When we are faced with urgent priorities, taking the time to uncover our purpose and values might seem like a distraction. But investing the time to find them will bring us eight significant benefits:
- Better Results
The better you know your purpose and values, the more you can focus on achieving the results that matter, and the more likely you are to achieve them. 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 energy you have to pursue them, no matter what anybody else says.
- 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 shows you which issues are worth addressing and which can be ignored — they are someone else’s fight.
- Clearer Opportunities
Knowing your purpose and values also shows you which of the opportunities that come your way are worth pursuing and which can be ignored. They help you prioritise your time and resources. (Which leads to better results.)
- Clearer Outcomes
Once you have chosen to engage with an issue, your purpose and values provide a shorthand for quickly specifying more clearly what outcomes you seek. (That frees up more time and resources for working to achieve these outcomes.)
- A Greater Feeling of Control
In a world of constant change, where it is easy to feel out of control, knowing our purpose and values enables us to choose how we respond to any situation: what we engage with and how. This is true power. This is Inner Leadership.
- Immediate Results
Your future vision has two parts: the outcomes you want to create and the culture you want to live by once your future vision is achieved. By choosing to live in line with your purpose and values today, 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. This brings a stability and continuity that lets 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 an hour of your time to get clearer on your purpose and values?
Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.
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