Desiring to drive change in my own life, I had the good fortune to read 2 books about how to do just that. Make It Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live on Purpose. is by Lara Casey, CEO of Lara Casey Media, publisher and editor-in-chief of Southern Weddings magazine, founder of the Making Things Happen movement, and a noted branding expert.
In each chapter Casey explores pivot points to get from where we are to living on purpose.
- We are quick to limit ourselves, deciding who we are and aren’t.
- We have to let go of where we are in order for new life to come. What’s been holding you back from fully living? Let go of it.
- Chasing perfect tips us over into I’m less than thinking. Throw out those shoulds.
- Pursue purpose This can make us fearful.
- The thing we fear is what we are giving power in our lives. Making it happen means meeting your fear. Exchange fear for failure. Failure is fertilizer. Failure will get you further than fear.
- Replace the lies with truth and decide that you can.
- When the mistakes come, remember God’s grace is bigger than our mistakes.
- If it seems unachievable, remember that God can change anything. God’s grace is also bigger than the impossible.
- Focus on what matters, not the glorification of busyness. Actively prune to what matters.
- Follow the real success equation. Life isn’t about making lots of money. It’s about making a life that means something.
- What choices can I make to live more on purpose?
Richard Tyler’s book Jolt: Shake up Your Thinking and Upgrade Your Impact for Extraordinary Success hits on some of the same points from a different angle. Tyler is a behavioral psychologist and West End performing artist.
Describing his own experience, he says, “My drive to be perfect stopped me from being brave, bold and bucking the trend.”
The advice one of his teachers gave him was, “ Unless you unleash something else from within, you will never be your best. Be brave, push to your edge, take a risk, screw it up, crack a note, dare yourself to get it wrong, you will learn most.”
Tyler builds on Robert Dilts’ neurolinguistic programming ideas. He divides places you can make a change into levels from the top, Identity, to the bottom, Space. Identity, Think (Values and Beliefs), Skills, Action, Space are the levels. You can drive the greatest change in outcomes by making changes at the upper levels.
I used this model with my team to organize the outputs of a brainstorming. We had LOTS of Actions and a very few Identity ideas. So we knew we needed to put in some more quality time at the Identity level before we went wild with any of the Action ideas. And we’ll need to select the Action ideas that were aligned to the chosen Identity ideas.
Whereas Casey’s book takes you through a process and needs to be read in sequence and has a companion book of a year’s worth of goal-setting sheets, Tyler’s book contains 20 “Jolts” to your thinking in the form of short 1 to 4 page chapters. You can flip to any chapter in that section and get something from it.
One example I resonate with right now is Jolt 7: Know Where You Need to Get To. Here are a few quotes from the chapter.
- Are you waiting for your extraordinary performance to find you or are you out there hunting it down?
- Making your outcome a reality takes persistence, rigor, precision, and bloody hard work.
- The extraordinary moments that are created in any art form are always born out of a compelling outcome: a vision that is so bright and so dynamic it sets the framework for the performers to breathe life into it.
- What outcomes do you now need to be setting for yourself that will edge you toward extraordinary?
Serendipitously, as I finish these 2 books, it happens to be Lent, a time of evaluation and preparation. These books are a perfect accompaniment to the season.