“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ was his response. ‘I don’t know’, Alice answered. ‘Then’, said the cat, ‘it doesn’t matter which road you take.’
Energy comes from purpose, and having a clear sense of what’s important. But making choices with all of the noise in our lives can be challenging. We start with a clear picture of what we want, but it gets cloudy over time and we may not know where we want to go.
When working with a client recently, I noticed her language was full of “should do this” or “got to do that” and her body, especially her eyes, would become narrow or squinted when she talked about her work. Her team was working at a frenetic pace with aggressive goals, and she was working on prioritizing her high value work. She was busier than ever, and felt exhausted most of the time. She felt miles away from the finish line, and disconnected from her purpose.
If you find yourself wanting to shift your thoughts and feelings to a larger sense of purpose, consider the following:
- Notice your language. When thinking about your activities, do you say “I need to do this…” or “I should do that..” What about shifting to “I want to…” Even for activities which are not too exciting, using the word want may shift your perspective to see what is possible when you complete it. For example, “I want to do this expense report so I’ll feel less stressed.”
- “For the sake of what?” Finding the meaning behind what you are doing can give you a sense of connection to what’s important to you. “I am going to spin class to feel more energized and think more clearly during the day.” If I can’t connect the dots, then that gives an opportunity to consider the value of what I’m choosing to do.
- Know your Top Three. I’m a fan of the number 3 – it’s a classic structure throughout history – Father, Son, Holy Ghost, The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth, 3 Blind Mice, On Your mark, Get Set, Go and Paper, Rock, Scissors. Know your Top Three strengths, habits & goals. What do I do really well, on a regular basis to reach what’s important to me?
- Notice your body. Take a breath. A deep breath. Notice where your stress creeps in. Does your face scrunch up or your shoulders get high? Increase awareness of what your body experiences when you are acting in and out of purpose.
- Listen your heart. Your heart creates the energy, inspiration and motivation for fulfillment and satisfaction. Busyness often closes the door to important messages and places of insight.