In a time of change, when every issue can seem urgent and vital, thinking about your purpose and values might seem like a distraction.
But investing the time to find your purpose and values will bring you eight highly practical benefits:
- Better Results
The better you know your purpose and values, the better you will 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: and the better you know what really matters to you, the more energy you will have to pursue it, no matter what is happening in the world 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 which can be ignored — which frees up more time, energy, and resources to spend on the issues that matter most to you.
- Clearer Opportunities
Knowing your purpose and values shows you which of the potential opportunities that come your way are worth pursuing and which to leave for someone else. Again, this helps to prioritise your limited time and resources.
- Clearer Outcomes
For the issues you do engage with, knowing your purpose and values will make it quicker and easier to define the outcomes you want to create. Again, this will enable you to spend more time and resources achieving 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 is true power: this is Inner Leadership.
- Immediate Results
Your vision of the future has two parts: the outcomes you want to create and the culture you want to live by when you get there.
By choosing to live in line with your purpose and values now you immediately achieve half your vision. This helps you to achieve the other half more quickly.
- More Freedom, Flexibility, and Adaptability
Seeing your goals as ways of achieving your deeper purpose helps you to adapt to changing circumstances: when things don’t turn out as expected, you simply find new ways of achieving the same purpose. This brings you flexibility, continuity, and stability that enable you to 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 pay back many times over.
Which of these eight benefits would be most useful to you today? Will you invest the time to get clearer on 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 don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also need to practice.)