ver the course of life, there has been a great misconception about living a life of purpose. Some people think that a life of purpose is only for stellar visionaries such as Martin Luther King Jnr, Billy Graham, TD Jakes and so on. In other words, people equate purpose to a religious “calling” of sorts. Guess what? They are right on one count. Yes, Purpose is a calling but no, purpose is not religious. However, purpose is purely spiritual. I wrote about the spiritual side of businessmen and entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs here.
You know, just the fact that you do not go to church or have a religious experience does not mean that you were not intended to live a life of purpose. Purpose is the absolute paramount intention of the creator over the soul of everyone who ever lived. A simple look at your life’s natural gifts and talents will reveal this. There has to be a reason why I love reading, writing and speaking. It must of necessity link to my purpose.
Where the subject of purpose blow people of course is when we start talking about our professional pursuits. Again, I wrote here about the conundrum between facing the reality of eking out a living and pursuing your purpose. It is worth a read. But have you realized how many parents do not care about the natural gifts and talents of their children to the same degree that they do care about their academics? There are many parents out there who know that the only obvious way to excel in life is by their children being qualified for a job.
That is the wrong way of looking at life. Today, I take this opportunity to do a simple review of one of the most potent book I have read on the subject of purpose in professional pursuits. The title of the Book is absolutely spot on. It is actually a question.
In this landmark book, author Jay Niblic talks about the concept of purpose in relation to professional careers. Jay encourages people to pursue that which they are good at. One of the most important questions that Jay is encouraging people to ask is this:
What am I good at?
What am I bad at?
Did you know that many people who do not have a life of purpose have not taken time to answer these two important questions? I think the person of purpose that exemplifies these two questions is John the Baptist. Granted, when he was denying “who he was not”, he was not necessarily saying he was bad at those things:
When Jews from Jerusalem sent a group of priests and officials to ask John who he was, he was completely honest.
He didn’t evade the question. He told the plain truth: “I am not the Messiah.”
They pressed him, “Who, then? Elijah?” “I am not.” “The Prophet?” “No.”
Exasperated, they said, “Who, then? We need an answer for those who sent us. Tell us something–anything!–about yourself.”
“I’m thunder in the desert: ‘Make the road straight for God!’ I’m doing what the prophet Isaiah preached.”
John knew who he was not meant to be and at the same time, he firmly knew who he was meant to be. In Jay Niblic’s book, who we are meant to be is inherently determined by what we are good at. Whom we are not meant to be is inherently determined by what we are bad at.
Later on, Jay Niblic introduces us to the concept of “The Head, The Hands and The Heart”. According to Mr. Niblic, there are three types of people on earth. There are those who are so good…
Jay Niblic’s book is by no means theoretical. It is born out of years of research and data mining. What Jay and his company “Innermetrix” uncovered is that the biggest problem we have worldwide is people who are frustrated, at pains, tired and unfulfilled with their “roles”. The problem though is that the more they get this feedback, the more they work on “Fixing themselves”. For example, someone is dissatisfied with the amount of income they get in life. What do they do? They go get another degree (fixing themselves). Better yet, they work much harder at the role that they hate in a bid to create a better outcome for themselves.
You and I know exactly what happens here. Fixing ourselves never really works. Jay uncovered from years of research that a large percentage of people on earth are stuck up in roles that do not allow them to maximize their potential.
After interviewing a whooping 197,000 people in a period spanning over 7 years across 23 countries in the world, Jay set out to identify the results in explaining the difference between “the best and the rest”. What he found out was astounding. He found out that there were four levels of productivity in the general results:
Level 1: Below average performance
Level 2: Average
Level 3: Above Average
Level 4: Excellent
However, Jay and his group realized that there was another top level group that was beyond excellent. The interviewers could not group these among the top four categories. In other words, they were just beyond excellent.
Jay decided to call this group The Genius Level. Not wanting to stop there, Jay was particularly curious to find out what attributes were common to the 5th Level of Genius and what he found out was interesting too.
The Genius performers had only two major attributes that distinguished them from the rest:
On the contrary, “The Rest” lacked these two attributes.
You can see clearly then that it has been scientifically proven that pursuing your life purpose is more rewarding than not. In all due honesty reading Jay Niblic’s book gave me the right impetus to push on with Life Signatures and to be authentic in my pursuits. I encourage you to get a copy for yourself. Just google it!