By Leanne Hoagland-Smith
Chief Results Officer, ADVANCED SYSTEMS
In working with many individuals over the last dozen plus years, I continue to be amazed at the differences between those who truly get to where they want to be and those who continue to struggle. One of the key differences is purposeful exploration.
Understanding one’s purpose, the why of that moment in time returns the individual inward to reflect upon his or her actions of the past, the present and even the future. By not having a clarity around one’s purpose then creates confusion and misdirection as one engages in exploration. Just imagine the outcomes if Columbus did not have a clear sense of purpose as he sailed forth to the West.
Or even in contemporary times, consider what happens when the common, written everyday grocery list is left home? The trip to the grocery stores literally becomes an exploration with the limited resources of time, energy, money and emotions being drained.
Knowing one’s purpose allows exploration to be focused, to have clarity. The outcomes become somewhat pre-determined because reflective thought has been exercised with as many of the possible obstacles carefully considered. Solutions or back up plans are ready to be put into motion when needed.
In the book, The On-Purpose Person by Kevin McCarthy, he offers a simple mental and visual image to understanding purpose. When you are on purpose, the light switch to the room is flipped up or is on. Conversely, when you are off purpose, the light switch to the room is flipped down or is off.
This imagery works very well with exploration. When there is light, exploration becomes somewhat easier than when light is not present and you are exploring in the dark.
Part of the fear in exploration is the dark, the unknown. Purpose becomes the light to guide that path. Of course, the light may not make traveling the path any easier, but it does provide the traveler the opportunity to travel forward. By recognizing that purpose may be the right light at the right time for extraordinary explorations can make all the difference for forward thinking leaders.