Running Your Company and Living Your Life On Purpose
As a business owner, you probably have several objectives in mind, but there’s a big picture objective or destination that drives you. You might call it destiny. And we don’t use that word that often these days, but destiny is simply a place we’re trying to get to. It’s an ultimate destination.
The Anatomy of Failure
But first, let’s talk about Anatomy of Failure – the thing that will prevent you from getting to your destination. If you or your company have a dream, you need to be clear on where you’re headed because you are expending a lot of energy and resources to get there. And that resource expenditure could be very efficient, or it could be very inefficient. If it’s inefficient, you might fall short of our dreams or we might never actually get there. Or maybe you don’t fall short but you die at the top or close to the top, or you don’t quite summit, or you arrive ragged. That’s a possibility that we’d like to avoid. And that’s why enjoying the journey is also an objective we need to keep in mind.
Another way to look at the Anatomy of Failure is this: lots of input, but not much to show for it. We expend a lot of energy and yet we don’t acquire what we’re after. This can be really frustrating and often makes us stop short of achieving our dreams. John Maxwell is often quoted as saying: “Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do.”
If the YOU in your system isn’t working, you’re not gonna get to your dream.
Focused, Aligned, and Efficient
If you want to live your life on purpose and enjoy the journey, it is an important thing to recognize that you can get there with less pain and more enjoyment. The thing to notice here is that there is a direct relationship between how resources are expended and dream achievement. If they’re expended in a focused, aligned and efficient manner, achievement is relatively efficient and enjoyable.
But when resources are expended in an unfocused, misaligned or inefficient manner, journey achievement is inefficient. It’s painful to get there and it’s less enjoyable. We might not even get there at all. We can summarize this by saying that the extent to which the use of our resources is focused, aligned and efficient, is the extent to which we achieve our goals and enjoy the journey.
Therefore, people and organizations that want to increase their likelihood of achievement and or increase their enjoyment, should take steps to become more focused, aligned, and efficient.
Where are you going and how much time do you have left?
But before starting the journey, you need to ask yourself two important questions.
First, where are you going? You can’t ask yourself, “What should I do today?” unless you have a context for what you need to accomplish this week, month or quarter or year. And you have to look at the goal and direction, is it due north or is it due west? If it’s due north, you’re going to orient your journey and all of the steps between here and there against that goal.
And second, how much time do you have? And time is a limited resource.
The Bible says, “Teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
There is a day coming when it all ends for all of us. People can get uncomfortable with this idea, but it is the reality that we live in.
Current life expectancy, according to the actuarial tables is 74 years. These are tools used by life insurance companies to predict the duration of life based on certain variables. Nobody actually knows when life is going to end, but we can make certain assumptions. If you were born in 1982, your time is up in the year 2056 and at 8,760 hours per year, your total life across 74 years is going to be about 648,240 hours. Which means you’ve already spent 350,000 plus hours and you have about 298,000 hours left. You’re halfway there. So ask yourself now: How do you want to spend them? What do you want to accomplish? Do you know the path you’re on and wouldn’t you like to know?
It’s probably good to check the map every once in a while and ask yourself, is my life going toward a destination that I want to get to? And why am I talking about this in a business context? Think about how much time and effort you spend at work. How much time are you thinking about work? How could we talk about work without talking about life?
The definition of a life well-lived
So what’s your definition of a life well-lived? How do you want your eulogy to be written? I want you to envision your climactic scene when your life is over and people (or God) have pronounced their judgment on it all. What do you want to been true about your life when it’s all said and done? And what are you supposed to do in the time that you have left?
And again, why are we talking about these things in the business context? Because it’s going to have bearing on what you’re doing day in and day out with your company. What you do in your life has repercussions on your work, and what you do in your work has repercussions on your life. So, you need to have a planning and execution system to put intentional effort behind achieving your potential, reaching your goals and enjoying the journey. But first, you need to define that journey and the goals and milestones that are aligned with the purpose of a life well-lived.
Interested in doing something with this? The Running Your Company and Living Your Life On Purpose class is part of the Vision & Execution Course available in the Achievers Community. Join to get access to the R4 Planning Framework so you can get control of your time and workload, run your company, and live your life on purpose.