3 Actionable Ways To Achieve Your Life’s Purpose
You want to be a leader and not a follower. You long for more meaning in your life and for more experiences that will launch you into leadership roles. When you wake up everyday, you want to feel accomplished and feel that you are making a huge difference in the world. Many millennials just like you were born to lead, to create opportunities, and to inspire positive change. There are countless ways to make this possible, but what leads you to action? Where is your value found? And more importantly, what will you contribute to this world? Leaders are not simply born to lead, but developed over a period of time with clear and actionable direction. You may not find this direction immediately, as it may lead to many hours, days and months of digging deep into your soul to extract the purpose and direction for your life.
Your journey may end up being a roller coaster filled with many twists and turns, but those who establish a clear direction will go much further than those who don’t. It is essential to your success that you follow a clear written plan to keep you on track and unwavering to your ultimate goal. Your life may be easily navigated and planned if you first understand the three actionable way to achieving your life’s purpose. Hold on, we’re about to dig deep.
1. Become Actionably Self-Aware
Becoming actionably self-aware is not just something that happens overnight, it is something that takes practice. The action (in actionably self-aware) comes from forming good habits that will contribute to your overall approach at life. You cannot grow without forcing yourself into new actions, placing yourself into new positions for opportunities, and placing yourself into uncomfortable situations. Action also doesn’t mean spending all your time planning, it means also trying things by trial and error.
I have a friend who reads a 4 books every month. He has been a chronic reader and an aspiring leader for the last few years that I have known him. Although he is extremely focused on learning about leadership, my advice to him was simple, “You cannot read your way to lead.” Putting the book down and trying something hands-on may be just what this friend needs to grow. Another friend of mine is focused on trying something new everyday without plans and without taking any advice from anyone. My advice to him would be, “you can’t be the man… without a plan.”
Action comes in two forms. Action-planning and action-doing. Taking action should not just be planning what to do, but also doing it. It shouldn’t just be doing it without a plan, it should be doing it with a great plan. Your plan may change from time to time
Self-Awareness is one of the most valuable character traits a person can have. You can be socially awkward, you can be hard to work with, and you can lack many important leadership qualities. You may not be capable of great leadership at this point, but if you possess extreme self-awareness you are on the right track. If you are aware of your greatest weaknesses and decide to master them then you are ten steps ahead of the person next to you who thinks he has no weaknesses. If you are consistently “self-checking” yourself on your progress towards your goals and giving a truly honest evaluation of yourself then you are growing by leaps and bounds.
Becoming actionably self-aware means deciding to incorporate a “self-checking” mechanism in your life plan, checking your status and your progress along the way. This requires an honest assessment of where you are and if you are still on the right track.
2. Become Actionably Strategic
Again, the action is key. Forming good habits that contribute to your strategic initiatives will keep you on track. Planning your goals, strategizing each milestone, and taking big steps towards achievement are all actionable items that will take you to new heights. Without action, there is no growth opportunity.
Becoming actionably strategic means doing more than just thinking about the future, having a pretty good idea about what your goals are, and doing a few things to help your get there. It means drafting a written plan that details what you want, when you want it, and how you will get it. It means that for each step in your life plan, you write out several milestones or checkpoints where you can re-evaluate where you are and give an honest report on your progress. It means remaining open to the possibility of re-strategizing your plan in times that your plan appears stagnant (this should preferably be done with a strong mentor in place). The key is to see progress, and the way to clearly see this progress will be in consistently hitting your mark and achieving your milestones.
3. Become Actionably Successful
If you have already become actionably self-aware and actionably strategic, then you just need the very last step of becoming actionably successful. But what does that mean exactly?
Becoming actionably successful is not the same thing as becoming successful. My definition of becoming successful is “achieving your life’s purpose”, and my definition of becoming actionably successful is “taking massive action and responsibility for pushing your limits further than you ever thought they can go.” To be actionably successful, you MUST learn to successfully push your limits with action based hustle. Your success is based on your actions. You cannot become successful without first performing successful actions. Successful actions will lead to the ultimate success of achieving your life’s purpose.
When I interview people to work for me, I search for entrepreneurial-minded people who prefer a self-pay system similar to commission. The system pays better than the majority of jobs on the market if the candidate produces, but there is no set salary. After interviewing one potential candidate for a job I remember thinking to myself, “uncertainty absolutely kills people.” Some people MUST be told there is a set salary even though they have the chance to greatly exceed other amounts of other salaried employees. I immediately thought about myself and the people who have done great in my line of work. That’s when I realized that we are the opposite because “certainty absolutely kills us.” Meaning that if we were paid a salary and were not compensated based off of our production, it would absolutely kill the greatness that we would have otherwise achieved. We are action-based hustlers (aka actionably successful) because our lives depend on taking massive action and responsibility for pushing our limits further than we ever thought they can go. And let me tell you, it’s paid off.
Vince Lombardi, head coach of the Green Bay Packers (1959-1967) said it best,
“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”
If you do this right you will not only feel that you have made significant progress, but you will also see the progress. If you are a football fan you should know that any great player or coach should know the score, the time left on the clock, which quarter you are in, what down it is, and where you are at on the field (#1 actionably self-awareness). Each of these circumstances will determine which strategies to employ and when to use them. When these strategies don’t work the way you planned them, you have to adjust your game plan and make important changes to ultimately place yourself in a better position to win (#2 actionably strategic). In the fourth quarter when the game is on the line the stars will shine. These superstars are known for their strong work-ethic and extreme desire to win. They take massive actions in the offseason to prepare for the season and take massive responsibility for their entire teams to lead them to the playoffs (#3 actionably successful).