We can’t discuss purpose without getting into another one of my most favorite topics.
If you’ve followed my work at all over the last two years you know that I’ve written extensively on this topic. <reference Mastery, Genius and Greatness series>
Mastery is a keystone of Ultimate Performance <reference Ultimate Performance Series>, purpose, happiness, as well as a fulfilling life.
Yet few ever consider what it takes to achieve even a modicum of mastery
To even have a hope of living your purpose, you must first clearly define exactly what your purpose means to you. And to do this you must take an honest self-assessment of your unique gifts, talents and genius.
Talent is vastly overrated. You don’t need more talent. You have talent. What you need is perseverance, commitment and practice!
I was coaching a multiple Emmy Award Winning producer recently and I asked him a very important question. I encourage you to ask and answer this one for yourself:
If money were no issue whatsoever, what would you spend your days doing?
He thought for a moment and answered “I’d spend my days walking on the beach with my dogs and playing some music.” I quickly responded, “I don’t believe you.” He flinched.
Research conducted with over 100,000 people from 150 countries around the world, over a period of multiple years, proves that we’re most uninspired and lacking in enthusiasm—in fact, often just down right depressed—when we’re at leisure.
Please read that again.
You were born into greatness but you’ve been conditioned into mediocrity.
Unless you’re highly unusual, you’ve been conditioned to believe that if you work hard it’s only so that you can have a little more of “the good life.” The good life most often being defined as some type of recreation or leisure.
Old programming dies hard. Most often it goes kicking and screaming.
I shared the research above with my producer friend and he replied, “You know what James, you’re right. I had an entire morning to myself this morning, my wife was asleep and the kids were gone. It would have been a perfect time for me to walk on the beach with my dogs or play music; and instead I spent the entire morning on the computer working on a new project.”
All the individuals studied in the above research had the results shared with them post the conclusion of the study. The research unequivocally proved they were found to be most happy when facing a creative challenge or when working on something meaningful, versus being at some type of leisure.
After being amazed and awed, they were asked the question:
Given what we’ve just shared with you, would you rather have meaningful work or have more leisure?
The immediate and resounding answer was “more leisure.”
Even after being shown evidence to the contrary!
Sometimes you’ve been so heavily conditioned in a lie that truth itself knocks at your door and you turn it away.
~ Siddhartha Gautama
When you answer the critical question above regarding how you would spend your days doing something productive if money were no issue (this is key), versus a laying-on-the-beach-drinking-margarita’s type of answer, you’ll most likely be clarifying your unique genius.
Unless that is, social programming has you by the throat. Which it very well may.
The fact, is that we always love doing what we’re naturally good at. Almost always. We
all inevitably wrestle with the monster of social programming.
The only limitations you have in life are the limitations you place upon, or have allowed to be placed upon, yourself!
I was coaching another young lady who has a degree in financial analysis. She’s absolutely brilliant with numbers. Yet, she shared with me how she wanted to be an actress, then it was a dancer, then it was something else. This is indicative of heavy social conditioning.
You, like me, have been heavily conditioned in the mindset that certain things are sexy in this world and other things are just not that exciting.
When you spend your days on your purpose, it’s sexy and exciting
and meaningful for you…
Irrespective of what others, or society at large, may condition you to believe.
Case in point, I have yet to administer an Enneagram test to a room full of clients were those who tested out to be “supporters,” versus some type of “leadership or more outgoing role,” did not produce some degree of disgruntled responses from those who were tested as supporters.
You see, being in a supporting role is not considered “really sexy” or exciting in society at large. Yet the hard fact is that it’s the supporters who make things happen! Steven Jobs would have never built Apple without Steve Wozniak or someone similar.
Think about it.
Without the supporters the leaders would have no one to lead!
Let’s get real.
Oh, but we want to be the one who gets the public accolades and the spotlight now don’t we?
We live in a society that’s in love with the idea of fast fame and simple success.
How’s that one working out for you?
To find your unique genius, ultimate performance, align with your purpose, and live your ultimate life, takes a large degree of autonomy.
You must be willing and able to know exactly who you are; and to set your own goals; irrespective of your social programming and what society tends to hold in high regard.
Easier said than done.
Your greatest nemesis to autonomy is the conditioning that you must achieve what society deems as sexy, attractive and exciting. Versus living your own unique genius and purpose. Be you! Do what you’re here to do!
The harsh fact is that a few hundred, or even thousand, likes on Facebook does not a career make. Like Einstein stated, mastery demands all of you. Every single thing you have.
Needless, if you’re going to find your unique genius; develop it to a level of ultimate performance; and thereby bring your mastery to the world; chances are great that you’re going to have to push against the tide of social programming. Unless of course you’re a natural leader or performer.
You’re hard wired to greatness; and the fact, is that if you even have a prayer of actualizing that greatness you’re going to have to find you’re One Thing and give your entire life to it.
What’s the one thing you can do, that you have the skills and ability to do,
and given your all,
You have a chance to develop to a level of mastery?
Irrespective of the results you do or do not achieve.
For history proves that those who reach mastery do what they do for the doing. Not for the achieving or the accolades. It’s the music in them that must come out.
I don’t skate to win trophies. I skate to skate!
~ Danny Way. 2 Time Winner “Skater of the Year”
History proves that many masterful individuals were never fully appreciated until long after they had left the planet.
We’re all here to serve mankind; and in service do we most often find our salvation.
What’s the music residing deep within you that absolutely must be played, sung created, and given to the world?
Some write books and blogs,
Some speak and teach,
Some act, sing and perform,
Some wait tables…
You see it doesn’t matter what you do, it’s how you do it. It’s about finding your own unique gift and genius; and developing it fully and completely to bring value and service to the world.
So the purpose of this entire series is purpose. Are you ready to find and live yours?
If money were no issue what productive activity would you spend the rest of your days doing?
What’s the One Thing you can choose to do, that you have the skills and ability to achieve, that given your all, you have the potential to develop a level of mastery?
The answer to these questions begins your complete life turnaround.
And the journey continues…
Stay Awake, Love Life, and Be Epic!