.

Subscribe to David’s blog here: https://davidcottrellblog.wordpress.com/

Average

Not many people would say that they want to be described as an average Jane or Joe. But, there are a lot of average people.  In fact, every day polling firms study the average person: how much they earn, what they wear, what they eat, how many hours they work, how much TV they watch, how much money they have in the bank, etc. Everything is studied to discover the behaviors of Mr. or Ms. Average – the common, everyday, usual, just plain ordinary person.

Average people accomplish average things.  They are average learners.  They are average givers.  They are average enthusiasts.  They are average thankful. They are average average.

You do not need to be average. In fact, you have to allow yourself to be average. You control your ambition and future. You do not have to accept and settle for the status quo. You need not succumb to being a victim of circumstances. You set the bar for yourself; don’t be average.

Take authority over your life. You can become a champion encourager and bring happiness to those around you. You can become a ‘can-do person’ rather than a ‘gloom and doom’ average person.

What if you counted 10 things every day for which you were grateful instead of worrying about what you don’t have? What if you told the significant people in your life that you loved them? What if you told a few people today that you were proud of them? Their day would change and your day would change, as well. You would not be average.

What if you said that excuses were done – no more? What if you proclaimed that anxiety, and insecurity are not the boss of you? What if you did not allow any individual to influence you to compromise your values? What if you established goals and zealously set a path to achieve them? You would not be average.

Require the best of yourself. Keep learning and growing. This is your life, your time, your watch. Take control. The next move is always yours.

Be unaverage.  Move forward.  When you get to where you are trying to go, you will know where to go next.

Here are a few points to ponder to not be average:

  1. What can you do today that will be extraordinary?
  2. You control whether you are average or not.  Look around.  What do average people do? How do they spend their time?  Can you do better?
  3. Are there people in your circle who could use some encouragement from you right now? Encouragement could be your best gift of the day.

Based on the book LeaderShift … Making leadership everyone’s business.

Subscribe to David’s blog here: https://davidcottrellblog.wordpress.com/