I had an experience this morning. I can’t say I haven’t had one like it before but it was the first for a wee while.
Jack Canfield wrote a book about 15 years ago called The Success Principles. It is good. This year he (finally!) brought out a workbook as a parallel. I like workbooks, they make me think. The trouble is that over the years I find them hard to complete because I’ve had the same thoughts over and over again.
There was a set of exercises about finding your Life Purpose. Done it before. One question was ‘define your Joy’. Ick. It was to finish the sentence “I feel joy when ……….” I don’t do joy. I define joy as being almost ecstasy, which means 5 minutes after the miracle of birth I’m all “What’s next?”
Then a few more exercises and finally one I’ve actually done before but ….. well, “Meh!” anyway, in the interests of science I went ahead, anyway. The questions were pretty much ‘Describe 2 characteristics you possess’, ‘Name 2 things you like to do’ and ‘What would your perfect world be like?’
Now, I cannot for the life of me recall what happened in terms of the order of thinking, but I came up with “I use my integrity, intellect and productivity to create, master and promote an inspiring philosophy so that all can live congruent, organised and purposeful lives.”
I know I cheated – 3 words instead of 2 – but I realised as I drafted, edited and finalised it that (apart from the mastery part!) I am wholly focused on doing exactly that. Now, you may not be reading this (at all) and thinking, “Yeah, that’s Dave,” but that is what Dave does and that is what Dave aspires to.
It’s not a goal statement. That’s the next bit. But now everything I do and all the goals I seek will reflect more accurately, and more consistently, that Purpose. I’ve written four books, two specifically on my philosophy and productivity, and I have two more on the go. I teach people Advanced Driving and enjoy the requirement that I master it myself. And above all, in a sense, I aspire to mastering myself, too. There is a need for discipline, character, competence and service implied within that sentence, too. Three Resolutions compliant, so it is.
And the best thing of all is – and don’t take this personally – that whether or not people read, accept and implement the counsel that I advocate is not important. Their interest is outside my control. What is within my control is whether my daily activities reflect that sentence. Anything else is a bonus.
The AHA! that came with the realisation that this reflected what I was already doing, allied to having finally been able to put it into as short a sentence as that, boggled my mind. It may not boggle yours, but is there a similar sentence that accurately reflects your purpose and personal aspiration to live by some personal philosophy that you know makes perfect sense but you aren’t quite up to speed in terms of congruent performance?
Go on, I DOUBLE dare you.