Today is February 23 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you wonder why?” After the Great Fire of London in 1666, Sir Christopher Michael Wren, one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history, had the responsibility for rebuilding 52 churches, including his masterpiece, St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The cathedral was built in a relative short time span: its first stone was laid on June 21, 1675, and the building was completed in 1711. Legend has it that Wren would often visit the construction site. As legend has it during one of his visits, Wren came across three stonecutters. Each was busy cutting a block of stone.
Interested to find out what they were working on, he asked the first stonecutter what he was doing. “I am cutting a stone!” Still no wiser, Wren turned to the second stonecutter and asked him what he was doing. “I am cutting this block of stone to make sure that it is square, and its dimensions are uniform, so that it will fit exactly in its place in a wall.” A bit closer to finding out what the stonecutters were working on but still unclear, Wren turned to the third stonecutter. He seemed to be the happiest of the three and when asked what he was doing, replied: “I am helping to build a great cathedral.”
This stone mason clearly understood why he was doing what he was doing. Both Wren and the third stone mason understood that they were part of something greater than themselves. They were experiencing the richness of life. This richness allows one to develop their self, which is a never-ending process throughout life.
Mark Twain wrote "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." Why are you doing what you are doing? If you do not know why you were born what steps are you taking to discover the reason?
Obligations via work or family, global political and economic concerns and our personal health are three significant issues to living with intention and working with purpose. Our obligations require us to spend time, money and resources. Global events involving politics and economics distract us. And the pursuit for personal health consumes our attention.
As we age these factors collide with increased frequency and challenge our ability to live with intention and work with purpose. But our age provides us with a greater source of knowledge and experience from which to define and redefine our purpose. The key is to not let these three issues, or any others for that matter, distract us from achieving our destiny. How often do you think about your destiny?
As William Jennings Bryan once wrote "Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." So how exactly can you identify your destiny or purpose amidst the convergence of issues? How can one determine a way to life with intention and work with purpose while simultaneously fulfilling their obligations? It is possible.
To make defining your purpose a priority complete a simple three step exercise called “A.I.M. for Your Purpose:” To complete this exercise you will need to answer three questions using the A.I.M. acronym for (Action, Individual and Mission). If you wish to have more than one purpose, and most people are capable of doing so, then complete this exercise by answering three questions:
1. What Action do you want to take?
2. What Individuals do you want to help?
3. What Mission do you want to accomplish?
Once completed post this exercise somewhere you will see it each day. As you develop both personally and professionally challenge yourself to update your purpose. After all, you just need to A.I.M.!
How often do you AIM for your purpose in order to fulfill your destiny?