How to Make your 2017 Fierce with Purpose

It’n -21 degrees Celsius outside. Brrr. It’s the perfect opportunity to curl up in a comfy chair. Armed with a hot beverage, I started to design the coming 365 days, and all the exciting things that could happen in 2017. Just yesterday, I connected with a lovely young woman from Calgary, Kristina, who had reached out to me after the magazine came out.

 

 

 

She was sharing with me where she was at this moment in her career. She’d been doing financial reporting for a large national firm here in Alberta for the last number of years. But now, she’s at a pivot point where she wanted to plan her career for the future that she wanted, as opposed to continuing to blindly climb the corporate ladder in her company.

She’s immensely talented. She’s great at her job. She makes good money. But does it call to her? She wasn’t sure. This is why she wanted to connect with me. After an hour of illuminating discussion, we left to enjoy the rest of our weekends. I charged her with two takeaways:

  1. What is it that you want in your life?
  2. What are you good at?

In my post The Trifecta to Shape your Dream Career in 2017, I had mentioned that in order to set yourself on the path to creating the life that you want, you need to be clear on what it is that you want to achieve. Where do you want to go? Remember Alice in Wonderland?

 

 

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.

Logical no?…. this Cheshire Cat. You’ll definitely get somewhere if you walk long enough. We all cover distance in our lives. That’s no question. Even if we were to be completely aimless for the rest of our lives, we would cover a great deal of distance. But it wouldn’t where we expected to go. Sometimes, we surprise ourselves. Most of the time, we are left thinking ‘what if..’

 

 

Ok. So it’s December. And we have another couple weeks to figure out where we want to go before 2017 starts. Here’ the rub. It’s more than just creating a laundry list of items we want to accomplish in 2017: travel, lose 10 lbs, make more money… Definitely, we need to identify those things. But the key is to ensure that they are aligned with the reason we’re placed here on this earth. Everyone is put on this earth for a reason. Everyone has a purpose.

 

 

Everyone Has a Purpose

There’s a TV series that Lawrence and I love watching: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. If you’re not familiar with it, here is the gist. There’s a bunch of super-powered humans, who call themselves the ‘Inhumans.’

 

Photo Credit: www.wired.com… Agents of SHIELD

 

Each Inhuman has a purpose to serve the greater good.  One Inhuman’s purpose could be to stop the villain. Another’s could be to sacrifice themselves to save the one who has the key role in vanquishing the villain. The point is that every Inhuman has a role. Once the role has been fulfilled, so ends their part. They get launched into space and explode, or they die as per someone’s premonition… whatever the case may be.

Just like the Inhumans, everyone in real life is put on this earth for a reason. Everyone has a purpose. Luckily, you typically don’t need to worry about getting killed off the show once you fulfill your purpose.

The trick is to find your purpose. The answer lies always within you. No one… no coach, friend, spouse, child, parent or anyone can give you the answer of your life’s purpose, but you.

 

 

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I fill my daily commute with podcasts. Lewis Howe’s School of Greatness is one of my favorites. It’s interesting to note, that it seems that I always manage to select the perfect podcast that would give me the very next move in my life.

 

 

Here’s what I mean. It was mid-November, just a few weeks ago. I was listening to the episode where he interviewed one John Assaraf, on unlocking your brain’s full potential. This seemed like something I could definitely use (who couldn’t use some brain unlocking?!) so I kept listening.

 

Photo Credit: http://thelawofattraction.org

 

John Assaraf is a self-made multi-millionaire. He’s authored several international best-sellers in over 30 languages. You might have seen him in the (book and) and movie The SecretIn the podcast, he elaborates on how he personally does his goal-setting. Immediately, I was reminded that I need to be doing my own goal-setting soon. It was 6 weeks to the end of the year, and I hadn’t written down a single word yet. John went on and on about how he goes through a morning ritual of meditation, reading goals aloud. He visualizes them, for the first 20 – 30 minutes each day. I thought to myself… Ok. Time to pull up your socks. Let’s get me some of this John Asarraf goal setting action. So I did a little digging on what insight he had about goal-setting.

Immediately, I was reminded that I need to be doing my own goal-setting soon. It was 6 weeks to the end of the year, and I hadn’t written down a single word yet. John went on and on about how he goes through a morning ritual of meditation, reading goals aloud. He visualizes them, for the first 20 – 30 minutes each day. I thought to myself… Ok. Time to pull up your socks. Let’s get me some of this John Asarraf goal setting action. So I did a little digging on what insight he had about goal-setting.

 

 

Your Purpose in Life

Lawrence and I had been goal setting each year we’ve been together. For the past 16 years, we would diligently illustrate our ‘what’ by ‘when’s.’ Never once, though, did we ever stop to think about what our life’s overall purpose was. Not many people do. John has a point. Just as the Cheshire Cat indicated, if you don’t know where you want to go, it doesn’t much matter which road you take. More progressively speaking, if you know what your purpose is, then you can clearly identify what you need to do to get there.

In my post “How to Build an Empire with The ONE Thing,” Gary Keller illustrates how we can achieve unbelievably amazing things if we can line up our tasks like dominos. Each domino knocks over the next consecutive and larger, domino creating an incrementally larger force which, at the end, could knock over the Eiffel Tower in less than 20 moves.

Applying The ONE Thing here: Only when you know where the dominos should lead, can you start to build out the path of the dominos. Otherwise, all you’ll have is a bunch of randomly placed tiles. Sure they’ll fall over. But there’s no cool pattern when they do. There won’t be a deliberate transfer of energy from one domino to another. It amounts to little more than a mess. John’s first question is “What is your Life’s Purpose?” He goes on to illustrate what his life’s purpose is:

“The purpose of my life is to live and authentically experience it as fully as possible and to consistently learn, grow and become all that I can become. It’s to grow spiritually, to love deeply, to give immensely and to serve and love others to the best of my abilities. It’s to use all the gifts GOD has bestowed upon me to make the biggest most positive impact on our beautiful planet and universe.”

(Excerpted from John Asarraff’s My Exceptional Life’s BluePrint)

Along the same line, but much less grand, this is what I documented for my life’s purpose:

The purpose of my life is to give my son the very best set up for his life. To educate and nourish him such that he can excel as a happy, successful adult and contribute significant things to the world. The purpose of my life is also to help people find their light and teach them to shine through the example of how I live my own life and by my life’s work. The purpose of my life is also to experience amazing things such that I feel completely fulfilled when I leave.

 

The Outer Mission

Ok next. Now that we have identified what we think is our life’s purpose, or at least what we want it to be, John sets his ‘Outer Mission.’  Your Outer Mission is the value that you would create for the world, by using your talents and skillset. Simply put, how do you contribute to the world to make it a better place? Here’s how John does:

 

 

Simply put, how do you contribute to the world to make it a better place? Here’s what John does:

“To help billions of people raise their level of awareness by helping them remember and recognize their inherent genius, beauty and true self-worth. My company and I help them understand how to recognize and release their self-doubts, limiting beliefs, fears, anxieties or the lack of confidence or certainty that is holding them back from achieving their life’s purpose, vision and goals.”

 

Following his example, I recorded mine:

My outer mission is to be the best mother and wife that I can be. First and foremost, my outer mission is to create an environment and lead my son to grow and hone his gifts to be the most successful adult that he can be in all areas of his life. My second mission is to be a great partner to my spouse, to grow together always, and through my own example, lead him to realize his full potential. My third mission is to help millions of people gain the confidence and soft skills to step away from an employee mindset, and become self-employed individuals thereby taking control of their own careers.

 

The Inner Mission

Using our gifts to contribute to the world is important. But if we’re not fulfilled first as individuals, nothing else matters. That is exactly what the Inner Mission is. As individuals, our core purpose underneath all the icing, all the cake, all the fancy good intentions is to be happy. Great. What does that look like to you? Here’s what it looks like to John:

To maximize my awareness and utilize my God given abilities and genius and become all that I am capable of becoming while authentically living my highest values with passion, integrity, purpose and love. To unwaveringly know that I am using my life in many ways that I am proud of.

And here’s mine:

To use my own gifts to create an amazing life for myself and my family. To live this life with happiness, keep my body in amazing health both physically and mentally. To contribute my gifts to the world in a manner that will inspire millions of people have a bigger mindset, be confident to express their gifts. To experience things that will make me happy.

 

Values to Live by; How Decisions are Made

The final step before we put pen to paper and list out a single goal is to define your values. In the last 16 years, I have never once thought about what my values were. Well, not exactly true. Like most people, I knew on a high level what my values were. I knew that family was important. I knew that being a person with upstanding morals was important. As the Chinese say “be true to the sky, the earth, and conscience.” (dui de zi tian, di, liang-xing) 

 

 

But never once did I plainly identify them. When I read this, I thought how obviously important it was. Once you list out your highest values, you have a benchmark. You can easily base your decisions on them. Do your kids come first to you? Then taking a job that requires 100% travel clearly goes against your values. Done. Decision made. You wouldn’t even consider taking the gig because it goes against your highest values: being a great parent to your children. 

Here are John’s:

1. GOD
2. My Health-Spiritual, Mental, Emotional, Physical
3. My Family and True Friends
4. Contribution
5. Having Fun: Creating and Enjoying Amazing Experiences

 

Following his example, I listed out mine:

  1. Being in constant communication with the Universe
  2. Doing the best things to help me meet the world and each day with the best version of myself: spiritually, physically.
  3. Being a great mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, leader
  4. Being responsible to the environment, and leaving the least amount of footprint as it makes financial sense
  5. Having fun. Experience amazing things, and have a fantastic time.

 

Boom. I now have a set of benchmarks on which to base every decision that I make going forward. If the outcome does not align with my values, it’s an easy decision for me. Now that the foundation is set. I can progress onto creating my goals. We’ll save that for next week. Next week, we delve into the special areas of life and do some major goal setting action. For now, I ask you, soul to soul:

  • What is your life’s purpose?
  • What is your Outer Mission?
  • What is your Inner Mission?

 

I’ll leave you with John Assaraf’s full goal setting template “My Exceptional Life Blueprint”


Also published on Medium.

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