All of us are unique and have a unique purpose to fulfill that has a significant impact on the whole world-no matter how big or small the part is we have to play in this drama we call life. Some people find their way easily while others try to figure it out as they go along. Since it took me years to find my present calling I came up with a simple formulae which I believe can make it easier for people to find direction and not “miss the mark” as the apostle Paul cautions in the Christian Bible.
I call it the FIND formula….as in “Seek and you shall find…”.
Basically the answer of how to find our purpose and conquer a challenge every time can be stated in one sentence in which the words the acronym FIND represents, are used as follows:
FOCUS your INTENTION on what you NEED to DO.
In the rest of this blog I will go into more detail about what exactly I understand the word “focus” to mean in this context. In the next three blogs to follow the meanings of “intention”, “need” and “do” will be examined.
Not so long ago multi-tasking was the buzz word and regarded as the key to efficiency and productivity. Recent research actually proves the opposite to be true. Focusing on one thing at a time seems to be more prolific. It seems that the age old saying: “Jack of all trades, master of none” still rings true.
Lots have lately been written in the personal development arena on the importance of focus. Mark Manson wrote a best seller that just focus on the importance of focus called “The subtle art of not giving a fuck”. He portrays the “You can have it all” mentality of people today as follows:
” Our crisis is no longer material, it’s existential, it is spiritual. We have so much fucking stuff and so many opportunities that we don’t even know what to give a fuck about anymore.” (p.8)
If we are not focused, we can not achieve anything worthwhile. Today we are spoiled for choice and this plethora of choices seems to spill over into our daily lives and complicates even our sense of purpose since there seems to be so many attractive options. Life is not as simple as it used to be. In times past when your family were farmers or bakers or candlestick makers it was almost expected that you would follow the family trade. Your path was clearly marked out for you even before you were born.
Today the options are almost overwhelming and still so many people struggle to find their purpose and be focused and achieve success in their chosen field. It is imperative to concentrate your focus on one area to really make a difference.
James Clear says the following about concentrated focus: “Competence is highly dependent on context….if you want to be truly great, selecting the right place to focus is crucial…..The key is to direct your effort toward areas that both excite you and match your natural skills, to align your ambition with your ability.” (p.219 – Atomic habits).
A good way of determining where your focus should be, is to ask yourself quality questions about your unique purpose. I have compiled a list of 14 well – researched questions that you can access on my website www.salifecoaching.co.za under the button at the top of the home page titled : “What is your unique purpose?”
James Clear asks the following four power questions for determining where your focus should be (p.224 -225):
The quality of the questions we ask ourselves will ultimately determine the quality of our lives. We become self aware and get clarity by asking honest questions about our life and direction. At the end of his book, Manson declares the following questions in relation to finding our focus, the most important:
“What is your legacy?
How will the world be different and better when you’re gone? What mark will you have made?What influence will you have caused? They say that a butterfly flapping its wings in Africa can cause a hurricane in Florida; well what hurricane will you leave in your wake?” (p.199)
To concentrate our focus seems to be the first and foremost condition for obtaining clarity about our purpose.
In the next blog titled ” The FIND method – part two, we will examine the meaning of the next key word, namely “intention.”
Until then, keep your focus on what matters and when you don’t know what to do, just follow the biblical advice of doing “what your hands find to do”. I find that when I seek inspiration for writing a blog, article or next chapter on my book or need to think on how to fine tune my business , it helps me to focus on the next logical thing to do. Even if it is to wash the dishes or hang out the laundry. It is often when we occupy ourselves with mundane every day chores that inspiration and creative ideas come to us.