- self growth
“I hope I live to the fullest of my potential” – Mansfield
Today I enter my thirty fifth lap round the sun. Even now it doesn’t seem quite real that, “that number” will come up soon. It seems so far away from when I was twenty-five and I sat down and thought long and hard about what my life was going to count for at forty. That’s now both history in the sense of my age, and future in the sense of it not being fully fulfilled yet.
People seem funny about age don’t they? We are too old for this, too young for that. We listen to millennials reflect on worthy aspirations without the experience and our more mature relationships consider the sum total of their life and contribution. Some with contentment, some with regret, many with a balance of both.
I am more convinced than ever, that so much of life is meant to be shaped by seasons not calendars. A season is a time and space in which work is done IN us and THROUGH us with no specific time constraints. The calendar is much harder edged, a beginning and an end, often forced and sterile. I prefer the gentle change of seasons, shifting out of winter into the beauty of spring, and the heat of summer only to lean back into change and hibernation in specific areas of your life.
So, my thoughts about the next five years (and beyond) include the following:
The health of my body, soul, and spirit are my top priority.
THIS WILL ENSURE YOU CAN DELIVER ON YOUR PROMISES.
I’m a little late to what Richard Rohr calls ‘the crisis of limitations’ experience. It took a significant life stumble to wake me up and pay more attention to my formation, my limitations, my insecurity, and fears. Even now they play out most weeks, but I am more on top of HOW they look in my life, and what I can BE so I see less of the dark side of me and more of what lies beneath that is healthy, restored, and frankly, useful to the world. I want that more than anything else from now on.
The best gift I must give my family is a healthy self. The best gift I must give my team and clients is a healthy self. Well formed, aware of my limitations, humble in my strengths. Passionate to add value, and to see real, deep change take place.
So I have slowed things down in terms of what I demand of myself. I am trying to train at the gym regularly and read at least five times a week. I am under the supervision of a wise and experienced Psychologist and wish I had done it sooner. I am careful what I eat most of the time so there can be times we have ‘sometimes food’ – I am far from perfect but if inputs determine outputs then it’s pointing in the right direction.
I’m increasingly convinced life and leadership should be more integrated.
THIS WILL MAKE YOU MORE CONSISTENT AND ALIGNED.
I take myself to work and home again. I don’t have a professional and personal life. I just have a life. I want my values and convictions to be as alive and integrated in my home and family as I see it in my work and profession. It’s not an issue of personal life and work life. It’s an issue of roles and responsibilities. I can be integrated as a person and understand how and when to work and how and when to play.
I came across a “Making The Most of a Year” program, which talks about one thing being better than goals. Themes are better than goals. Themes give context to your skills, your responsibilities and set the framework for your goals. I have decided to live my life under six major themes and pretty much ignore everything else outside of that.
My six themes are:
Under these six themes I live, learn and lead. Period.
I am only just beginning my life’s work.
THIS WILL BE THE WORK THAT OUTLIVES YOUR LIFE.
I thought I had begun my life’s work. I misread that.
I have carried the genesis of what I want my life to count for since my early twenties and even more so since my late twenties. I spent a significant amount of time thinking through what I was all about when I reached forty years old, as I mentioned earlier. I concluded that I was going to be “helping people reach their potential.” My blog is called Team Know Your Purpose because I want to lift people to a ‘higher realisation’ – that purpose plays out in everything I am doing.
I’ve discovered that work is just the expression of your purpose.
Your purpose transcends your work.
I’ll repeat that, your purpose transcends your work.
Right now I have a beautiful balance of professional leadership and community leadership. I am writing blogs, books, creating podcasts, delivering speeches, mentoring leaders, ideating the future and looking into ways to help even more people access the profoundly wonderful experience of connecting their purpose AS their work. When your purpose and your work align no-one will need to motivate you, it will be more like people will have to slow you down!
I want to see others succeed and continue to make my mark on the planet.
THIS WILL BE THE REASON FOR YOUR PASSION, WORK AND DEDICATION.
This is a healthy tension. That tension between doing that which is in your heart to do and making sure you are helping others succeed. Like Zig Ziglar framed it when he said you get what you want when you help enough people get what they want. I live in between the tension of become the best version of me and emptying my cup for the sake of others.
Please join me in navigating the tension of being proud of who you are and what you accomplish and content to see many others win because of you.
I (still) want to change the game when it comes to walking in purpose.
THIS WILL INFLUENCE CULTURE, CHANGE CONVERSATIONS AND SHAPE THE FUTURE.
More than ever I want to change the conversation and change the game in my lifetime. Most people become leaders by accident, that’s not good enough. We must become leaders BY purpose and ON purpose. Intentionality (if that’s even a word) is critical to the quality of purpose driven people we produce and the kind of stories they bring.
I see too many people living with tensions and challenges that are not sustainable, I’d like to change that. I see too many people living from a place of emotional deficit, I’d like to change that. I see too many people trying to prove something to someone, I’d like to change that. I see too many people impacting others unhelpfully, I’d like to change that.
How would you like to spend your next lap around the sun? Let me know how I can help. I toast to the future.
“When admiring other people’s gardens, don’t forget to tend to your own flowers.” – Sanober Khan
In a recent conversation with a friend he mentioned his time off and what a joy it was, only to follow it up with “I felt a bit selfish….”
And I thought to myself, no it wasn’t. It was really really really smart.
Self care is NOT selfish. And on the whole I’m questioning how good we are at self care at all.
Life can become a series of competing and conflicting demands. Time spent in meetings, responding to emails, managing up, managing down, winning work, delivering work, leveraging your business…
Family life can be dangerously reduced to “Mum and Dad’s Taxi” while we get caught up in the hyper parenting craze thinking all that activity for our kids is making them well rounded citizens.
Raphailia Michael said, self care is defined as, “any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” It’s not a selfish act, it’s rather intentional. I am not psych trained but I have studied people for over twenty years. We have the propensity to be our best friend and worst enemy when it comes to life.
What self care is not is narcissistic or pathological in its intent to harm or neglect others. I am a partner, a father, brother, a colleague, son, and a friend. All these roles have expectations of me and self care doesn’t mean I neglect these responsibilities in a way that’s harmful to myself or others. What self care does is ask us to look more closely at the importance and priority of what we are placing on the activity, the demands and the circumstances we are in. We self care in order to be responsible individuals and also good stewards of who we are and our contribution to the planet.
One way of thinking about self care is that it is the combination of awareness and action. As in we know what’s going on with ourselves and circumstances and we have the resources to do something about it.
- When you have low awareness and low action you are in burnout. Intervention is required.
- When you have low awareness and high action you are in fatigue. Rest is required.
- When you have low action and high awareness you are stagnant. Change is required.
- When you have high awareness and high action you are resilient. Discipline is required.
We were not designed to work all the time, nor are we designed to play all the time. We are designed to reach our maximum potential and serve others to the best of our ability. The key is self care. Self care is NOT selfish.
In practice, the following five steps will help you self care more effectively so that you can contribute more intentionally.
Know yourself in order to lead yourself.
Self leadership is the first step to leadership and self awareness. The more you know how your nature, nurture and choices have shaped and influenced your life to date, the better you can realistically place yourself in both the present narrative and the future you’d like to participate in.
For example, I am passionate about ideas, progress and making things happen. I am terrible at follow through, details and overly sensitive to criticism (First voice connectors are prime to this, I know it but it doesn’t mean I like it 🙂 The more I know myself the better placed I am to get the right help to lead myself.
Get the best help to make the most sense of your reality.
Mentors, supervision, assessments, friends, professionals, they all help you make sense of the puzzle called you. As you develop, grow and mature in life, getting the best help possible is your finest gift to the future.
When you have a clear beginning point and an aspirational end point you can take the first step to becoming the best version of you. Use ‘all the brains you have got as well as all the brians you can borrow.’
Place yourself in the quadrant and be willing to change.
Are you leaning towards burnout? Are you more fatigued than expected? Do you have a sense of the wheels spinning?
The beginning point of any journey is being able to accurately locate yourself. Know where you are and who you are being in that moment. You can then measure off where you’d like to be. Be ruthelessly honest here and listen to the feedback of the ones you love and respect the most. An accurate starting point will give you the best picture of what to do in order to move forward.
Spend the next ninety days saying no.
No is your secret sauce after you’ve said yes. When you know what you need to move towards you must become absolutely forensic in what might distract you from that journey. It’s in the no you find the gaps in your disciplines, your systems, your contentment and your habits. This is critical to true and lasting transformation.
Say no to anything and everything that takes away from you preferred future. The margin you’ll create is beyond incredible and margin creates peace.
Make progress your goal and not perfection.
One of the most significant things I have learned in 2019 is that the progress you make is more important than how perfect the work is.
I’m convinced we don’t spend enough time telling people how good they are. We need to get so much better at pointing out contribution, greatness, service, things that make a difference, and the impact it makes.
Be immediate. Be specific. Be personal.
When you see your progress two things happen. Firstly, you have a sense of achievement and that in and of itself creates momentum. Secondly you are reminded that you can actually do it and do it well. At least well enough to make this much progress, so why not make that little bit more?
Your best gift to the world is a whole version of you. The more we do that the better we do life. Share with us your thoughts in the comments section.
“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein
Feels good to be writing to you again guys, hope you all have been well. Today’s topic is on growth, what it is and why it is important. I have come to the realisation that you can never be a leader if you do not grow and get better. This being true, growth exposes a lot of people. For me, my journey in 2019 has been a Roller-coaster to say the least. Yet through it all I have acquired much needed self knowledge and perspective.
Below I share some of the lessons that my personal growth journey has taught me.
As expected it has been uncomfortable and I have felt so uncertain. I thought I knew myself and I knew what I was and wasn’t capable of achieving. Which is somewhat true, I do know myself, but a very limited and restricted version of myself. I didn’t realise how much of a creature of comfort I was until I was no longer comfortable.
You will notice that you need to be willing and open to feeling uncomfortable. That isn’t an easy thing to do, it requires letting go of control, and it may open you up to feeling exposed and incredibly vulnerable. I am at point now where I understand that comfort is my enemy. Which means I need to constantly challenge myself to move out of it in order to get better.
It Brings Freedom.
Looking at what I have been through, I feel like I’ve just let go of so much and it’s only the beginning. I have felt a shift in my confidence like I can trust myself. Being able to trust yourself is such a great feeling trust me, and growth brings that.
Looking back at how much stress I was carrying and how much of that stress I believed I deserved to experience, it now feels like a few bags have been lifted off my shoulders.
As great as that freedom is you do have work on not returning to unhealthy habits. I know struggle and stress so well, it almost feels like I have lost a part of myself and I catch myself longing for the familiarity that comes with stress and constant worry. It’s like you get trapped in your own whirlwind and you need to keep spinning even if you are losing your mind.You cannot expect the microwave to do what the oven does. Click To Tweet
It Takes A Long Time.
I always knew I needed to work on setting boundaries and not allowing people to walk all over me, but it’s only now that I’m on the other side of demonstrating this that I now see how long it really takes to unlearn certain unhealthy habits.
Whether it is small or large acts of mistreatment, it does take time to learn and believe that is not something you’re deserving of. It is not something we learn overnight, I know from experience that you can identify when others are being mistreated, but when it comes to applying those boundaries to our own experiences, it feels uncomfortable and misplaced.
There is so much that happens in between identifying the issue and demonstrating self love, which is why giving ourselves permission to take as long as we need to learn and unlearn is key to our growth. You cannot put a timeline on this process because hurrying it will only give you hurried results. I once had someone say “you cannot expect a microwave to do what an oven does…”. Clearly they kind of do the same thing but they do not do it at the same level.
So take your time, do not let pressure or life dictate how long you go. At the end of the day you are doing it for yourself. A better you is better for the world, even if they have to wait.
This Healing and growing journey is a long and uncomfortable one, because we have to re-live the very things we have so desperately tried to ignore and run away from. I have a long way to go but this is a start and I now have an idea of what it feels like to claw my way through this experience and because of that I am just a little less fearful. I can make decisions without worrying of who’s watching or what they will say.
Take control of your growth and do it for you. Your sphere needs this, your tribe needs this. Start small, the results will shock you.
Share with us your own journey in the comments section.
” Most people think that they lack motivation, when what they really lack is clarity.” – James Clear
When he was a teenager, James Clear got hit in the face with a bat during a baseball game. It took surgery and nearly nine months for him to be able to work on regaining basic functions, like walking in a straight line. And even then, he could only focus on developing one tiny new habit a time. But together, these tiny habits turned out to make a difference. Big enough that, in college, he was named an Academic all-American.
Luckily for us, Clear also went on to be an expert in how tiny habits help us reach our potential. Insights he compiled in 2018 New York Times best-selling book, Atomic Habits.
“Excellence is not really about making radical changes,” he says. “It’s about accruing small improvements over time and committing to this philosophy of continuous improvement.”
Put another way, it’s about establishing a system of habits that will help us reach our goals. And this, according to Clear, happens in these four stages: cue, craving, response, reward, which he explains as follows:
• “The cue is a trigger that tells your brain to initiate a habit. It’s a prompt. You walk into the kitchen. You see the plate of cookies. That’s a visual cue that signals the habit of eating cookies.”
• “The craving is the prediction that compels you to act. It’s the way that you interpret the cue. You could imagine someone walks into a kitchen and sees a pack of cigarettes on the counter. If they’re a smoker, they interpret that as, oh, I have a smoking craving. I should pick up a cigarette and smoke it. Someone who’s not a smoker interprets that cue in a totally different way, and so that craving, the prediction that you make about what something means, is what drives you to act or not.”
• “Finally, there’s the habit that you perform, the actual response, and then there’s some kind of outcome, some kind of result. Usually, if a habit sticks, it’s a reward.”
So, what do you do if you want to start a good new habit or stop a bad one? Clear recommends four steps:
1. Make it obvious.
“Behaviors often lead from one to another,” Clear says. You go to the bathroom, which reminds you, I need to wash my hands. So you wash your hands, and that reminds you, I need to dry them off. You pick up the towel, and you’re like, oh, the laundry’s dirty. We’re out of laundry detergent. I need to go to the store and get some.”
Clear recommends using this fact about human behavior to implement new behaviors through intentional “habit stacking.” For example, if you want to meditate, decide that you will do so for a brief, set amount of time directly after you make your morning cup of coffee—so one familiar thing triggers a new one.
“Most people think that they lack motivation, when what they really lack is clarity. What they really lack is understanding when and where they’re going to do something. Habit stacking and implementation intentions can help you get over that,” Clear says.
2. Make it attractive.
“In the 1930s, there was a psychologist named Kurt Lewin who came up with what he calls Lewin’s Equation, which simply means behavior is a function of the person in their environment,” says Clear. “The way that I would describe this for habits is that I’ve never seen a person consistently stick to positive habits in a negative environment.”
The upshot: Design your environment to work for you instead of relying on willpower, which has been found to be far less effective. For example, if you spend too much time scrolling through your phone before getting out of bed in the morning, put your phone in another room and use a clock instead, says Clear.
3. Make it easy.
“Habits often serve as an entry point to our behavior,” says Clear. “They’re like the entrance ramp to a highway. If you can master that entrance ramp, then you often find yourself speeding in the right direction, without having to put a whole lot of more work in.”
Specifically, Clear recommends using what he calls the two-minute rule. “The basic idea is you take whatever habit you’re trying to build and scale it down until it’s just two minutes or less. ‘Read 40 books a year’ becomes ‘read one page.’ ‘Do yoga four days a week’ becomes ‘take out my yoga mat.’ The point is simply focus on what will get you started and build from there.
4. Make it satisfying.
To make a habit satisfying, Clear recommends tracking it on a calendar or through some other visual device to give you a sense of immediate satisfaction from doing it—and then, recognizing that we all will miss out on a new habit from time to time, simply commit to never miss twice.
“It’s almost never the first mistake that ruins you,” he says. “It’s the spiral of repeated mistakes that follows. If you can cut that off at the source, then you find that it doesn’t matter too much in the long run.”
What habits would you want to work on and which ones would you want to lose? Share with us your thoughts in the comments section.
“A coach is someone that sees beyond your limits and guides you to greatness” – Michael JordanAll the successful people I know have had coaches in one form or another. Click To Tweet
1. Know your goal:
Be clear about what you’re trying to achieve for the next 12 months. 90 days is too short for a strong mentorship relationship and 5 years is too long. Just focus on what you want by the end of the year. For example if your goal is to improve your networks then find a mentor who not only does that well but can articulate and show you how they do it so well.
2. Look for the person who has done that already.
Ask your friends, colleagues, Facebook mates, LinkedIn connections, Google it or Tweet it. Industry bodies can also be a good place to start. You’re not just looking for any mentor. You’re looking for the one that will help you achieve that goal that you’re hoping to nail so they may not be in your immediate sphere, you will need to cast your net wide. With the power of the internet you can even start a mentorship relationship across continents.
3. Ask if they mentor people.
Once you’ve found the right person you may have to pay them for their time. This is an investment in your future and the reason that person has been able to do it means they are successful and likely very busy. A coffee or buying lunch for them is not always going to cut it. Alternatively you can offer to do something for them like helping them on a project. It has taken them years to work out what you’re wanting to learn in an hour so be respectful of the value they bring. Even if they do not charge you, offer a token of appreciation. What this shows is you value their mentorship relationship with you, you value their time.
4. Relationship is key.
Make sure you like and trust them. They don’t have to be your best friend but it’s going to be an open conversation most times. Make sure you’re comfortable to work with them. Your mentor will grill you, they will call you on your weaknesses and they will force you to face your fears. If you are not comfortable talking to them about anything relating to your journey then I suggest you find another mentor.
“Everyone has a purpose in life and a unique talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals.” – Kallam Anji Reddy
The crazy thing about talent! In search of a meaningful, happy, and successful life, you find that many people seeking career changes are on a quest to discover their unique talents. However, most find themselves cracking their heads with little clues.
There are two reasons why such seemingly easy tasks are actually challenging: First, there is a vague understanding of the definition of talent and the confusing interchangeable use of its related terms, such as skills, strengths, aptitudes, and personalities.
Second, as a result, there are conflicting beliefs about where talent comes from. Many deem they are born with certain talents defined by certain genes, which are hard to decode. Others believe we are all born with very few natural talents, as any talent can be developed with great efforts.
Let’s tackle these fundamental questions about talent – one of the biggest pieces in your career pivot puzzle – so you can embark on your career-changing journey with more confidence and clarity.
1) “Everyone is born with certain talents” vs. “Talents are the pure results of hard work.”
According to Tom Rath, author of StrengthsFinder 2.0, talent is a natural way of thinking, feeling, or behaving. And when talent is combined with investment of time to practice, it becomes a strength.
Similarly, psychologist Dean Keith Simonton says talent is a “package of personal characteristics” that helps you acquire expertise or enhance your performance quickly. Psychologist Angela Duckworth also acknowledges the existence of natural abilities and emphasises the importance of “grit” in relation to talent, the idea that perseverance might be more critical than your natural abilities.
From my perspective, what all of these varying perspectives have in common is that talent is a set of characteristics you are naturally endowed with that gives you the aptitude for and enjoyment of certain activities. Talent, in this sense, is only the starting point. It informs that you have the potential to be great at something, and in order to be truly great at it, you need to put in hard work.
If someone says you are talented at painting, what that would mean in this instance is that you are not born immediately being great at it, but with a propensity for colours and visuals. Exposure and deliberate practice over time made you a skilled artist. Similarly, when I am said to be talented at speaking, that doesn’t mean I carry the “speaking” genes, but rather, the traits that form my speaking skill, such as connecting with and developing people.talent is a set of characteristics you are naturally endowed with that gives you the aptitude for and enjoyment of certain activities. Click To Tweet
Therefore, to happily perform at your peak in a role of your choice, focus your time, energy, and efforts on the aspects of the job (and even opportunities beyond the job) that tap on your natural talents to strengthen your talents, thus making them your brand and unleashing the whole you.
If you are in human resources and one of your unique gifts is communication, hone on employee communication. If you are a software engineer and your talent is visual creativity, consider a related hobby such as graphic design.
2) “Talents are set” vs. “Talents evolve.”
Over time, certain aspects of your personality can change for various reasons, such as adaptability or wanting to become a more well-rounded person. Your core traits, however, are relatively stable.
For most, this can mean natural talents are quite set. That said, when you are exposed to the right environment, the other aspects of your personality could become visible. Although your innate talents might stay more or less the same, you likely won’t be able to uncover them. Unless you interact with new activities and environments that activate them.
It’s important to expose yourself to as many areas as possible to find your “hidden” talents in the first place. You may have no clue where to start, use your passions and interests to guide you.
If you have too many passions, lean on your purpose to prioritise. Suppose you like dancing, cooking, photography, and organizing parties equally, but nourishing people’s souls through meaningful messages visually make you feel more purposeful, explore photography.
One person that has managed to do this seamlessly is Stephen Curry the NBA star. Off the court, he has managed to launch, host and direct lots of successful TV shows and movies. Which have nothing to do with basketball but with all things he is passionate about.
Once you find yourself in the “flow” state, work hard on those uncovered talents until you develop your unique skills. Your skillset, rooted in your naturally defined talents, will evolve.
3) “You should focus on the talents you were born with” vs. “You can be talented at anything.”
I’ve found talents give you the double advantage of passion about certain activities and the acceleration of related skill acquisition. When you focus on areas that utilise your talents with consistent practice, you are able to become experts faster and more easily.
Those with a growth mindset believe you can be great at anything if you work on it hard enough. Even without any natural talent in it. So while you are not talented at everything. Practising and putting extra effort on a certain thing outside your talent zone will help you in that area.
In reality, there are rarely jobs that require skills solely within your natural talents. So, if possible, focus on opportunities that allow you to tap into what you are great at. If you are talented at showing empathy, connecting with people, and developing people. You can look for jobs in counselling, teaching, or coaching.
For the skills that are outside your natural talents, practice. You just need to spend a bit more time and effort on them. You can also try outsourcing, delegating, or partnering with someone talented at them.
As technology has become more present and the job market is getting more and more competitive, the best way to stay relevant and irreplaceable is to tap into your natural advantages: your talents. Be aware of them. Workaround them. And enjoy the fruits they bring to your career.
Sports personalities and creatives are the ones at risk, so absorbed in their talent they cannot see outside of it. That said I have been seeing musicians tap into their inner passions and go on to leave a mark in the world. Same with actors, look at the Nipsey Hussle’s and Denzel Washingtons of the world.
So don’t be afraid to tap into unknown spaces just because you feel you are not ”talented” in those areas. If it aligns with your purpose then give it a go.
Share with us your views in the comments section.
”Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” – Shannon Alder
I learned from the hundreds of conversations I’ve had that not many people ever think of their purpose. As a result we struggle to define one. Many cannot articulate what their life purpose is and this is because we are not deliberately thinking about it.
Discovering your purpose is important for living a fulfilling and happy life. Knowing your life purpose makes you motivated to get out of bed each day and deal with challenges with ease. With a life purpose, your day is filled with activities that bring you closer to what you’re meant for. It’s also a compass that guides your decisions in life.
So what is a life purpose, exactly? It is your contribution to the world that goes beyond your own interests by tapping into your unique talents. Your purpose is already present in your life; you just need to call it out. Below is a formula that will make the process of uncovering one much easier.
My life purpose is to [your contribution to the world/your impact] to [your target audience] by using my gifts of [your unique gifts]. Achieving this, I will help make the world [results].
My own life purpose, is to up-level young people’s lives by using my talents in writing, storytelling, and motivational speaking. By doing so, I help make happier individuals and a more fulfilled world. Below are the ways I believe will help you know your purpose.
1) Define your contribution to the world.
Often, this comes from your intense life experiences or key challenges. For others, being deeply touched by the pain of the people close to them or feeling restless about a problem in the world could be the source of inspiration.
A great example is from Ariana Huffington’s mission statement for Thrive Global: “After my collapse from sleep deprivation and exhaustion in 2007, I became more and more passionate about the connection between well-being and performance.” That’s why, as the site specifies, she and her company set out to “help individuals, companies and communities improve their well-being and performance and unlock their greatest potential.”
In the absence of such a clear calling, you can list the impact you made in all of your jobs and life experiences to identify a common theme. For example, for someone who used to be a teacher and is now a nurse at a children’s hospital, your contribution would be to nurture the future generation.
2) Call out who you want to help.
Your target audience is closely tied to your cause. They are those you always find yourself naturally turning to through your work or the cause you serve. They could range from a specific group of people, like children on the autism spectrum, to the biggest scope of humanity. In order to really call them out, you can try reflecting on who has come to you so far and thanked you for the impact you brought to their lives.
For me, I experienced firsthand with much empathy how a lot of young African people gave up their talents and lived a hard life due to social and political conditioning. I truly wish they could have had access to professional help and support during this time so they could utilise their gifts, live their purpose every day, and lead happy and fulfilling lives.
Therefore, I became determined to start #teamknowyourpose. This was to help anyone in the world needing help to define their purpose. Seeing the transformation in people’s lives further firms up my commitment to my audience.
3) Name your unique talents.
If you have been working for a while, chances are you can list your natural talents and strengths easily by studying performance reviews and peer feedback. Other free and easy channels to obtain more data points are asking your colleagues, family, and friends, and reflecting on what others often come to you for.
In addition, taking a few well-established tests – such as Gallup’s StrengthsFinder and the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator – is always helpful.
In my case, many of my ex-colleagues told me that I have a natural keen interest in connecting with people, hearing their stories, and inspiring them to be their best. Some others told me I should be a mentor or a pastor. A number of my friends urged me to be a writer, something I dreamed of when I was young as well.
Indeed, whenever I do these activities, I find myself in a state of flow. Taking the Strengths Finder test yielded similar results. And I am happy that I am able to utilise my gifts to pursue my cause.
4) Connect with a higher purpose.
The second part of the formula is to heighten your purpose. We were all born to make our world a better place in different ways. For example, the purpose of a software trainer in charge of a hospital account is to empower doctors and nurses with technology through their gifts of simplifying complexity and infusing knowledge and skills. Achieving this, they actually also contribute to improving people’s health and saving more lives.
Once you have been able to formulate your statement with key elements, you can always paraphrase it in a way that you feel most comfortable. If you feel your purpose is still vague, that’s normal. As long as you get started, the job is registered in your brain.
When you keep being passionate, curious, and open, your brain will continue to work on uncovering your purpose for you.
Give yourself time, reflect on your mission, and everything will fall into places sooner than you think.
As you gain more exposure and acquire more skills in life, your purpose will also evolve. So enjoy fine-tuning it on your journey to serve the world, as well.
Your purpose should eventually outlast you. Use your gifts to create a better place for generations after you.
If you are a musician, sing to inspire the people after you. If you are an artist, paint a picture that will be admired years after you are gone. To the entrepreneur, leave behind a legacy that speaks more than the money you had or the square footage of your property.
“The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it”. – Chris Pine
I read something interesting that 99% of stress and worry comes from a poor perspective and the incorrect way people see things.
This got me thinking that when our focus is limited to only one day or one obstacle at a time, everything seems enormous. But when we zoom out and look from the perspective of a lifetime, they mostly seem insignificant. And if you believe in a life after this one, you can see that with an eternal perspective, these problems are really no problem at all.
Things happen in life and often without your control. But no matter what the trial is, when we focus on the obstacle, it becomes enormous in our eyes. We can’t seem to see past it and it blocks us and makes us doubt our endgame. Life is about looking at problems with a keener perception, recognizing the relativity of the problem and not feeling so threatened when it is right in our faces.
There’s absolutely no credible explanation as to why we are wired the way we are, nor why we are so different. Your mind inspires your perception, creating thoughts, theories, ideas, myths and imaginings. It intuits events and shapes it within your consciousness.
Perception is everything; the way you perceive things, the way you see things, is ultimately the way things will play out in your life. Each of us has a different subjective lens through which we view the world – and that is what makes each of us so unique.
It’s important to acknowledge one of the best-kept secrets in life: your mind. One of the most powerful tools known to man, the brain eludes understanding. Scientists have attempted to explain the phenomenon but are still left in awe at its capacities and complexities.
At about 30,000 feet, Mt Everest is the highest mountain on earth. From just looking at it you can see that it is gigantic and majestic. In 1953 a man named Edmund Hillary was the first to reach the summit of this mountain, since then a lot more people have embarked on the same journey. However, many have failed to reach the top, some have even died in the process so it is safe to say it’s not an easy task.
For the sake of changing your perspective, look at it from space. In this newly achieved distance, the mountain appears tiny, almost like a dot on a photo, and from that height you can barely even see it. Now think about standing on the moon, you wouldn’t even be able to see the mountain at all.The size of the mountain hasn’t changed; but your perception of it has changed, so you see it differently. And because you do so, it doesn’t look as threatening as it once did.
I totally love the biblical story of David and Goliath, I mean who doesn’t love a classic underdog fight. The whole army, I’m talking a whole army of Israel saw one man everyday for 40 days and they trembled with fear. Even Saul who in previous chapters had been hailed as a man of battle could not protect his Kingdom from this giant of Gath.
Their perception of Goliath is what instilled fear in them. Israel had never been to war with a giant like Goliath, heck, they had never seen a Goliath before. So their fear was a result of 2 things :
1.Lack of exposure – they had never seen anything like this before and had no plan to work around it. They were in unfamiliar territory even if they were warriors themselves.
2.Lack of experience – Goliath was a man of war, so were the soldiers of Israel. The only difference is that Goliath had been fighting men smaller than him all his life, the soldiers of Israel had never fought a man the size of Goliath.
Now enter David, this scrawny looking shepherd boy, sent to by his father to check on his brothers and deliver food (uber eats I see you). He sees Goliath and hears him speak and here’s what he says :
David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
Watch the shift in the dynamic here, at this stage David has already won the fight without even stepping up. In his mind Goliath is an opportunity for reward, he is a disgrace and he has no legal ground to speak to Israel in any manner.
Im sure we are aware how the rest of the story unfolded, David did kill Goliath, even though he was an underdog. My interpretation of this story is that David defeated Goliath because he saw him as a beast that deserved to die for his insults. Goliath lost to David because he was not aware that David had earlier practice killing non-human beasts. Goliath wasn’t fighting a boy, he was fighting a beast killer.
Here’s three things I learned from the above story.
Perspective Creates Opportunity
When you are faced with an enormous task the way you approach it determines the outcome of it. For David facing Goliath presented an opportunity for the whole nation to recognise him. He would never pay taxes and would marry the King’s daughter. It gave him the opportunity to prove he was worthy to be king someday.
Sometimes it’s difficult to see the whole picture when we are in the frame. So you need to step back a little and look at your situation from different angle and you will be able to see the benefits of going through your struggle.
Your business could hit a roadblock, because you are in it you do not see a way out. Yet if you look at it from an outsiders perspective you will be able to formulte a plan to solve your problem.
Perspective Positions You
David won the fight before he even faced Goliath. Partly because he treated this situation as the previous ones he had when he was herding his fathers sheep.
You will face opposition and tough choices in life, the difference is how you stand in the midst of the opposition. The problem does not change but your mentality toward it does. Instead of playing victim see yourself in a position of strength. The lion is the king of jungle but we all know the lion is not the strongest, fastest or most dangerous. The lion’s perspective toward life makes it the king of the jungle, why? The lion sees ALL animals as prey. The lion has positioned itself as King, when its time to eat its time to eat. Could be elephant, buffalo or deer doesn’t matter. Does the lion lose many battles? Yes it does, but the mentality doesn’t change.
Perspective Changes The Outcome
I will lead with another side story here, a man had 2 sons, his wife died and he started drinking heavily. The situation affected both his sons, the eldest also started drinking heavily and the youngest withdrew away from the family. When their father died the eldest son was asked ‘why do you drink so much yet this habit has killed your father’ he responded by saying “because i saw my father drink”. The youngest was asked why didn’t you drink like your father and your brother did? And his response was “because i saw my father drink”.
The situation was the same, the circumstances were the same but the perspective was different. The 2 sons experienced different outcomes in their personal lives because they saw their situation differently.
We are all born with a gift, the difference is in our application of our gifts. There is a reason why you eat at Nandos and not KFC, why you wear Nike and not Puma.
Perspective reminds us what’s important and what’s not. It helps us recognise that we probably don’t need to dwell on one bad grades for too long, or wallow for months on end about a relationship that we knew wouldn’t work out in the first place fulfilled its prophecy. It allows us to move on, to not sweat the small stuff, because the bigger, life-altering problems are still looming.
Some people learn perspective when they are young and others when they are old. Once they acquire perspective, whether through tragedy, regret, or something else awful, they realise how important it is, and wonder how they lived without it.
The ability to reframe a situation is an important skill that can transform your life and our world. Today, take time to clear your lenses so you can view life from a higher perspective.