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Entries in purpose (31)


The Fresh Smell of Purpose

Ever hear of Febreeze? Of course you have. You might be surprised to know that it was an intial flop for Proctor and Gamble. According to the March Issue of Fast Company, the company marketed it as something to remove odors. Unfortunately, it noticed that most people who had odors around the home had adjusted to the smell and saw little reason to change.

When they changed the purpose of the spray to a "post cleaning reward," sales reallly took off. Today, Febreze generates about $1 billion annually.

If you are struggling to find success with a task or project today, maybe you need to reflect on your purpose and determine if your work is in alignment with it. If not, maybe it's time to make a change in either the tasks, or your purpose for the work.

Additionally, if you are a manager, check to see if the purpose you have for the work of your people matches what they see as the purpose. If something doesn't "smell" right, find some common ground.


Your Waistline Proves It Too

Charles Courtemanche, a researcher at the University of North Carolina, found that a rise in gas prices contributes to a shrinking waistline. The primary reasons-people walk more, and eating out less because they have less expendable income for such things.
In the same way, we have to realize that our limited time and energy resources require us to make the best choices of how we spend them. The higher the cost, the more critical it becomes that we make the right choice. In fact, Courtemanche theorizes that 8% of the rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 can be contributed to a drop in real gas prices. When the cost of something is low, we aren't as intentional in how we use it.
As you plan your lineup today, reflect more intensely on the cost of not using your time and energy resources well. You just might find yourself "starving" some of those less important things so you can focus on the ones that will really "feed" your purpose.


Grandparents Get Purpose

A study completed by State Farm Insurance showed that children are actually safer in the vehicle with a grandparent than their actual mom or dad. Fifty-percent safer than riding with a parent! The study was based on over 12,000 crash and injury claims between 2003 and 2007. You can read more about the study at the Greensboro News and Observer.

The results are surprising. Older drivers are often seen as less careful and not as responsive. The theory given by one of the individuals conducting the study was that grandparents might be more careful because of the "precious cargo" they were transporting. Another idea given was that they would be more nervous and therefore more alert to driving and traffic conditions.

In Juggling Elephants terms, they may be better ringmasters of their circus. They are well aware of their purpose and are more intentional about making choices to fulfill their purpose. It's a good idea for all of us-regardless of age.
What "precious cargo" (i.e. purpose) are you transporting today that needs your full attention if it is to be accomplished?


Check Your Priorities

In a survey by Booz & Company, 64% of executives said that "their biggest frustration factor is having too many conflicting priorities." That is easy to understand and even relate to especially when most all of us are faced with limited time and resources. If we had unlimited time and unlimited resources, their would be no frustration because we would have the means to accomplish all of our priorities (there would be no conflict).
It is easy to get frustrated as you face work/life balance issues. Because we have limited time and resources we are torn between the conflict of taking care of things at work as well as having quality "acts" in our relationships; not to mention taking care of ourselves.
As we say in our book, "Juggling Elephants" you have to pick and choose, because there are no shortages of acts that can be a part of your circus. The secret is to be proactive, prioritize and plan what activities you are going to include in your life rather than, a) being frustrated as priorities come into conflict or b) allowing nature or someone else to determine what YOUR priorities are.
The same goes for organizations. There would be a lot fewer frustrated executives if leadership would better define strategy and priorities thus reducing conflicting possibilities. Creating a personal or organizational strategy is not easy. It takes time and energy (two limited resources). But the investment is worth it in the long run.


Purpose Endures

As early as 1863 graves of those who had died fighting in the US Civil War were being decorated by family members. The ritual continued for over one hundred years before being officially being named Memorial Day.

It never fails-when people are passionate about their principles (purpose), a lasting impact is made. Lives are changed. Nations are born. Ideas become reality.

If you live in the US, let this day be one that you think about your own principles as you reflect on those who were willing to die to uphold those of our country. Purpose endures.