Why is it that some people accomplish so much more than others?
Or put another way, why is it that some people have lives, careers, and relationships that are so much richer and more fulfilling than what others have?
From all my years of research and speaking, I am convinced that the reason why some people accomplish so much more than others lies in the fact they possess The Champion Edge (TCE). Those who have TCE have six things going for them … the first being Steadfast Confidence. I wrote about that in last week’s Tuesday Tip
The second thing they have going for them is Compelling Purpose.
Do you know what your Compelling Purpose is?
I can tell you that most people don’t.
And have you ever taken the time to write out your Compelling Purpose so you can actually look at it, read it, reflect on it, and make sure you’re living your life on purpose rather than by accident?
Again, I can tell you that most people haven’t.
But I can also tell you that writing out such a sentence will be the most important sentence you will ever write. Because you automatically get three super benefits with a well-written Compelling Purpose.
► 1st Benefit: Direction
With a clearly-defined purpose, it’s like shooting arrows at a target. You’ll know what’s really important and what’s not.
If you haven’t figured out your Compelling Purpose, however, you’ll be somewhat scattered, spending your energy on a thousand different things, none of which will bring truly outstanding results.
The iconic actor, Kirk Douglas, found that to be true. After playing the strong, virile, tough guy in 82 films, he suffered a stroke in 1995. It made him totally helpless for a while.
Then in 1997 he found his Compelling Purpose that gave him an exciting new direction that lasted right up to his recent death a few weeks ago at the age of 103. His purpose became that of rebuilding school playgrounds that had become too old, dilapidated, or dangerous to use.
He began raising money and even selling items from his personal art collection–including original paintings by Picasso and Van Gogh–to help schools with this project. He and his wife, Anne, went on to rebuild and appear at the re-opening of hundreds of playgrounds … and, in the process … gained the satisfaction and meaning they were craving.
► 2nd Benefit: Persistence
My friend and fellow author/speaker, Tim Connor, talks about that. He writes: “Purpose is the single most important motivator in a person’s life. It keeps you keeping on when all around you is caving in before your eyes–when nothing seems to work–when people have abandoned you and life seems to have forgotten your existence.”
What about you? Have you ever lost some of your get-up-and-go? If so, chances are you’re somewhat lacking in the area of Compelling Purpose.I’ll help you with that in my free introductory webinar on June 4, 2020 from 2-3:00 p.m. ET. And then I’ll start my five-week virtual program on The Champion Edge that goes from June 11th to July 9th. Hope you can join me for both events.
Seven-year old Brian Cole from Mankato, Minnesota experienced first-hand the persistent power of a Compelling Purpose. As a first grader, he heard about a swim marathon to raise money for cancer research. He wanted to help because his cousin had died of cancer two years earlier.
So he went out collecting pledges. He asked people to pledge a certain amount of money for each lap he would swim. He told them he hoped to swim ten laps; the number his teacher had instructed him to tell his potential sponsors.
Come the day of the marathon, Brian jumped in the pool and started swimming. He swam up and down, back and forth, stopping for the first time when he completed 100 laps–and only then to put on his goggles because the chlorine was stinging his eyes. After putting on his goggles, he swam another eight laps.
Brian’s parents were astonished by their son’s accomplishment. But they were also a little embarrassed. How would they tell Brian’s sponsors that their son had swum 108 laps when they only expected to pay on a fraction of that?
So they called Brian’s sponsors to explain the situation and release them from their agreement. It was no problem. Almost everyone paid in full, and some non-sponsors even threw in some money. Brian simply said he was “swimming for sick people. Maybe if someone had done this before, my cousin Mary would still be alive.”
That’s the power of a Compelling Purpose. I hope to God you have figured yours out.
► 3rd Benefit: Health
Some of the lessons I teach in my live and virtual programs come from experience. Which is a nice way of saying I’ve had to learn some things the hard way … so hopefully you won’t have to.
One lesson I learned is that it’s all too easy to climb the ladder of success to a destination that isn’t worth reaching! For too long, I prided myself on speaking 160 times a year, flying several million miles, and being inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame, an honor that has been awarded to only a few dozen speakers out of the thousands of speakers worldwide.
But I paid an enormous price when it came to my physical, emotional, relational and spiritual health … because all that busyness, fame, and success was not guided by a Compelling Purpose. I now know better. I know the huge health costs of not having a purpose and I know the huge health benefits that come with purpose.
For example, a study of 12,000 middle-aged Hungarians found that those who felt their lives had a clearly defined purpose had much lower rates of cancer and heart disease than those that didn’t feel this way.
Another study by Dan Buettner has looked at the world’s longest living people. He says that having a purpose or “having a reason to get out of bed” was a common trait among those people who lived past the age of 100.
And Dr. Harold G. Koenig, a professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center, says, “People who feel their life is part of a larger plan and are guided by their spiritual values (a Compelling Purpose) have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, a lower risk of heart attack and cancer, and heal faster and live longer.”
Application Questions: Have you clarified your Compelling Purpose? If so, have you written it out in one sentence? And do you make sure your life, work and relationships are guided by that purpose? If not, when are you going to do so?
Dr. Zimmerman’s Tuesday Tip, Issue 1040– Purpose: The most important sentence you will ever write.