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How About Aligning Your New Normal with Personal Purpose?

New normal. Have you heard that phrase lately? All of us are trying to establish our ‘new normals’ as we continue in the stay-home world of COVID-19.

While many are still heading to work duties such as medial staff, first responders, essential services and government leaders, the rest of us struggle with finding a “normal”.

My question for you today is, “What are you doing to align your personal purpose with any possible change in your new normal?”

A Story

Muffet McGraw, the legendary ladies basketball coach at Notre Dame recently announced her new normal. She’s retiring after 33 years at the head of a highly successful program.

“Tomorrow is promised to no one,” McGraw said. “What is your life going to look like down the road? We wanted to continue to enjoy it. I’m excited about knowing that I can handle not having basketball in my life.”

The back story she tells is of taking timing during her quarantine to evaluate everything in her life. As much as she loved coaching basketball, she believed there were more important things she could do with her remaining years.

She’s been a long-time leader in the fight for equality on college athletics. Her voice is well respected in many circles.

Her new normal was birthed by the opportunity to sit quietly alone during the quarantine. No doubt with much discussion with her husband and family, she decided to walk away from the thing she loved so much, coaching at Notre Dame.

Yet she did so because of what she called her higher sense of purpose.

Purpose Driven Leadership

Leaders need to have that same sense of purpose. Where ever you may be in your journey, I hope you are doing your work and service with a sense of purpose.

In the fast-paced busy-ness of today’s work world, I am concerned for leaders who lose sight of their purpose. Too often I meet people who were promoted into positions of responsibility managing others, yet have no real personal purpose about them.

Yes, they have been successful so far, but two questions remain.

Will you be able to move further; will what got you here, get you there?

And will you be personally fulfilled when the day comes to ask was it worth it?

PPP To the Rescue

No I am not talking about the SBA economic recovery loans for small business payroll protection. I am talking about The Personal Purpose Process.

In my new book titled “STRIVE” I include a section on PPP, contributed by a friend and fellow Silver Fox Advisor, Monte Pendleton. MOnte was the first to introduce me to this powerful, life-changing process.

Your Personal Vision is your dream of what you would love to HAVE or HAVE ACCOMPLISHED by some specific future time, like in 5 years.   When you write down your individual, personal Vision, a special dream of what you want to accomplish in your life, it becomes quite simple to achieve.

You will now identify and write down precisely what your Vision is in each of the eight Key Areas.  A Vision that is not written is only a fleeting dream. Without a written Vision, you will be lucky if you achieve even half of what you are capable of.  Without a written Vision, dream, or long-range goal, you won’t really know which way to go, nor be satisfied that you have ever truly arrived.  

This process enables you to envision all eight key areas of your life together so that your Vision will be comprehensive and balanced, as well as supportive of who you are and where you want to go.  You don’t want to spend your life climbing to the top of the ladder only to find it leaning against the wrong wall.

Your Personal Vision provides a valuable yardstick to evaluate each of your Goals, or future action steps that you may consider.  You will be able to measure whether an action is adequate or necessary, or whether it will carry you to or away from your Vision. 

Clarifying and writing your Visions (have’s) naturally precedes your goal setting.  Any Goals (do’s) that you set without a clear Vision of where you are going, will automatically be, to some degree, off Purpose and un-empowered.  This Visioning process will also be interesting as a source of further self-discovery.  

Of equal importance, your eight Vision statements will enable you to accurately communicate where you are planning to go to your family, associates and mentors.  They will all be much better informed, and therefore much more helpful, supportive and understanding. 

Anything you would love to have, you can have.  Write it down now and then think about it.  Don’t make it up.  Listen to your heart.  You already know down deep what brings you both satisfaction and fulfillment, what you love.  

Be as expansive and grand as is true for you.  Know you will not fail.  Don’t neglect any area.  Remember this is your opportunity to design a complete, exciting future, one worth working for and living into. 

Don’t be like the person who said “I always wanted to be somebody when I grew up.  Now that I am grown, I wish I had been more specific.”

There’s more detail about this process and ways to make it real for you described in my book.

Where’s your new normal taking you?