Let’s start the new year by thinking about what we want 2021 to be. In other words, what’s our purpose?
In most areas of my life, I lack purpose. Seldom do I do things with a clear sense of purpose. But not when I play basketball. Since the time I was a little boy playing by myself in the backyard, I knew that my purpose was to put the ball through the hoop. Many years later that purpose has remained clear whenever I play basketball.
Michael Jordan, a pretty good basketball player in his own right, once said, “I visualized where I wanted to be, what kind of player I wanted to become. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, and I focused on getting there.” Michael had a clear and well-defined sense of purpose.
Why is knowing our purpose so important? As Jordan suggests, purpose is our first visualization…of our dream, our hope, what we want to achieve or become. Purpose provides the power to activate unrealized potential.
Van Gogh once wrote: “The thing has already taken form in my mind before I start it….if you see something worthwhile in what I am doing, it is not by accident, but because of real direction and purpose.”
Purpose makes clear the direction we need to take. It keeps us moving towards what is possible.
A way that I am trying to maintain clarity of purpose is to ask myself the following before I do something: What is my purpose?
- Why do I want to watch this show on TV?
- Why do I want to play with my grandkids?
- Why am I choosing to eat this for dinner?
- Why am I saving these old shirts?
- Why am I writing Wellness Wednesdays?
That last question reminds me that I not only want a sense of purpose regarding specific choices or activities, but also for big matters:
- What’s the purpose of my life?
- What’s the purpose of my work?
Years ago, our team identified a purpose or mission statement for Top 20 Training. In addition, we have also identified our individual professional purpose. Mine is to activate hope in people by helping them become aware of their power of choice regarding how they think, learn, and communicate in order to fulfill their purpose.
Think of your purpose as your North Star. No matter how dark the night or stormy the weather, we won’t get lost if we keep our eye fixed on our North Star.
So how did it go in 2020? Did you have a clear sense of purpose? Did you stay focused on it? There certainly were lots of opportunities to lose sight of our North Star.
Take a few minutes this week to identify your professional purpose. What matters most to you? Why do you do what you do professionally? Make sure you write it down.
Next week we will consider some ways you can stay locked into your purpose when life sends you challenges to knock you off course.
Best wishes for a healthy, safe, and purposeful New Year from our Top 20 team…Willow Sweeney, Kevin Brennan, and Tom Cody…whose purpose is to support your personal and professional development.
Paul Bernabei, Director
Top 20 Training