In a time of change, when every issue can seem urgent and important, thinking about your purpose and values might seem to be a distraction.
But investing the time to find your purpose and values will bring you eight very practical benefits:
- Better Results
The better you know your purpose and values, the better you will be able to focus on creating the results that matter most to you. This makes you more likely to achieve them. Inner clarity brings outer results.
- More Motivation
People who know their purpose and values are better able to keep going in the face of obstacles and uncertainty. The better you know what really matters to you, the more energy you will have to pursue it, no matter what else is happening around you.
- Fewer Problems and Distractions
Winston Churchill once said, “You will never reach your destination if you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks.”
Knowing your purpose and values shows you which issues you can ignore — which helps you focus your time and resources.
- Clearer Opportunities
Knowing your purpose and values also shows you which of the opportunities that come your way are most worth pursuing and which to leave for someone else. Again, this helps you to prioritise your limited time and resources.
- Clearer Outcomes
For the issues you do engage with, knowing your purpose and values makes it quicker and easier to define the outcomes you want to create. This means you spend less time and resources planning what to do and more time and resources working to achieve those outcomes.
- A Greater Feeling of Control
In a world of constant change, knowing your purpose and values allows you to choose how you respond to any situation. This puts you in control of the only thing you can control: yourself. This is true power: this is Inner Leadership.
- Immediate Results
The future you seek has two parts: the outcomes you want to create and the way you want to live when you get there.
By choosing to live in line with your purpose and values now, you immediately achieve half your vision: you can start to live the way you want to be in future, today. Then you can switch your attention to manifesting that culture more fully in the world. This is less “fake it to make it” and more “sow it then grow it” — start as you mean to go on.
- More Freedom, Flexibility, and Adaptability
Seeing your daily goals as ways of achieving your deeper purpose helps you to adapt better to changing circumstances: when things don’t turn out the way you expected you simply find a new way of achieving the same purpose. This brings you continuity, stability, and flexibility. It lets you recover faster from setbacks and be more flexible to changing events.
In a churning world, spending the time to define your purpose and values is a practical investment that will repay itself many times over.
Which of these eight benefits would be most useful to you today? Have you invested the time to find your purpose and values?
Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.
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(And remember: you can’t learn to swim just by reading about swimming, you also need to do the practice.)