Purpose vs Goals

In thinking about your New Year resolutions, why not take a pause to consider the reasons for wanting to make changes in your life. Start by asking yourself, why would this change be important to me? 

In our goal and deadline driven world, it is easy to confuse purpose with goals.  Highly focused people will often say that they are goal driven.  This is very different from being purpose driven. Goals and objectives describe what we want to accomplish. Purpose is the reason we want to achieve our goals.  Without clarity of purpose, we can put a lot of effort into achieving goals only to find ourselves disappointed or feeling empty with the results. 

Purpose is all about direction. It is broader and deeper than goals.  Purpose is directly influenced by our values and beliefs and is deeply rooted.  Our purpose has to do with who we are and the things that truly matter to us.  Purpose is subjective-like beauty, elegance, and grace and cannot be directly measured. It permeates all areas of our life. When we become clear about our purpose, we can use this clarity to guide our decisions and to set goals and objectives that allow us to live a life that is meaningful, no matter our circumstances. 

Purpose is often considered a fundamental need of human beings.  It is purpose that gives meaning to our actions.  Purpose doesn’t need to be created, it is there waiting to be discovered.  So often we are taught to limit our thoughts and focus on the things that have been defined as possible.  Yet it is often in dreaming big that we find our purpose.  Purpose is a path, not a destination.  By exploring our biggest dreams, we discover keys to what gives us the most joy. 

Here is a process to get you thinking about 2017 in a new way:

You can do this in as little 5-10 minutes. 

Step 1:  Find a time to sit quietly or take a walk.  Allow your mind to reflect on the thought “what is important to me in 2017?”  

Step 2:  Let go of that thought and focus on your breath allowing your mind and body to enjoy being in the moment.  

Step 3: As you continue your walk or to relax comfortably in your chair, use your senses to tune in how your body feels. Do you notice any tension in your body?  If so, take a moment to breathe into that area and release that tension.  Be patient this may take a few moments.

Step 4: Once you have relaxed your body, take a moment to turn your attention to your senses.  What do you see, hear, or smell around you?

Step 5: If a thought is starting to come into your awareness, hold it lightly to see where it takes you. Is there a feeling that is associated with that thought?

Step 6: Take a moment and jot down feelings and ideas that came to you during this quiet time.

Step 7: Continue to repeat this practice over the next week.  Please be patient.  Remember what comes up for you now may evolve and change over time. You may find that you have a wonderful flash of insight in the most unexpected time. 

Next week, we will discuss how to put your purpose into action by using the powerful pattern making ability of your brain.


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