You wake up and start your day. You shower, groom and eat breakfast. You get dressed and commute to work. You habitually make it to the office 10 to 15 minutes late. You're not a bad employee, but you're not an exceptional one, either. After going through the motions of a typical workday, you head home. Dinner consists of different foods than you had for breakfast and lunch, but it has the same nutritional value, which is next to nothing. Then, after watching several hours of TV to decompress, you go to bed, ready to get a restful five hours of sleep.
And you rinse and repeat this same daily routine for the week.
The above scenario might not fully describe you, but maybe it describes aspects of your life and routine. How your life looks is based on actions, and each action has a purpose behind it. If you struggle with punctuality, perhaps it's because you do not purposefully attempt to be punctual. And if you do not purposefully attempt to be punctual, you are purposefully attempting to be late.
Purpose drives performance, good or bad. Below are four ways that purpose drives performance in positive ways.
1. It offers a compelling why.
Once a goal or outcome is determined, you'll need to begin cultivating good habits. These good habits or actions answer an important question: Why?
- Why do I get up at 5 a.m. to work out every morning? Because I want to lose 10 pounds.
- Why do I get my clothes together the night before? Because I want to be prepared to get to work on time.
Because it gives you a reason for what you are doing, purpose will recalibrate your thinking.
2. Purpose adds value to the little actions.
With an expected outcome in mind, every action you take to achieve that goal is meaningful. Those actions compound over time, increasing the value of your performance.
3. Purpose boosts morale.
Purposeful action not only drives performance but also improves your mood. When you know your actions are working toward achieving a positive outcome, you feel better about what you're doing--you know that it has meaning and value.
4. Purpose is a compass.
Maybe your goal is achievable in two weeks. Perhaps it's something that will take a year to complete. It could also be a complete lifestyle change. Whatever the goal, purpose is a compass on the journey, helping you to determine where you have come from, where you stand and where you are going.