Let’s examine the question; why is it important to find our purpose? Some would say; we have lived all these years without a clear purpose or we know what it is in our mind and our life is moving on well, so why do we need a purpose? I have come across a very small percentage of people who have a clearly articulate purpose, but most of them would say; I think this is my purpose, but I am not sure if it is the right purpose. The following interactive story, titled the million dollars on the mountain, helps audiences of my workshop to start understanding the importance of a purpose;
Ranjan: Imagine a cheque for a million dollars drawn in your name on top o a mountain. Would you like to go get it?
This image is the sunrise at the ‘Ashridge Business School’ captured earlier this month during my quarterly stay there. I consider this my spiritual home that nourishes my soul as I pursue my doctoral studies. This is a place that helps me grow towards my fullest potential, giving me real inner happiness during the process.
Perhaps you are one of those people who is always tasting success and living happily. Perhaps you are one who observes others in this way of living. Perhaps you are one who is searching for the ‘how’ to achieve such a state of life. This blog is designed to discuss how such a state of life can be achieved.
While there could be millions of ways of making sense of success and happiness, my personal belief is that success comes from improving in areas that are purposeful to me. I am refereeing to action that is driven by a higher purpose as I keep on my quest to make sense of what that higher purpose is. Happiness is what I experience when I am in the process of improving in areas important to me.
What is important to me is my purpose that helps me to be of service to the world and thereby helping me to provide a comfortable and purposeful life for my family and me. This requires me to improve my spirituality that gives me peace of mind, and improves my brain, which helps me learn and teach, improve my body, which helps me act effectively and efficiently, improve my relationships, which provides the love to live purposefully, improve my emotions to be in joy, improve my finances to help fund my purpose and improve the use of my time choosing to do purposeful work.
Let’s first try to understand what is ‘Unique-ability’ before trying to understand what your Unique-ability is and how to use this potent idea in improving your effectiveness individually and as a team.
Unique-Ability is a description for a level of ability. To simplify it let me offer four broad levels of ability. At the bottom is ‘Incompetent’, where we just can’t do a particular task. The next level is ‘Competent’, where we can do a particular task. The third level is, ‘Excellent’ where we not only can do a particular task, but we can do it well. We can get up to ‘Excellent’ level through training and developing our skills. But to get to the fourth level, ‘Unique-ability’ we would not only be really good at doing a particular task, but we are passionate about, it energizes us and it inspires others. It is simply something natural in us. Therefore I believe we cannot get to the level of Unique-ability by training ourselves, it should be within us. It is a word used to describe your natural strengths. It also highlights your responsibility to put your talents to work for the shared purposes of those with whom you make a commitment of this tremendous energy.
It is fascinating how we continue to look for the right answer. Perhaps it is because of schooling systems which expects us to know the ‘right answer’ in order to pass examinations. Perhaps it is because of interviews panels that expect us to know the right answers in order to qualify for a job. Perhaps it is because of management who expects us to make the right decisions to business problems.
But what is a ‘Right Answer’? Who decides its right? By what standards do we decide it is right? Who sets these standards? People come from different backgrounds, education, experiences, cultures, mind-sets etc. The variables are almost infinite. Therefore we are all unique and we see, hear, feel, smell and taste things differently. Furthermore each situation is different. Each situation is a collection of places, time of the year, people, infrastructure, concepts, brands, climate, culture etc. Again the variables are infinite.
How many times a week do we look at our smart phone? Do we look at it first thing in the morning? Do we look at it before 7.30 a.m.? Do we look at it during meetings? Do we feel lost without our devices? I am sure the answers to these questions might not only be interesting but it will start us thinking.
Study UK’s Daily mail (www.dailymail.com) surveyed 2,000 smartphone owners about their tech habits. They found the average user now picks up their device 1,500+ times a week, reaches for their phone at 7:31am in the morning, checks personal emails and Facebook before they get out of bed, use their phone for three hours and sixteen minutes a day and almost four in ten users admitted to feeling lost without their device. (see the 4 mts video below about these dangers)
Technology has given us so many options of interest that our mind keeps wondering from one to another at an alarming rate. We may be at a meeting and our smart phone alerts that it’s a friends’ birthday and we pick the phone to wish her. When we open Facebook to do it, we see a friend request from an old friend. As we start accepting it, we see a photo posted by another friend. Then we remember there is a customer meeting and we may be late to get home and we start messaging someone at home to pick up a child from school, and then she tells you to bring some extra cash as the plumber was coming to fix a leak the next day. All this happens in about one and half minutes. Therefore we live in a world where our mind gets more and more fickle.
Some feel this is beneficial as it helps us to do many things rapidly, become knowledgeable in many fields, be able to handle more things than ever before, be able to respond fast, be connected with more friends more often, find new opportunities be more efficient, smarter, successful etc.
One of the most valuable assets of a leader is personal credibility. Credibility is a perception and we are perceived as credible by our habits. A habit is formed when behaviours are repeated over a period of time.
Here is an opportunity for you to do a self-assessment of your credibility. Given below is a list of 8 credibility habits and a brief explanation of each. In order to know your current level of credibility, read each value and mark a score from 1 to 5 [Poor to Excellent] in front of each habit. You could also give this list to your team members and ask them to rate you to see the difference between your self-assessment and the perception of others.
- Show Up On Time: Rating: ____
Questions to ponder: Do I do things on time. Do I arrive at meetings on time? Am totally present, emotionally, mentally and spiritually in addition to just my physical self.
- Do What You Say: Rating: ____
Questions to ponder: Do I make promises I can definitely keep even under pressure? Do I keep the promises I make? Do I under promise and over deliver? (more…)
I had the fortune of helping out a person to overcome a highly stressful situation. Lets call him Frank.
He was quite a successful businessman and his success was partly due to a business partnership he forged with another individual who was more senior, who had more experience and who was more successful. Lets call him Robert. After awhile Robert had lost control of his lifestyle and had started to face some financial challenges too. Robert kept assuring Frank that it was a temporary cash flow issue that most companies go through.
After awhile Robert requested Frank for financial help and due to the gratitude he had for Robert, he responded. Frank was promised an early return of the loan. The loan amount was so big, it virtually wiped out all his savings; a part of it was reserved for his daughters’ higher education.
The promised day passed and Robert was not in a position to pay back. Many meetings with Robert and constant follow up did not help. Robert needed more financial help and mentioned that a new loan will help him seal a deal and get out of the financial mess, enabling him to pay back Frank. Frank gave the last bit of saving he had trusting his business partner who helped him to be successful.