How to Find Your Purpose in Times of Change
For many people, right now is the time to reinvent, reinvigorate or perhaps find their purpose. To stimulate your thinking, here's a time when I needed to find my purpose to keep going...
After more than a decade of being fanatical about teaching jiu-jitsu, I confess I was feeling a bit flat. Uninspired. Maybe even a little bored of the old routine. With motivation below par, I was at risk of under-performing or giving up all together. Something needed to change.
I needed to reconnect with my enthusiasm, excitement and enjoyment. I needed a change to grow and achieve more in the future. But what would it have to be to get me engaged again? What would get me really excited?
The ultimate skill in jiu-jitsu is being able to execute flawless technique, under duress with both intent and restraint.
Flawless technique means impeccable precision, timing and form. Intent means emotional commitment to act with a specific result in mind. That’s the drive behind physical power.
How much intent could you manifest, whilst maintaining flawless technique and the restraint to keep your training partners safe? Right there. That’s the ultimate skill.
I wanted my students to have a deeper appreciation of intent. I decided it was time to demonstrate intent in action. I set my sights on conveying this message in the best way I could.... Walk the walk.
Jumping in with both feet, I set my sights on what was a huge personal goal (see Golden Rule #1 Set Massively Compelling Goals). Despite have not competed for many years, I would achieve a top level result in the British National Championships.
With renewed purpose, I gave myself two years to train for it. The return to competing was an exciting journey of discovery, camaraderie and seeking out new opportunities to learn and grow.
Of course, there were injuries, challenges, humbling defeats and moments of self-doubt, BUT... my purpose (the burning vision for delivering my message about intent) fired me up and powered me forward….
Two years later, the big day arrived. Two years of training with this one big event in mind. Could I perform under pressure when it mattered most?
As the competition got under way the atmosphere in the arena made my hair stand on end! In the face of so many talented and tough competitors, could I get my message across?
I gave everything I had to give. But would it be enough?...
I can still vividly picture the judges preparing to announce the final results - the whole arena eagerly awaiting the results. If you've ever had a feeling of anticipation so intense that you literally hold your breath... you can imagine how I was feeling!
They announced bronze medal... Not me.
Silver medal... Not me.
Could I have missed the medals completely?... The thought made my head spin... Refocus!... The anticipation was almost unbearable...
Even now, as I recall the moment they announced the gold medal winner. It took a moment for it to register. Realising I’d achieved the exact intention I'd set 2 years earlier. I can still feel the relief, elation and pride washing over me…. It still gives me goosebumps!....
Even though that moment was quite some time ago now, the feeling of achievement will always be with me, as will the lessons learnt and the many good friendships forged on the way. In fact, in so many ways, the journey outshines the achievement.
I share this with you not just because it was a special time for me, but because I want you to see the power of committing to a compelling vision of success. The power of purpose.
Since that time, I've had the pleasure of working with many inspiring professionals (for example Team GB Olympian Amanda Lightfoot featured in the image on this page). The ability to find your purpose and follow through with intent keeps high performers on the path to excellence, when others fall by the wayside.
If you’re wondering how to find your purpose in these changing times, what would your purpose have to be to get YOU excited?