Be Committed to Your Purpose, Not the Path

Purpose– the reason for which something exists

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is getting too committed to the way they do things.

In over 12 years of financial coaching as well as 1 year of personal development coaching, people lose sight of their purpose and get caught up with the path that originally chose to puruse their purpose.

If you start having success with the path that you’re on, be careful.  It’s a trap!

All too commonly, people wrap their identity or the ego around the success they have.   Their ego expands as their sense of self esteem or self importance becomes wrapped around the path.

Focus on why you’re doing something rather than how you’re doing something.

The reason this is a trap is you lose sight of the end goal.  Instead of looking for better ways to fulfill your purpose or your end goal, you look for ways to defend your way of doing things.

This happens on all levels of society, in business, in sports, in relationships, in exercise and in life in general.

I’ve heard many stories of seasoned veterans struggling to adapt to new and better ways of doing things and get left behind.  They just keep on doing what they’ve always done not even realizing the landscape has changed.

Paraphrasing Sun Tzu and the Art of War, “know youreself, know your enemy and pick the battleground.  You will win 100% of the battles.”

My interpretation is figure out where you’re at, where you want to go and pick the best way to get there.

So now you’re asking, how do I avoid this trap and make sure I focus on my purpose?

My advice is:

1)  Be humble.  Celebrate your success.  Be proud of how far you’ve come.  Realize that your success can be taken away at a moments notice.  Your ego can be your worst enemy.  Be mindful of it.

2)  Revisit your purpose.  What is your purpose?  Why are you here?  Why is it important that you fulfill it?  The more you focus on your purpose and less on the way of doing things, the more successful you’ll be.

3)  Seek the help of those you trust.  Have a circle of confidants who are invested in your success but at the same time give you honest feedback and can identify your blindspots.  We all have blindspots.  The better you’re able to see what others are seeing, the more you can be aware of the perceptions you create.

4)  Periodically re-evlaute your plan or path.  Be objective.  Look for ways to innovate, to shift the paradigm.

Always stay true to your purpose and you will be happier, feel more fulfilled and continue to move closer to your goals.

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This entry was posted in Goals, Leadership, Motivation, Planning, Purpose, Self. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Be Committed to Your Purpose, Not the Path

  1. meexio says:

    Love this, especially Sun Tzu’s quote and your interpretation. In a society like ours there is so much pressure into success and independence. Sometimes we forget we all need help. When some people think they need “help” they think of the worse. For me, some of my best personal growth came from those who wanted to see me succeed and was not afraid to point out the bad in me.

  2. Mike Barratt says:

    Yep, Stephen R Covey talks about the move from Dependence to Independence to Interependence,which is the highest level. We can only accomplish so much by ourselves. A trusted confidant can help with constructive criticism and pointing out blindspots. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. jenniferneri says:

    what a great post, and what a great site!

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