You Know Your Purpose But Do You Have the Discipline?

Self_Discipline1Someone says, “I know my purpose,“ and then follows it with the question, “What steps can I take to ensure I live out that purpose?”  Good question!  People often question how they will keep going when the road is long.  Passion is a key ingredient, but it may not be enough to get to the finish.  What else can help?  Certain tools and disciplines can set one up for success which include:

  1. Flexing the “no” muscle. Many people are either excited to be involved in everything or feel guilty in saying no when asked to help.  Great leaders are comfortable saying no, because saying yes would dilute their valuable resources of time and money.  They honor themselves by saying no to anything that distracts them from achieving their purpose.  Take inventory and decide whether there are any “yes” items that need to move to the “no” list.
  2. Creating the space for re-energizing activities. When thinking about a schedule, one should plan for recreational activities.  Leaders need time to relax to recharge their batteries.  Some need a big dose of quiet time with a good read, others need time to socialize with friends, and still others need gym time.
  3. Planning and practicing time management. Once the “yes” list is honed and prioritized, one should create a calendar with sufficient time mapped for those activities that re-energize and achieve purpose.  If a schedule cannot accommodate all “yes” activities, the forced rank list should help one decide which items need to move to the “no” list.  This iterative calendar exercise provides objective clarity so one does not over-schedule and dilute focus.
  4. Surrounding oneself with positive influences. Attitudes and words are powerful in how they can either uplift or drain energy.  Driving on purpose requires high levels of sustained energy; therefore, leaders invite positive and encouraging people into their circle of influence.
  5. Choosing a coaching partner. Professional coaches help clients stay accountable to their goals.  When life continues to put pressure to say “yes,” when calendars get too full, when recreational activities are squeezed, and when one needs encouragement, a coach is there for support.

Anything worth doing has never been easy.  Easy comes through self-discipline and leaning on external resources that align with purpose.  Self-discipline is a muscle to be flexed, and it strengthens through continued exercise. 

HE21118Davis_07-medAbout the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach and consultant with an extensive background in leadership and business development.  She coaches individuals as well as designs and facilitates workshops.  She has a passion to help organizations engage all its employees.  You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at

Life Purpose: A Tale of Three Trees

Have you ever bawled like a baby when reading a children’s fable? I have! Several years ago, as I was browsing the small bookstore at The Homestead Heritage in Waco, Texas, I picked up The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale. I guarantee you this is no ordinary children’s story. The tale tells of the dreams of three trees in the forest, who all long to grow into something that the world would value. One wanted to be the most beautiful, the other the strongest, and the third the tallest. After many years the woodcutters came to harvest these trees on the mountain.

Christ with CrossWhat these three trees wished themselves to be instead became how they were used to serve. The purpose of each tree brought me to tears. Can you guess how the tallest tree was used? The third tree wanted to be the tallest tree in the land, and by some accounts this tree got what it wished for as it stood tall at Calvary with Jesus nailed to it.  This tree had one idea of its future, but God had another purpose and plan. Despite the ugliness it endured as it co-labored with Jesus, the third tree had the opportunity to help bring Salvation to the world. Now that’s worth first living and then dying for!

For those of you who identify with the Christian faith, I would ask you to think about  whether you are pursuing your own dream or seeking to know God’s dream for your life? Sometimes God’s dream for your life will take you through ugliness, harshness, and cruelty such as what Jesus experienced on the cross? Much of the time you will never be aware of the impact you are making and must maintain faith that God is using each faithful word and action for Kingdom impact. On those rare occasions when I do get feedback, I find those are the fuel that keep me seeking the Lord’s will for my life. My prayer for you is that God will clearly speak truth and purpose into your life!

144-2 - CopyAbout the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach, consultant, and mentor with an extensive background in business development, leadership, and ministry which provides her with the experience, relational skills, and proven processes to move individuals, couples, and leaders to higher levels of personal awareness, effectiveness, and goal achievement.  She coaches in a variety of areas including life purpose and plans, business, finances, and premarital/marriage.