How Purpose Aids Memory and Drives Performance
I have the attention span of a squirrel on steroids.
I get lost in thought and forget what I’m supposed to remember.
The great idea I’m thinking right now is being pushed out by the next great idea. If I don’t quickly write it down, it’s gone forever. I think I’ve forgotten all my best ideas.
Purpose aids memory and drives performance:
You can’t perform when you forget what you’re doing.
I had a 7 a.m. meeting with a CIO yesterday morning. As I left the house, my wife said, “If you want toast with breakfast, bring home a loaf of bread.”
Surprisingly, I remembered to bring home the bread. Why? Toast makes me happy. I didn’t bring home bread. I brought home toast.
Bread is a thing. Toast suggests purpose.
Purpose drives performance.
4 ‘What’ questions that lead to purpose driven leadership:
- What need are you solving?
- What value are you adding?
- What aspiration are you meeting?
- What behaviors fill you with gratitude?
4 ‘How’ questions that lead to purpose driven leadership:
- How are you delivering happiness?
- How are you enabling connection and strengthening relationships?
- How are you developing and maximizing human potential?
- How are you making the world a better place?
4 “Why’ questions that lead to purpose driven leadership?
- Why are we really doing this? Why are we really having a meeting, for example?
- Why does this activity/service/product matter to customers?
- Why did you get up today?
- Why are you reading this blog post?
My wife helped me bring home the bread by skillfully connecting task with purpose.
How might you connect purpose to today’s tasks?
Great morning inspirational leadership missive. I believe I lead a PURPOSE DRIVEN life today. I realize I am NOW aware of the many years of preparation and life experiences that have lead me to where I am today in this PURPOSE DRIVEN life.
Thanks Gregory. There’s no substitute for finding and fulfilling purpose. An integrated life – one where we see ourselves standing on our own history – is more fulfilling than trying to escape the past. Best for the journey.
I would offer that asking the WHY questions first might better focus the HOW and the WHAT questions. Simon Sinek would agree. 🙂 Great post – this is why learning is most effective when relevant and done with purpose…. scratching the itch of “WHY.”
Thanks Vicki. Yes…you remind me of the Golden Circle. I wouldn’t have noticed the difference between toast and bread if not for Sinek’s book, Start with Why.
“Bread is a thing. Toast suggests purpose”
Hi Dan…that is an all time great mindset.
Thanks and continue the freeway work!!
Good questions to ponder today, thank you. I may have to print those off to look at them from time to time 🙂
Thanks Christopher. Questions are powerful. Printed questions might even stick with us! 🙂
If we only can remember! 🙂
I think you’re being mean!! 😉
Christopher’s comment reminds me of something my son-in-law told me once in a discussion about memory, “I just can’t remember everything I know.”
Good one Jim. My wife laughed at “I think I’ve forgotten all my best thoughts.”
“Memory really matters…only if it binds together the imprint of the past and the project of the future, if it enables us to act without forgetting what we wanted to do, to become without ceasing to be, and to be without ceasing to become.”
Beautifully said, Rurbane. Thank you.
Whoops … forgot to attribute it: Italo Calvino.
Great article Dan. I find that when I’m passionate about Purpose, the ideas come aplenty and like you I have to write them down or else there in and out of my brain in a second, pushed out by the next idea.