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10 Questions to lead a purpose-driven life

OK, so it might be a bit early in the year to recommend ditching your resolutions. And while sometimes they can be useful in the short-term, they tend to be developed without a huge amount of thought or attention… snap ideas that sound good, but don’t fit within a larger framework. That larger framework is your purpose. Here are 10 questions to help you live your purpose.

OK, so it might be a bit early in the year to recommend ditching your resolutions. And while sometimes they can be useful in the short-term, they tend to be developed without a huge amount of thought or attention… snap ideas that sound good, but don’t fit within a larger framework. That larger framework is your purpose.

Enlightened leaders look at the beginning of each year as an opportunity to evaluate who they will be in 12 months’ time. They consider what contribution they’ll have made, the potential challenges and the people, resources and development they’ll need along the way. Then they consider what steps are needed, and set goals by which to measure their success.

But even the practice of goal-setting is being challenged. Not the part about setting an objective and being clear about what you want to achieve. But the bit about how it will be measured, and the fact that sometimes goals can cause conflict – the temptation is to focus on the goal to the detriment of the bigger picture, the overall framework (see HBR blog post).

So here are 10 questions I recommend to ensure you lead a purpose-driven life, to sustain yourself throughout the year without burning out, to stay inspired and to become your ‘greater yet to be’:

1. What contribution will you have made – how, and to who?

2. What different conversations will you be having?

3. What behaviour(s) will you have started to support your ‘greater yet to be’, and what behaviour(s) will have fallen away? (This is typically the NY resolutions bit, but the difference here is that it’s within a much wider context)

4. How will you stay inspired this year? How will you inspire others?

5. What, if any, changes will you make to your environment – work and home?

6. What areas of self-development will you have invested in?

7. How will you measure your ‘wealth’?

8. What challenges do you anticipate, and how can you practice ‘metta’ (loving kindness) along the way?

9. What will you need to feel fulfilled at the end of the year?

10. Overall, what will have substantially changed at the end of 2013? How will you feel as a result?

Spending time on these 10 questions now, before setting any goals or (if you still insist!) some NY resolutions, will set you up for more sustainable success. And remember – don’t limit yourself to your answers. Stay alert as the year progresses – there could be even greater possibilities that you can’t yet imagine.

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Comments (2)

    • Glad you liked them Sarah. I always find that starting with a set of ‘core’ questions before jumping into goal-setting is really helpful… worth investing the time.

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