Taking the time to uncover our purpose and values can seem like a distraction from the urgent priorities we all face. But investing that time can bring us eight significant benefits:
- Better Results
The better you know your purpose and values, the better you know what outcomes to create. Better inner clarity leads to better outer results.
- More Motivation
People who know their purpose and values are more able to keep going in the face of obstacles and negative feedback: the clearer you know what outcomes matter most to you, the more you can ignore the approval and disapproval of other people, their support and opposition.
- Fewer Problems and Distractions
Winston Churchill said, “You will never reach your destination if you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks.”
Knowing your purpose and values show you which issues are worth your while addressing and which can be ignored — they are someone else’s fight.
- Clearer Opportunities
This also applies to opportunities. Knowing your purpose and values helps you prioritise your limited time and resources on the best opportunities.
- Clearer Outcomes
Once you have chosen to engage with an issue, your purpose and values provide a shorthand for quickly identifying the outcomes you seek. (That then frees up more time and resources for how to achieve those outcomes.)
- A Greater Feeling of Control
In a world of constant change everything can seem to be out of control. How can you expect to control anything unless you have the resources of a president, a billionaire, or a CEO? But once you become that billionaire, president, or CEO you find you have so many more issues to deal with that you aren’t really in control then either. No-one is.
The only thing we can control is ourselves. Knowing our purpose and values enables us to choose how we respond in a changing world: what we engage with and how.
This is true power. This is what Inner Leadership is all about.
- Immediate Results
Your future vision has two parts: the outcomes you will create and the culture you will live by once that future vision is achieved.
By choosing to live according to your purpose and your values now, you immediately achieve half your vision.
- More Freedom, Flexibility, and Adaptability
Seeing your goals as ways of achieving a deeper purpose makes it easier to adapt to unexpected circumstances: you simply find new ways of achieving the same purpose, given the way things have turned out. Knowing your purpose brings a stability and continuity that let you recover more quickly from setbacks and become more flexible to changing events.
In a churning world, investing the time to define your purpose and values will bring you better focus, motivation, adaptability, and results.
Which of these benefits would be most useful to you? Is it worth investing the time to get clearer on your purpose and values?
Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.
You can sign up to daily posts here.