The smell of the freshness of a new year can still be felt in the air but as each day rolls by, that trail is lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday.
The bust of new energy that we exhibited at the turn of the new year (energy generated by excitement) which led many of us to making resolutions, having new dreams and scripting down goals is gradually being dissipated as we realise that like the days of the week, there are many things that still haven’t changed.
These ‘many things’ which includes keeping the same network of friends, clinging to the same mindset and very many others which I know you’re all too familiar with, is responsible for our inability to stick to our new year resolutions past the first quarter of the year and in very many cases past even the first ten days of the year.
Personally, I would say you don’t need new year resolutions and before you second guess my next statement, I will tell you for free that you also don’t need goals…
Yes, I just said that, ‘You don’t need goals…’ Atleast, not until you answer the question, what is your P?
Right now, I know you’re asking yourself what the ‘P’ stands for, and if you’re a Nigerian reading this, I know you have already translated the ‘P’ to mean ‘Problem’ as we own the slang, what’s your P?
In letting you know what the ‘P’ is, I’ll lead you into a packed out community hall where the creme de la creme of the community are seated to honour a ‘good doctor’ as he is fondly called.
The applause is deafening as the ‘good doctor’ walks up the stage to pick his plaque with everyone in the hall rising to their feet in respect.
As he receives the plaque and puts his mouth on the microphone to show appreciation for the honour, the applause stops and everyone listens to hear what the ‘good doctor’ has to say.
One minute…two minutes…three minutes…seven minutes gone and just at the moment when everyone is starting to fidget, the most bizarre thing happens.
The ‘good doctor’ burst into tears. The type that is visibly not from an overflowing of joy but a well of pain and regret.
Everyone in the hall looks on in worry, with just one thought on their minds, ‘what is happening?’
‘I can’t take this,’ the doctor says after getting a hold on himself. ‘This is not mine,’ he continued. ‘I have never wanted to be a doctor and I have never loved being a doctor, that was my father’s dream,’ he announces to a shocked audience as he steps down from the podium after pushing the plaque back into the hands of the presenter, and then walks out of the hall.
It should interest you to know that prior to this time the ‘good doctor’ had written down goals like everyone else, he had written a goal to enter into medical school and then to graduate amongst the very best in class, both of which he had achieved, but on the day he was being given that plaque of excellence, which possibly could have been the achievement of another goal – he suddenly felt empty and like a failure.
This is where the ‘P’ – Purpose – comes in.
What Is Your Purpose?
This is the part where you don’t skim through this post but relax to let the question sink in, because all your goals that you have written down for the year and/or the new year resolutions that you have made (I hear people still make new year resolutions) are not close to being as important as knowing what your purpose in life is.
Pur.pose ˈpərpəs noun, 1. Intent for which something was made, the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists 2. verb, have as one’s intention or objective.
The answer to the question is not some vague picture of what you think your purpose is, but a well articulated and clearly written down description of what your purpose actually is.
I love the whole emotional thing people have got going with goals especially at the beginning of every year, but the truth is, You don’t need Goals if you don’t have a Purpose.
Your purpose is like a compass, it shows you what your direction should be. Goals are like accelerators, they take you there faster, but what is the essence of speed when you’re moving in the wrong direction?
If you achieve all your goals, it is a fact that you have become successful but if the goals achieved are outside your purpose, the truth is that you have only just become a ‘successful failure’
Meeting set goals will give you happiness but joy (long-lasting happiness) can only be gotten from a life of purpose and that is why I love the quote, ‘The purpose of life is a life of purpose’.
God gives life, but it is purpose that makes you live and no quote can be more apt than the words of William Barclay –There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why (Purpose).
We will continue on our ‘purpose trip’ next week as we find out what the purpose of the ‘good doctor’ turned out to be (trust me, you can’t miss it) and most importantly, we’ll learn through a simple exercise how to connect with our core to discover our purpose.
Marching into the new year with resolutions is a good way to start it and marching in with goals is a much better way to start it but we have to understand that the main thing is our purpose, and like Steve Covey would say, ‘The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing’.