What’s Your Purpose?
By Jerry Graham
Last month, we talked about “stinkin’ thinking” and it’s resultant victim mentality versus the more favorable paradigm of responsibility. We touched on the idea that our thoughts have a great deal to do with our circumstances. This month, we will focus on the effect of a clear life purpose on your thinking.
Referring again to the classic book by James Allen, As A Man Thinketh, he writes, “They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to petty worries, fears, troubles, and self-pityings, all of which are indications of weakness, which lead, just as surely as deliberately planned sins (though by a different route), to failure, unhappiness, and loss.” Sounds a bit like our friend King Solomon again doesn’t it? “Where there is no vision, the people perish. (Proverbs 29:18)
What does a vision, or a purpose, have to do with how a person thinks? Consider the mental activity of a person who has a clear, burning purpose guiding their life. It’s easy to see that such a person probably thinks about little else apart from getting from where they currently are to where they perceive God calling them to be. In fact, they tend to be so single-minded and so focused on the “what” and “why,” that they often pay little attention to the “how.” Don’t get in their way—their determination and drive will find the “how.”
Someone who is that sure of their calling and their purpose, has little time for negative thinking. They are so convinced that God has enabled them that they can almost do the impossible. (Does this bring to mind Peter’s little stroll on the water? How might the story have been different if he had kept his eye on the goal rather than allow his attention to wander to the waves?)
Back to James Allen...“Having conceived of his purpose, a man should mentally mark out a straight pathway to its achievement, looking neither to the right nor left.... The will to do springs from the knowledge that we can do. Doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge...[and] he who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure.”
Coaching Purposeful Thinking
What has all this to do with coaching? Again, a coach can greatly assist you by holding you accountable for your thinking and keeping you from the zero-gain victim mindset. A coach is also trained to help you define your values and articulate your purpose in life. Once your vision is clear, then the coach can help you stay “on track” both in direction and in timing. With a partner like that, who has time for doubt and fear?
Here’s a Dream Inventory Tool that may help get the creative “juices” flowing. Based on the notion that many of your dreams emerge from the way God has “wired” you, then those dreams provide important clues into your God-given purpose.
Jerry Graham is a certified coach and coach trainer who helps pastors and ministry leaders become the leaders they were meant to be. Meet Jerry at www.TheCoachingPair.com or www.CoachingPastors.com/Graham.htmll.