Over the years as a business coach I have interviewed thousands of business owners, sales people, candidates for positions for my clients, and just everyday people. I’m amazed at the overwhelming number of those who have no idea of their purpose in life. They may know some of the things they might like to do or not do, but when it comes to identifying the thing that is deep inside that drives them to success, they are clueless.
Every day I talk to folks who want to be a successful entrepreneur and they want to be a good leader, but they don’t know their “why” or what it will take to drive them to overcome the challenges they have in life. They may start out good, but when challenges come, they are stopped, and they usually start making excuses.
How about you? Have you ever taken the time to figure out your purpose in life? I can tell you that it’s not about increasing your income, while that may be a goal you want to achieve, it’s about something deeper.
I have talked to mega high income earners, and I have discovered that while they all have a very strong profit motive, it is not what pushed them to ever higher levels of performance. It was not about the money, per se, but a profound sense of a higher purpose.
Not long ago I talked to a successful financial advisor about how he went from six figures to seven. His response reflected this common theme: “It happened when my mentality shifted to making a difference. When it’s not about what I want and more about helping others get what they want, I have a greater sense of fulfillment and I start making higher incomes.”
The successful people I have talked to possess a definite “fire in their belly,” which is ignited by an almost a divine sense of mission and a interpersonal commitment to something larger than themselves. What has struck me is how this combination of a lofty purpose with an implicit profit motive creates a really powerful intrinsic magic.
- Their strong sense of purpose fueled their unwavering perseverance. As one entrepreneur told me: “Having a big vision creates a drive to something really meaningful.” And another said, “I have such a deep sense of mission and purpose, that I go full force all the time.” Still another said, “When you’re on fire with a higher purpose, it is easier to move through those self imposed roadblocks that hold you back.”
- The strong sense of purpose bolsters courage. Whenever successful people are scared, stymied, or facing a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, they immediately go back to their purpose – Their “why.” A multimillion dollar entrepreneur once told me, “When in doubt, revisit your mission. I know that is why I’m here on earth and I know that I have to have action. I can’t stop, I have to act.”
- Sustaining balance and sanity are by-products of a strong sense of purpose. There’s a significant difference between drive and addiction. Addiction arises from feelings of inadequacy, pain, and fear, inevitably leading to burn out. Drive comes from a vision that nourishes one’s soul and enriches their life. As one young woman told me, “I had a massive inner critic and I’d push myself until I broke down.” Her solution: “I did lots of self improvement work and started to focus on achieving my purpose without killing myself.” What happened to her was a significant increase in her earnings and a decrease in her level of stress.
If you don’t have a clearly defined purpose, you need to take time to find it. I believe each one of us are on this planet for a reason. When we align our passion with our purpose and when we use our talents in service of our mission, we truly become unstoppable!