Clarity of Purpose and Success

Clarity of purpose and direction is one of the keys to career and life success that I discuss in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success, Your Success GPS and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.  You can develop your personal clarity of purpose and direction by doing three things.  First, define what success means to you.  Second, create a vivid image of your success in your mind.  Third, clarify your personal values.  Your values will guide your decision making in ambiguous situations.

Clarity of purpose and direction begins with a clear picture of how you define professional success.  When I was 25, if you asked me what I wanted to be doing when I was 50, I would have told you, “Running a one person consulting, coaching and speaking business from my house.”  Guess what?  I have been running a one person consulting, coaching and speaking business from my house every since 1988.  My clarity of purpose propelled me toward my goal.

I have a friend who is a serial entrepreneur.  He started a software business when he was 27.  He built it up and sold it to a major computer manufacturer by the time he was 35.  He has since started and sold four other companies.  His clarity of purpose lies in the challenge of creating something new, building it into a viable, sustainable business and then moving on.

I have another friend who recently retired as the Executive VP of Human Resources for a Fortune 50 company.  We were chatting a few days ago.  She told me that when she was in college, she decided that she was going to join a good company and work her way up the ladder.  She took an entry level HR job with a company she liked.  It took her over 25 years, but she eventually became the most senior HR person in that company.  Her clarity of purpose and definition of success was different from mine, but she reached her goal.

My second friend told me that her son has yet a different definition of success.  He is not interested in climbing the corporate ladder, or in being an entrepreneur.  He wants an interesting job where he can contribute, but he doesn’t want to spend inordinate amounts of time at work.  He wants to spend as much time with his family as he can.  His definition of success is different from his mother.

All four of us are professional successes – according to our clarity of purpose.

There is no one correct definition of professional success.  There are as many definitions as there are people in this world.  Your definition of professional success is what’s right for you – not anyone else.  I would not have been happy building and selling a number of businesses in succession, climbing a corporate ladder or working for a large company in an individual contributor position.  However, as you can tell from the stories of the three people above, they were.  They knew what they wanted and they went after it.

That’s why defining your clarity of purpose is so important.  Your clarity of purpose provides both a foundation and launching pad for your professional success.  The old saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you won’t know when you get there” is a cliché but true.  Getting clear on your personal definition of profession success is the first step to becoming a career and life success.

If you haven’t already done so, I suggest you take some time and think about your clarity of purpose?  How do you define professional success for yourself?  Keep that purpose and definition of success in mind as you go about your daily business.  Think about how what you do can help you reach your purpose.

The common sense point here is simple.  Defining your personal clarity of purpose is the first step in becoming a personal and professional success.  Use your purpose in life to guide your career and life decision making.  Once you are clear on what you want from life, it becomes relatively easy to determine what you need to do to get you there.  It all begins with clarity – and only you can determine what success means for you.

That’s my take on clarity of purpose and success.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, you have my humblest thanks for taking the time to read what I write.  Make it a great week.


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