So I’m back from holiday. It was great – you can check out some photos here and here, as well as some video. I was very unplugged, no blogging, a little tweeting, and my Google Reader is like an overgrown orchid. I’m very relaxed, very rested, and very refreshed.
But most of all, I’m re-envisioned.
There’s nothing like time away to get perspective, and at the end of every day, I’ve had the peace of mind to consider my purpose. That’s right – purpose. Not the inconsequential, the temporal, or even the financial, but the things that I will regret for eternity if I do not do. The things that I was born to do.
I make no apologies for openly discussing my Christianity, and as the domain reads scottgould.me, I’m not inclined to ever to do so. Furthermore, your wonderful encouragement as of late inspires me to continue to be open, real and honest. No surprise, then, that this discussion of purpose is first and foremost a spiritual thing. Now for me, this isn’t some wishy-washy effervescent saying that has some ethereal meaning, nor is it a vague pointer of possibility. My purpose is in my hands, and I must work it out.
Now, I’m great at working hard. I regularly work 18 hour days. No problem with hard graft. But I’ve not been so good at working smart – i.e., being effective and efficient. Getting Things Done has helped me dramatically with this, however whilst reading The Four Hour Work Week, I’ve been inspired to work even smarter, and to work far more effectively and efficiently. Perhaps the greatest quote for me thus far has been:
Doing an unimportant task well does not make it important
I’ll get to writing more about my practical everyday working of this later, but if you look through a 50,000 foot lens, this is saying to me: doing things that aren’t my purpose well does not make them my purpose. Cold water in the face. Breath. Read it again. Doing things that aren’t my purpose well does not make them my purpose.
In other words I can run a great business, handle clients well, market myself wonderfully, etc – but that does not make business my purpose. As far as I’m concerned, business is a means to an end, a means to fulfilling a purpose that is far greater than any of these things.
Here’s the deal: it’s all about people. People. And as long as my head is stuck in paper work and posturing, I’m missing out on what it’s all about. I don’t want to be a successful businessman, have my home and my gadgets, enjoy great holidays, care for my family and friends, and that’s it. I want to be a successful businessman who uses the business, the influence, and the profits, all to help people – people I know, people I don’t, people near and people afar off.
The more I read the news, the more I watch documentaries, the more I see tomorrow’s generation, the more I see the pains of this world, the more I realise how selfish it is to live for yourself, your family and your friends, and no more. For every person reading this post right now, the world doesn’t just need our empathy – although that’s better than ignorance – it needs our expertise, our willingness, and most of all, action.
I’m no stranger to labouring for the needs of others. I don’t want to brag on myself, but I have spent half my life actively serving others from the small tasks to running teams of people geared towards social aid and social change. But so easily, the temptation for your fulfilling solely your own pleasure, for your own self-actualisation at the neglect of others, for glory, for fighting for your own ‘reputation’; they all too easily ensnare us.
Thus, I have begun a relentless drive for purpose, and am liable to cut off some of the things that aren’t playing a part in it. If I get it wrong, I’m a work in progress, and I’ll become more balanced with every scar, as well as every success.
I’m also liable to write a bit rougher, and with a bit more conviction. My aim here remains the same: inspiration, decision, example and action. Only I’m rapidly becoming far more inclined towards engaging with those ideas and those people who move things forward, and who at the least, are in the arena.