As I rush and squeeze in time for writing in my busy life, I encounter a friend’s book launch and it suddenly stuns me and stop. The book did not sound new to me. It’s all about purpose. At that instance precisely knocked me to my senses and once again think “Purpose, what’s my purpose?”
I have developed habit of self-reflection and I could not deny how it helped me organize how I think and how I push myself into pursuing my personal goals. Hence, whenever I remember a hint of that “time to think things over”, I could not care less. I just stop and tell myself “Hang in there!”
Michal Stawicki launched his new book “Directed by Purpose” on Amazon and I am happy to have read it quickly, but surely I will re-read it slowly one more time.
He writes the book on a personal note and shares his personal experiences and experiment to expound on his points. Interestingly, as I read through his book, it reminded me reading the “8th Habit” by Stephen Covey. Just because the “8th Habit” was the high purpose profile book by Stephen Covey who sold millions of copies and “Directed by Purpose” was the purpose book authored by Stawicki, whose humble background and point of view was enough for him to share his expertise into the subject. It was definitely down-to-earth and relevant to the average Joes because he used examples like the struggle watching TV and playing computer games; or making experiments on online pursuits such as blogging and digital publishing. Isn’t that one of us?
My takeaway from Michal’s book is crystal clear and is one of my regular wake-up calls. It’s good to be sensitive to wake-up calls and not wait to get into one when the experience is bad. Stop and think about these and make your wake-up call today!
#1. Constant self-reflection
Our ever growing addiction to social media and techie gadgets such as tablets, smartphones and ebooks could only distance the connection among humans. Stawicki described humans turned into zombies with all these gadgets attached to them. Nobody wants to talk nor interested in observing surroundings or care to help out. We’re all too busy with our gadgets.
I’ve reminded myself of these many times but I found myself again into the same situation- so distracted with Facebook and the likes that I could not start what I had to do. It’s time to check ourselves and see if we are too busy with too many things while there are only a few things we really need to do.
It’s time to check our compass. Michal uses his personal mission statement as his compass to check whether what he is doing at every moment is aligned to his mission. Ask yourself if what you are doing at this very moment is aligned into the most important things in your life – your family and loved ones, your source of income as livelihood, your passion and talent that makes you useful to your community.
Create your personal mission statement for it is not difficult to create one. It’s already in your heart. You just need to craft it.
#2. Constant visualization
Following a clear purpose and using a personal mission statement, the next thing you can use in order to sustain that dream or goal is having a vision. Stephen Covey says “Begin with the end in mind”. Not only should you have a clear mission statement or goal but a vision of what it is like to be to achieve that goal – in the most specific and even literal way of describing it. Michal recommends visualization.
Start using your imagination to build on your momentum. See what’s in it in the future when you achieve your goal. If you have to travel to the future then go!
If you want to achieve financial freedom, what does it mean to you to achieve this? In ten years’ time, do you see yourself having your own decent but beautiful home, not worrying about the bills, having enough reserve in case of emergency, being able to send the kids to college?
If you want to achieve better self-confidence, what exactly do you see in yourself changing? Do you see yourself climbing the corporate ladder and taking on leadership role? Do you see yourself speaking in front of a large audience in a TED event? Do you see yourself speaking out and no more a wallflower in your place or community?
Visualize what is it exactly that happens when you achieve that dream.
In my book Confidence Upgrade, I talked about creating your vision board where you put in some images that you can use in order to visualize your model of confidence. You can pick up your favorite famous personality or even a drama character to describe the person whom you want to use as a model in becoming a confident person. Cut out those pictures showing sense of confidence in these persons and their achievements. You can even write a bit of words to describe the person or the achievements.
Have you ever imagined yourself achieving that dream and all that was happening around?
#3 Constant reminders
I have always got accustomed to writing a few goals for the week or the year because I always come back to them and use them to remind me of what I am currently doing and how I should catch up on my own efforts.
Michal gave the two sides of having a goal and not having one. Known personalities Matt Stone and Leo Babauta advocated for having no goal. Their reason behind this is that it limits one’s potential up to only the goal rather than going for whatever height one reaches. Well, I get what their point is. However, you still need to identify what you want to do. In other words, you will still have to have something to direct you. It can’t be like shooting the moon blindfolded.
If you want to get a promotion, then you have to set that as a goal in order for you to know the steps that you have to take. In order for you to achieve a higher sales quota, you still have to calculate how much sales you have to book and how much revenue you should be able to reach.
How many of us are too passionate and expert in motivation that we do not need goals because it might limit us?
Let’s go to the other side of the coin- which is to “have a goal”. If we know what we want in life, then we have a goal. We just need to use the ‘smart’ rule in creating a goal so we can push ourselves a little more. By SMART, I mean making your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you have achieved a specific dream or goal?
- Remember when you finished your university studies? Didn’t you have that unspoken goal to finish it by a certain year?
- Remember when you planned about moving to a new home? You hated that place where you used to live and you just wanted a new environment. You charted specific locations, potential properties and how much it would cost.
You have had goals in those areas where life told you they were essentials. But there are other aspects of our life where we are given a choice- whether to be a winner or loser; whether we can go higher or be satisfied from where we are; whether we can dream big or sleep in the couch.
Goals give you a guide and a constant reminder of what you need to achieve. And goals can be self-imposed ones that are not necessarily basic essentials of life. These can be ones you want in order to get to the next level. The next thing you need is persistence.
#3. Constant focus
Michal pointed out on the equation: Time * Attention = Results. He suggests that the only way to be able to achieve anything is to “multiply your time by developing and maintaining focus.”
If you have seen those crowded fast food restaurants where the kitchen is visible, start observing the chef or the cook and how he organizes himself. He looks at his order slips and arranges them in some order. He does that to put together those orders that are similar and those that are not because he will have to cook the same orders in one go. Then he starts greasing his pan and starts getting his ingredients. As you observe you will notice his movements and he knows where he should go. He knows where to stop and chitchat with his colleagues. He knows when it’s time to go back to the concoction in the pan and stir. He executes his cooking masterpiece in order and focuses on what needs to be done at the right time. He does not skip anything. He only re-arranges order where it is fit and he sticks to certain steps accordingly where it doesn’t allow him to change.
We can have a clear goal but sometimes, while on the beginning stage, we are too excited that instead of doing the first steps, we skip and do the step that we want to do. We fail to prioritize and recognize the important steps that cannot be skipped, the ones we cannot re-arrange and the ones that are not so important.
The last few days, I have been working on my second book and had a hectic schedule to follow on writing with number of words as the measure of my goal. But I could not help get distracted checking new marketing strategies or studying other publishing cases. Those tasks I was distracted with were valid, but it was not the right time. So I had to press myself to do what I needed to do- which was to write. And, as this is on-going, it takes a lot of patience to just glance on my vision, mission and goal including my count of words– in order to get back to my senses and to do what I should be doing.
Sometimes it can be overwhelming but the only way to do it is to keep in mind of the prize and keep doing what you have to do and throwing away those distractions.
#4. Constant company that will motivate you
“No man is an island” – I could still remember this lesson from high school. No one is made from himself alone without the help of anyone. We are social beings, indeed. And as such, we need one another – even in the pursuit of our dreams.
If you want to be successful, do not just live with human beings. Do not just have a lot of friends. Rather, surround yourself with people who are also in pursuit of dreams. The only way to succeed is by being with successful people. The only way to be confident is by surrounding yourself with confident people or those in pursuit of self-confidence. The only way to be happy is to be around those who know how to be happy and are not problematic.
Michal suggests going out of your way finding those people with similar minds. Do not leave friendships at the mercy of the current- whoever we meet or comes into our life, hopefully becomes a friend. Find your friends. You can choose new friends.
If you are a writer, find a writer’s mastermind group and thrive. If you want to improve your self-confidence, make friends with people in your place of work who can be mentoring and motivating peers. If you want to succeed in your business, network with other entrepreneurs who are passionate and successful. You will definitely learn and be motivated.
Discipline is Key
Start creating a force within you – a sense of purpose that keeps you focused. It’s like having a compass and a map that guides you to where you want to go. Having a dream is not just waiting but pursuing. And you can do this with small steps.
Michal says towards the end of his book “Directed by Purpose” that discipline is key in achieving your dreams. One practical way to do so is tracking your efforts for 100 days and monitor how you have improved. Choose a specific habit or goal and see what you can do in those days.
I have started to use word count as my tool in order to see how I improve writing in the last 30 days. I have never been better at it – being able to apply all those “How-tos” I have learned about writing and now more than ever, I could probably strengthen my focus!
What’s your dream? What do you intend to do to achieve this dream? What steps are you currently doing to achieve this dream? Let’s talk about this. Comment below or shoot me an email here.