Last week I watched a short video about a guy named Jon who, at the age of 54 and a grandfather, had the same taut, fit, physique as he did at 29. He was asked how he managed to retain such a body. Of course he mentioned the way he’d always eaten healthily and exercised, and worked 3 – 4 times a week. But then he talked about what I’ve always thought to be the most important requirement when wanting to attain anything in life – PURPOSE.
You see, I believe it’s not HOW we do anything. We all know what we need to do to attain that goal we’re after. We probably have the dates set, the action steps worked out and the practices all lined up.
If you have any sort of goal, whether it’s to run a marathon, lose weight, have a better relationship, or grow a business empire, it’s the WHY that will get you there. What is your PURPOSE for doing this thing?
For Jon it was that he wanted a great relationship with his wife and a sex life where they continued to turn each other on. He wanted to set a great example to his kids. He wanted to remain fit enough to travel to extreme places on earth.
Once you have a strong enough purpose, and you’re deeply connected to that purpose, the disciplines you put in place become a given. When you have your purpose, you have the reasons that make everything easier. It becomes easy to do what it takes and it becomes easy to avoid anything you shouldn’t be doing, or giving up.
When I was in California last week I came across the book Achieving Vibrance by Gay Hendricks. Maybe you’ve read The Big Leap by him, and that great book prompted me to buy this one. I’m enjoying reading about the steps that I need to do each day to ensure that I’m an energetic, vibrant woman well into old age. Oh yes, I know I need to make changes!
It was when reading about simple exercises and a way of breathing that the following resonated with me.
“Living in a human bodymind is like inheriting the Taj Mahal. Maintaining it is a way of honouring the gift. I inherited the great gift of a human bodymind, as did you.
Let’s honour that blessing by opening the windows of our own private Taj Mahal each day to let the breeze blow through. Let’s commit a few minutes of our day to letting the flow of vibrance stream through us.
Enjoying the breeze and honouring the gift: until I can think of a better meaning of life, I’m going to go with that one.” Me too.
It’s all about finding a purpose and then committing to the disciplines or habits you need to put in place. These two examples are about physical fitness but it goes for all parts of our life, and business too.
Often clients come to me to talk about their goals. The conversation usually starts with dates and numbers, such as “I want to lose ten pounds by June 1st”, or “I need to find 10 more clients in the next 3 weeks.” But the questions I like to start with, the ones that really get them thinking deeply are “how do you want to feel?” and “what’s your purpose for wanting this?”
They’re both really the same question.
When we have a goal, it’s not the goal we’re chasing. We’re chasing the feeling that we believe achieving the goal will give us. We’re chasing the purpose.
Once you know your purpose, you know how you want to feel, and it’s a deep inner knowing and certainty, then that goal is probably going to be achieved. You’re so committed that you don’t have to find reasons for doing what you need to do.
When you don’t need to find reasons for exercising, for writing, for practicing whatever you’ve decided to do, then you don’t find excuses for avoiding them either.
Being deeply connected to your purpose, makes going for your goal SO much easier.
If you’re aiming for a big prize, growing an empire or getting fit, ask yourself first, WHY am I doing this? Once you have the answer to that, your goal is already in sight.