Leading From Purpose

A Book Summary

Leading From Purpose by Nick Craig is one of the best books I’ve read on discovering your purpose. One of the many reasons I like this book is because of Nick Craig’s definition of purpose. ‘It is the unique gift you bring to the world’. As Nick says – If you were pulled out of your life and replaced by someone with equal skills, what would people miss the most 3 months later. Whatever it is they’d miss, that’s your purpose.

Purpose is a gateway to the state of peak performance called Flow

He lays out a framework to help you define your purpose. There are 3 Sets of experiences that will help you uncover your purpose.

Magical Childhood Moments

Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment. Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment is intuition

– Rumi

Think back to when you were a child. Consider those moments when something magical happened and changed our perception. Best learners on earth are children. What were some of your peak magical learning moments. I suggest you start an inventory of all of the magical childhood moments you can remember, keep the list in a notebook with you at all times, new memories will come at unexpected times.

Crucible Moments

Pressure is a Privilege

Billie Jean King

Your purpose manifests when all hell is breaking loose around you. Reflect on your most challenging experiences, how did you get through it, what was your way of surviving the journey.

Passions you’ve had for a long time

Passion is energy. Feel the power of focusing on what excites you.

Oprah Winfrey

Think about those activities that are autotelic (Love for the sake of doing) for you. Whether it be reading, playing drums, walking the dog, yoga, karaoke, meditation, any activity at all where you feel like you’re in flow when you’re doing it. According to a study I did in early 2019, 90% of study participants found a strong link between at least 3 of their 5 talents (as per StrengthsFinder) and their autotelic activity. Talents at play are fertile ground for helping you uncover your purpose.

My Purpose

Although I knew my purpose before I read this book (I used to call it my strength statement). The exercises in this book helped me uncover a slightly longer version.

I love helping people loosen the mental knot by stimulating their thinking with unorthodox connections.

I suggest you list as many items as you can remember in the 3 sections, write down your first draft sentence that connects the experiences, show it to a few trusted confidants and ask for their input. Feel free to download this worksheet. https://docs.google.com/document/d/10s9VLRgFRmwC2pRWx10q5kC9TgeFH0YmFyECxSXXhsk/edit?usp=sharing

When you step into the room of your purpose, you feel a surge of clarify, focus and confidence. Thank you Nick Craig for such a succinct summary of what that room feels like.

Seven Bad Habits of Successful People?

As contrasted to Stephen Covey’s book – ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, do successful people do things that get in their own way at times? 

Marshall Goldsmith is an executive performance coach and he has written a book called ‘What Got You Here Won’t Get You There’. 

He’s called in when a company is considering promoting someone to CEO or one of the ‘C’ level positions but for some reason they have a reservation. The executive seems to be ‘stuck’ in some form of bad behavior. 

What Marshall found is that successful people tend to think that their constructive behavior contributed to their success (a reasonable assumption), but they also make the mistake of thinking their destructive behavior also contributed to their success. They also tend to overlook the contribution dumb luck may have had. 

He names 20 bad habits in the book and says they seem to be rooted in 4 common urges. The urge to; win, ‘show what I know’, rationalize or disengage due to lack of personal gain. 

Seven Bad Habits

I’ve distilled these from the 20 Marshall outlines in his book. 

  1. L’il Ole Me – Rationalize that a negative attribute is a ‘virtue’
  2. The Punisher – Blame others including the messenger
  3. Interupty –  ‘listening’ is just an impatient pause for the other person to finish
  4. Possessed – acting out of anger or another negative emotion
  5. Clinger – going backwards to the past to explain why things are and can’t change
  6. Smarty  – have the last word or withhold useful information  
  7. Perfecto – don’t admit to mistakes or a willingness to learn & grow 

My smile – as I thought of others who display these habits – went to a frown – as I thought about the times I’ve demonstrated these same bad habits.

Fortunately for others, myself and maybe even you, there is a simple yet powerful cure.

The Cure

  1. Recognize ‘D=A’  – Identify which urge is at play (I call this ‘D=A’ because I’ve been told that when I’m Defensive, I tend to be an Ass)
  2. Pause
  3. Pick 1 of the following 3 options – Say Nothing or Thank-you or Sorry. 
  4. Make a weekly list of people you want to – 1. Thank 2. Apologize to and/or 3. Share information with.

If you don’t like this article, I won’t say anything (option 1).

If you do like it, I’d like to thank you (option 2).

I’d also like to say sorry –  just in case.