Have you started to plan for 2012? Next year will be an exciting year and I hope it will be your best year yet. I believe the success of next year will be in direct portion to the quality of your planning. I have included some good questions at the end that will prepare you for planning for next year. Make 2012 the year that you find your passion.
Becoming Fully Engaged:
Defining Purpose

What’s it really all about, anyway?

"All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.”—James Thurber

One of the most powerful sources of energy is passion. When we are connecting to our most important values and purpose in life, our passion and energy seem boundless. The most compelling source of purpose is spiritual, which is what happens when energy is derived from connecting to deeply held values and a purpose beyond one’s self-interest.

What is meant by spiritual in the context of this article about energy is a higher order of thinking that includes ethical and moral reasoning and connection to purpose beyond oneself. When we define purpose to include those values and motivations that are more than self-serving we tap into a very strong source of energy.

However, it is never easy to discover what exactly our higher purpose is. For most of us, our motivations are hidden from our awareness in the realm of the subconscious. Although we may have a sense of our true values, it is usually only after a life-shattering crisis that we become more interested in discovering what is really important for us. This requires the sort of exploration and questioning best done with a trusted coach or mentor.

Many of us get caught up in following the path others think we should be following. It takes life experience and some failures along the way to force us into getting in touch with what we don’t want for ourselves. That can push us to find what it is we do want. We let responsibilities and daily chores distract us from our true purpose and deep values. We get too caught up in earning a living and just staying afloat to stay connected with our true purpose in life.

The Quest for Meaning

There comes a point in most people’s adult development when they ask themselves, “What’s it really all about, anyway?” The search for meaning is one of the primary quests of philosophers, theologians, and scientists. Few of us are satisfied to be ordinary. The drive to achieve is a means of escaping mediocrity and boredom. We want to be the best we can be.

Yet, if we are to be the best we can be, we must narrow the field a bit. We can’t be great at everything. When asked to describe what gives life meaning, many people hesitate, hem and haw, and respond with generalities and platitudes. “Taking care of my family” and “being successful at work” are typical answers. Since we so often lack connection to our deepest values and firm beliefs, we are easily distracted or knocked off balance when we face challenges and difficulties. We need a strong, clearly defined sense of purpose in order to hold ground when storms come.

Tapping into Unlimited Energy

Purpose is a unique source of energy and power. It fuels focus, direction, passion, and perseverance. It becomes more powerful as it moves from being negative to positive, external to intrinsic, and from self to other. A negative purpose is defensive and based on deficits. Someone who works to escape poverty is not tapping into as much energy as a person who works to make money to buy things that excite him or her.

Money is an external source of purpose. As a source of energy and driving purpose, it has its limits. Having more money is not correlated with higher levels of happiness. All humans need food, rest, warmth, and social contact. Money provides the means to these ends. But once those basic needs are met, money has less power as a source of motivation. People can be motivated by material gain and external praise, but they feel much more passion for those activities that satisfy internally. We derive more pleasure and energy when we freely choose and focus on what we most enjoy.

To truly tap into maximum energy and power, we must connect to a deeper sense of purpose that is beyond our own needs and desires. There is no question people will work long and hard to get ahead, to get rich or famous, and to win admiration. But there is always a price to pay. It seems that people are willing to sacrifice much more when they are driven by a higher purpose that includes serving others.

Many people blame their work environments for their unhappiness and lack of passion. It is easy to do. The challenge we face is to express and embody our deepest values in our work. We can find a sense of purpose when we mentor someone, or contribute to communicating positive energy. Our values can show up in small ways if we are alert to and aware of the opportunities.

Discovering What Really Matters

Clarifying purpose takes time and reflection. A coach can guide you through questions to arrive at what is really most important to you. Deeply held values fuel the energy on which purpose is built. When you know your true values, your code of conduct becomes clear. While the pursuit of power or wealth or fame may all be sources of motivation, these goals are external and fill deficiency needs rather than serve intrinsic needs for growth and development. Values have intrinsic worth in that they provide a source of inspiration and meaning that cannot be taken away from us.

Here are some values that have been universally admired across cultures and religions throughout history: es, but also who one is.
Here are some questions to explore with your coach to help you define your true values:
What do you do at work that gives you great satisfaction and is something you would do even if you weren’t paid for it?
What three qualities in yourself do others see in you? Who are you at your best?
What are three most important lessons you have learned in your life?
What would you like to see on your tombstone that best captures who you really were in your life?
What were three small incidents in your day today that gave you great pleasure? (and what about those incidents ignited your passion?
Final Thoughts:

Would you or someone you know like to begin the New Year by experiencing a coach? I am offering two free coaching sessions to you and your friends as my holiday gift. Coaching is a rewarding process – why not challenge yourself to give it a try and give direction to your passion in 2012.

Coach Jerry

The highest compliment you can give us is to refer your family and friends.

Jerry Pinney

For the last twenty years Jerry has been president of his own firm. He has spent his career helping small business organizations grow and succeed. He has a passion for success that he shares with his clients. His current focus is providing executive and personal coaching to persons who are interested in improving their effectiveness and their ability to be successful. He is a facilitator for peer advisory groups with The Alternative Board and is a Certified One Page Plan Consultant. Jerry has facilitated planning retreats and planning sessions for many organizations.

Jerry’s experience includes serving as Vice-president of Marketing for IGA staff office, Vice-president of membership for the National Grocers Association, Sr. Vice-president of procurement for Shurfine International and the Managing Director of The Zenon Hansen Foundation.

Jerry is an Eagle Scout. He lives in Chicago with his wife Terri. Jerry spends his volunteer time as a coach and consultant for The Executive Service Corps of Chicago, an organization committed to help the non-profits in the community improve.

Jerry Pinney & Associates
102 East 32nd Street
Chicago, IL,
phone: 312-842-4577,
fax: 312-842-4705

e-mail me by clicking here

Visit the Web Page:

If you would like to adjust your subscription - Please click here