Good Morning, Friends!
Last week, my wife and I had a long-needed quiet, unguarded moment. It was the first real conversation that we had in a long time. There was no discussion of work, bills, family issues, and doctor appointments. We did not review what we needed at the grocery store. There was no talk about COVID, the economy, and, thankfully, no conversations about the state of America. We had a truly connected conversation.
How often do we get caught up in the daily whirlwind and lose sight of the most significant portions of our lives? Far too often, I believe. And it’s so easy to do.
We sat in our living room with no TV, music, or outside distractions. We reminisced about the crucial moments in our life. We shared lessons we learned from some of our biggest failures and disappointments. We talked about life and death and the importance of each moment. We waxed philosophical about creating more meaning in our lives. The big question was: ‘how do we make each moment in our life more meaningful?’
By being more intentional – bringing a higher consciousness to how we choose to spend every moment. A new study takes a look at an average person’s life in terms of pure numbers, and we spend 41% percent of our time staring at some screen. So, instead of binge-watching “Kobra Kia” for the second time, what could we do with those moments? Could we make better decisions? You bet!
Let’s put this perspective.
The average human has 25,915 days in their life. When you are 18, that number seems amazingly large and not worth much consideration. However, when you are 58 years old, there are significantly more days behind you than in front of you.
As I sit here are write this newsletter, I have lived 21,312 incredible days. If I am fortunate enough to live to the average human age of 71, then I have 4,603 left on this earth. My big question is: “what am I going to do with these precious days?”.
Can I find a way to inspire more people to become the best or better version of themselves? Can my wife, Kim, and I watch the sunrise over Narragansett Bay this weekend? Can I take my grandkids sledding before the snow is gone and spring arrives? Can I spend more quiet, unguarded moments with my wife? The simple answer is yes, but only if I choose to create more meaning in my life.
How many days are left in your life? So, turn off the television, put down your smartphone, stop focusing on the petty and insignificant, and find a way to make each day more meaningful.
[TED] The Last Lecture
Over the last four weeks, I have been thinking about this lecture. In 2007, Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch, who was dying of pancreatic cancer, delivered a one-of-a-kind last speech that made the world stop and pay attention. Randy’s Last Lecture is 76 minutes long, and it’s worth every moment.
An Intentional leader’s most important job is to connect the people to their purpose and creating meaning in their work. Unfortunately, too many leaders believe that an organization’s purpose is to make money or increase shareholder value, but that is the furthest thing from the truth.
Others believe that purpose is some soft, fluffy marketing message designed to make people feel but is often empty, simplistic rhetoric that is quickly forgotten. Essentially, useless.
When Intentional Leaders effectively create purpose and meaning in the workplace, results can skyrocket! Check out this great Harvard Business Review article, “Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization.”
The Results Are In
A recent survey by the Corporate Board/EY analyzed “purposeful” companies. Their Global Leadership Forecast study has the most compelling financial evidence – suggesting that purposeful companies exceed the stock market by 42%. The simple conclusion is that companies that embed purpose into everything they do outperform.
Further, organizations with a purpose statement but little else deliver average results. Companies without a sense of purpose within their vision/mission underperform the market by 40% —building a strong case for Intentional Leaders to bring purpose and meaning into their organization.
Man’s Search for Meaning
Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, was a life-changing experience for me. I was introduced to Frankl’s book at a pivotal time in my leadership journey. It changed the way I viewed purpose and meaning and its impact on individuals and organizations.
This international best-seller is just as relevant today as when it was first written. This is one of the most profound statements of the entire book:
“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.” – Viktor E. Frankl
If you find your purpose, then you can overcome any challenge that life throws at you.