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Aristotle suggested that the concept of purpose could be invoked to explain the behaviour of everything in the universe. "Everything is always changing and moving," he suggests, "...everything has some aim, goal, or purpose (telos)."

To borrow from Newtonian physics, we might say that everything has potential which may be actualised. An acorn for example, is potentially an oak tree; the process of change and motion which the acorn undertakes is directed at realising this potential.

A recent study by The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) suggests that performance is directly related to purpose. The study suggests that having a strong sense of purpose is inseparably linked to engagement, satisfaction and sustainable performance. This applies to individuals, working on a personal goal, such as weight loss or personal development and for professional executives working on things such as portfolio performance and productivity. A personal purpose or shared purpose is the 'golden thread' to which an individual's or organisation's strategy should be aligned, say the CIPD in their report: 'Shared Purpose' 2010.

When we have a specific purpose we are better able to find focused references for our actions. Any action we take will either be in-line with or misaligned to the driving purpose of our overall activity.

Here's a simple example - Many people know what they want to do, like lose weight. They will probably have an idea of the reasons behind it: To become fitter and have a healthy heart. But what most people fail to do is to go a little deeper and understand the values and the purpose behind the goal.

Imagine you are trying to lose weight... you reach for a snack you know you shouldn't have, or you continue to sit on the sofa even though you know you should be putting on your running shoes...

Yeah yeah, I want to lose weight but it's cold outside and one biscuit is hardly the end of the world...

STOP - NOW ASK YOURSELF what your Purpose for losing weight is...

You picture playing with your children, your grand children, wearing a new outfit at your school reunion, your wedding day, the sports challenge you are taking part in, the operation you are going in for...

Now which ever action you take will either feel 100% right because it is inline with your Purpose - or it will feel totally wrong because you are going against your values and your purpose - and humans find this particularly hard to cope with. We experience feelings like guilt and shame when we act outside the parameters of our core values.

The UK's largest coach training organisation The Coaching Academy report that "achieving a goal is 10% about the 'How' and 90% about the 'Why'. So, recognise what your purpose is, in the area in which you are aiming for improved performance... and you will have discovered the secret to unleashing your potential.

For more information about achieving your peak performance at work or in your personal life contact Charlotte info@charlotteaustin.co.uk for a free consultation.

Effortlessly program your mind for success! Click Here Now to find out more.

Charlotte Austin The "I" Specialist. Self Development through deep understanding. Coaching and Training for Improved Personal Performance and Professional Development. Contact Charlotte at info@charlotteaustin.co.uk

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