Thursday, January 10, 2013

Life Execution: Purpose or Paranoia?

As an observer of the human experience, I enjoy understanding what motivates people to live as they do.

One of the things I like to assess that I believe provides a high level of predictability in terms of narrowing the gap between potential and results is whether they are guided by “purpose” or “paranoia” (fear).

In other words ….

Each of us is motivated to run towards something (a Purpose-filled Life) or to run from something (a fear / avoidance-based Life).  The quality and impact of our lives is in large-part derived from the choice we embrace.

After all, if I am focused on moving towards a Purpose, then I am unwavering in my intention to do what it takes to reach my goals -  collecting and sharing the knowledge, networks, finances and any other resources necessary to bring my Purpose (and the Purpose of others) to fruition.

I decide what my priorities are and act appropriately on them.  I am also not easily knocked off target in terms of goal-focus and can adjust my execution as required.

If I am running from fear, whether it is a fear of financial failure, fear of relationship failure, fear of a perceived lack of knowledge, fear of someone being better than me, fear of how others perceive me or anything else, then I am reactive - blowing in the breeze with my random actions depending on what fear resonates the loudest with me on a given day.

In this case, my fear-driven priorities probably represent the priorities of someone else who is living their Life in a Purpose-filled way (or even worse if I allow someone’s fear-focused intentions to fuel the same in me, thereby producing a really random, potentially painful result). 

My Life would look like Monty Python’s “100 Yard Dash For People With No Sense of Direction”.



I’m also not living my Life in such situations – I’m living someone else’s.

As I have mentioned in earlier writings, we can choose to live our Life as we desire or we can allow others to drive our Life as they desire.

The former takes courage and often requires that we make painful decisions.

The latter creates even more fear within and produces painful or disappointing results – not just for ourselves but for others as well.

The latter is also like trying to balance a bowling ball on a broomstick.

It sways in many directions and seems temporarily successful …..

…. but it provides little value or purpose and eventually falls, providing an embarrassing moment at best or potentially killing the person underneath in a worst-case scenario.

Do you focus on Purpose or paranoia?

While most people who are asked believe they are Purpose-focused, it is estimated that only 3-5% of people in the Western world actually focus on the former.

Are you one of them?

How do you know?

In service and servanthood,


1 comment:

  1. "The Wolves Within"

    An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, "Let me tell you a story.

    I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.

    But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times." He continued, "It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.

    But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger,for his anger will change nothing.

    Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit."

    The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?"

    The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one I feed."

    It's the one you feed, so look at what you feed and you'll know.