| || |
I was digging around looking for ideas to share at the up and coming Madison Nonprofit Day and I found this presentation I shared a couple years back at the DSAIA Leadership Conference.
If you serve on a board or work with a board you should check this out. Not only are the people around vulnerable to acting in ways that are unhealthy for your organization but you are too.
Hopefully this old presentation will give you some tools to do something about it.
P.S. - The contact on the past page was accurate...two years ago. The best way to reach me now is at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (608)698-6055. I am here to help.
Once upon a time, in a land far away, in a time long ago, there was a man. The thing he loved was doomed and he knew it. That meant he was chosen to do something about it.
If a saint takes on the downside so others can have the upside, this man was fairly saint-like, taking much of the downside that comes with being an unapologetic prophet, with a terrible, non-stop travel schedule and a willingness to put himself out there for what he believed.
It shouldn't surprise you that this man made a lot of enemies. In fact most of his enemies only really agreed on one thing - how much they disliked this guy. When those enemies made their move the man's friends and followers abandoned him. Worst of all, he didn't end up saving the thing he loved.
In the end the man died a brutal, public death all alone.
374 days ago, give or take a day, I wrote an e-letter to you. It started off like this.
My name is Sterling Lynk.
So a year later, how do you think I did? What has been your experience of this purpose-project of mine? Shoot me an email at email@example.com or, better yet, use the comment section below.
I Ask Because...
I am asking because MightyPurposeMe is changing.
The mission can't change. This is my purpose-project; it is intended to be the current best expression of my purpose. If you want live your purpose, I am here to help. I am here to help you do meaningful, good, powerful, soul-in-the-game stuff.
I just need to do it better.
P.S. - Are you struggling with meaningful, good, powerful, soul-in-the-game stuff? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me about it.
Who is this "mighty purpose thing" for?
I don't know. But, I have a few ideas about who it is not for.
This isn't for you if you...
That's my list today.
P.S. - I find the idea of having "soul-in-the-game" compelling. If you do too, check out Chapter 23 of Nassim Taleb's Antifragile. Please, don't forget to follow the rules.
I have a game you need to try. Let me describe it for you.
If you played this game, what would you do to maximize your payout? And, what does this computer game have to do with you living your purpose everyday?
In his book Predictably Irrational, behavioral economist Dan Ariely describes what happened when he offered this game to real people. I'm guessing you'll be surprised by what happened and what it means for the way you should approach your purposeful life.
If you receive the periodic Mighty Purpose email, then you may have noticed at the bottom of the mails the following:
"Copyright © 2013 Mighty Purpose (Sterling Lynk). Everyone has a purpose - even copyright lawyers."
I'd like to offer this amendment; everyone has a purpose - even men who have spent nearly half their lives in prison. Artist James Morgan is such a man.
Since being paroled, Mr. Morgan has worked to survive, create meaningful art, and serve his community. He also has a message to share with all of us - and it starts with this Max DePree quote:
"We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are."
Mr. Morgan is surviving with purpose and we can all learn a few things from him.
If you have been a part of what we are doing here for any length of time, then you've probably run into at least 1 test. It turns out that I have proposed 7 different ones over the past year.
My hope for you is that each test you engage, whether your pass or fail, propels you forward on your purpose-adventure. They should be challenges, battles and obstacles you face so that become more and more the person who lives life purposefully. So, have you been wrestling with the tests I have offered you?
Consider the following list of tests I have shared with you over the last year.
The truth is that there are not 7 different ways to face these 7 challenges. There is only 1 way and here it is:
It is as simple as this to get started. As hard as it can be to actually take the leap, taking action is actually the easy part. It's not a real test. The test only comes after you have taken action.
The truth is that there are not 7 tests or 70 tests or 700 tests. Just as there is just 1 one way to face a battle while on an adventure, there is actually only 1 test. You may need to overcome it 7000 times, but there is only 1.
Here is your real test:
This is your real test and every time you overcome this obstacle, better this challenge, and win this battle then you are truly living purposefully. And, even if you don't overcome, better, or win you are still growing.
Perhaps it is a “sign of the times” but more and more people have been telling us that they feel stressed, disengaged, disconnected, unfulfilled, fearful, and overwhelmed with too much to do. Sadly, in increasing numbers they’ve revealed to us that they want to feel inspired, and that they want their lives and work to really matter. Much like Sisyphus, the Greek hero who was ordered by the gods to push a big rock uphill only to see it slip out of his hands at the last moment, living the “good life,” a philosophical term originally associated with Aristotle, for many people has become an endless--and joyless--undertaking.
- Alex Pattakos and Elaine Dundon in www.fastcompany.com column Can This One Greek Word Improve Your
Work and Life?
Back in May, I suggested that you give up trying to be happy. But, that didn't mean that living purposefully should be a joyless ordeal.
So check in with yourself. Has your quest to first discover and then to live your purpose everyday become miserable?
If it has, then please make sure you are not in one of those dips that tempt you to quit. You are in one of those, then you're not miserable or joyless - you're just doing the sometimes thankless, mostly challenging, often seemingly impossible, work of purpose.
But if you're not in one of those troughs, then you need to pause. Take a week off. Then come back, reread your favorite post on this site and start over.
Having joy comes with strength. So restart by finding a way to leverage your strengths. Your purpose has a lot to do with your strengths and strengths make you feel stronger when you leverage them.
P.S. - The quote above is the first paragraph of Pattkos' and Dundon's piece called Can This One Greek Word Improve Your Work and Life?. When I first tried to read it I was stopped cold by the first paragraph. Joyless-ness in living your purpose is a particularly brutal member of the Army of the Dead. Eventually I got to the rest of the column. It's interesting and comes with a TEDx talk of one of "Dr. Meaning" himself, Alex Pattkos.