Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"Purposeful" as a Frame of Reference

Whether you believe that everyone has an inherent life purpose or that we create our own as we go, you'll probably agree that purposeful actions and intentions yield better results than those which are random and haphazard. 

When you live your life according to what is purposeful for you (what matters, and what will lead to desired results), you gain a refreshing clarity and focus. When you have information about and understand your intrinsic values and purpose, you're able to weigh every choice against that. Every day, you can wake up and quickly determine what is most purposeful for you to do, say, or experience. (This takes into account not just your life purpose work, but your overall values as an individual, partner, parent, citizen, etc.)

One day, it might feel purposeful to clean out the garage, or visit an aging relative, or make sales calls, or skip work and go to the beach. It’s not a simple matter of “shoulds” or ”wants,” but a matter of what aligns best with your overall values and desired outcomes. 

Seeing your day, week, year, or life this way is a game changer. It eliminates scatteredness and cuts down on inessential or meaningless tasks/energy drains. It takes some of the drudgery out of activities that you’d otherwise rather not do. If it’s purposeful for you to cut down on sugar or organize your office, there’s more motivation and meaningfulness in your efforts than if you approached it from the perspective of “I should...” or “I have to...” It feels more grown up.

This week, I invite you to use purposefulness as a frame of reference to help you make meaningful, value-based choices of how to spend your time, energy, money, and other resources, as well as to weed out less purposeful endeavors. 

For instance, each morning focus/prioritize your day to include as many purposeful choices as possible (tasks, activities, purchases, relationships, etc.) Maybe hire a house cleaner or get family members to pitch in more if your cleaning time would be better spent doing more essential or purposeful tasks. If you're looking for a job, apply only for those that feel in alignment with your values and goals. Whatever the choice is to be made, ask yourself, “Is this purposeful for me?"