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New Study: Stop Chasing Money. You’ll Be More Successful Pursuing a Big Why

The Industrial Age factory system designed work around making money. But people who work for a bigger reason are happier and better paid.

A new study, the 2015 Workforce Purpose Index, reveals that 28 percent of people are purpose-oriented, identifying them as “the most valuable and highest potential segment of the workforce, regardless of industry or role.” We call this a Big Why: something that is bigger than making money, that you can never check off as complete.

The 28 percent who express this Big Why approach to life are motivated by two things:

1) Personal fulfillment

2) Serving others

In contrast, the other 72 percent are motivated by

1) Status

2) Advancement

3) Income

Everybody Can Be Purpose Oriented

Some surprising things stand out in the study. The 28 percent don’t make less money than the 72 percent that are money-motivated. They also come from across every industry, every imaginable job type, and every age demographic.

The research says, “By every measure, they have better outcomes than their peers.” They:

– Are much more fulfilled at work

– Do better work and get higher evaluations

– Have much longer tenure in their companies

– Are bigger fans of the company

– Are much more likely to become leaders (and make more money)

The Joy Is in the Pursuit

People in the 72 percent can and do change, but that change usually comes quickly, not over time. A lot of people in midlife seem to wake up and decide they need a bigger reason to be alive than just making money or having a fancy title. The study points to a life principle that too few of us discover. In our business, we say it like this:

The joy is in the pursuit, not in the acquisition.

In grade school, I remember buying a tiny battery-operated beach radio. It was cool for about three months. Then I wanted a bigger one. Over 20 years, I bought a half dozen or more stereos, with increasingly more power, features, and quality. I continue to look at more expensive ones, but I have had a lot more fun pursuing the next one than acquiring it.

A Big Why gives you reasons to do things that you’ll never be able to check off as complete–be a great mother, get involved in a nonprofit, help others get to where they need to be in life. A Big Why isn’t necessarily a huge Why, like solving world hunger (although it can be). Instead it’s a continuous Why–one that will get you out of bed when making money won’t.

Workplace Engagement Is Unrelated

The study also clarified that purpose-orientation is much different than the too-often-used buzz phrase “workplace engagement.” People with a Big Why don’t need anyone to motivate them to be engaged. You really can’t motivate them; all you can do to them is keep them from being engaged at work (they’ll leave if the work environment stifles their purpose.)

Three Reasons to Be Purposeful

In my first book, Making Money Is Killing Your Business, I outlined why purpose-orientation works better than stuff orientation:

1) Making money is not an empowering vision. People who have a bigger reason to work than making money tend to make a lot more of it.

2) A goal realized is no longer motivating. The joy is in the pursuit, not in the acquisition.

3) We are made to be and to do something significant, our whole lives, not just the first two-thirds. There is something for everyone to chase that will get them out of bed every day, that is bigger than making money.

What Does This Mean for Business?

The study recommends that you create partnerships with people, not treat them like “resources.” And employers should measure how work is helping their people in the areas of relationships, personal impact, and growth, not status, advancement, and income.

The bottom line: There is a new war brewing for a very different kind of talent–purpose-oriented people–and companies are scrambling to figure out how to develop hiring mechanisms to find these people.

You could be one of them. This year, intend to be purpose driven. Get a reason to go to work that is much bigger than making money, that is motivating both at work and at home, and that drives you to get out of bed during the tough times. You’ll be more fulfilled, build better relationships, be more likely to advance, and still make as much or more money than someone chasing status, advancement, and income.

The joy is in the pursuit, not in the acquisition. Get your Big Why in 2016, something you can never check off as completed, and run with it.

Article as seen on Inc.com

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2 Words That Will Change Everything About New Year’s Resolutions

I hereby resolve… yeah, there’s a better way.

First the bad news on New Year’s resolutions – Only 8% of people who make a New Year’s resolution keep that commitment. Worse yet, if you’re making a dieting resolution, you have a 5% chance of keeping the weight off, but an 83% or higher chance of gaining back more than you lost. Research shows that resolving to lose weight is actually an indicator you are going to GAIN weight!

Now the good news. You get what you intend, not what you hope for. Change can be real and lasting.

The Random Hope Strategy

Most New Year’s resolutions are built on the random hope strategy of life–if I think and feel something, who knows, I might get motivated enough to do something about it. A very few resolutions, 5-8% are built on something very different than random hope–intention. Intention is different than expectation. Intention assumes I’m going to have to work my ass off, but if I do, I’m very likely to get what I am chasing.

Conation

There are two words that describe why 92% of people don’t keep their resolutions and why the 8% do. First, if you really want to keep your resolution, you’ll learn and embrace the word “conation”.

Conation is the most important, least known word you’ll ever learn about success (we use it as a foundation for helping business owners succeed). Conation is

the will to succeed that shows up in single-minded pursuit of a goal,

or, “Get out of my way, I have somewhere I need to be.” Conative people actually don’t have to tell people to get out of their way. You can see the determination in their eyes, and you just step aside.

In the 1970s my Mom was a three pack a day smoker. A doctor told her she had pre-cancerous lesions on her larynx from smoking, so that day she quit and never smoked again. She didn’t need a New Year’s resolution or another week to get her last few smokes in. There was even a full case of Kools in her smoking drawer for another few years before she finally threw it away.

Mom’s actions were classic conation. As soon as she knew what she should do, she did it. No ceremony, no waiting period, no walking on coals, chanting at a vision board, or hypnosis. Conation is defined by this–as soon as we know what we should do, we start doing it. Realizing the need is directly followed by action.

Velleity

Can you see why New Year’s resolutions don’t work? We “resolve” in early December that we need to do something on New Year’s day, while binging on whatever we know we should stop; a sort of extended Mardi Gras that clearly demonstrates we don’t actually want to do what we say we want to do. This brings us to the second word–velleity (vah-lay-ity).

Velleity is the second most important word around being successful and is the direct cause of why 92% of resolutions fail. Velleity is,

the desire, with no intention of doing anything.

Wouldn’t it be nice if…? Someday I’m going to… I sure hope that… – It’s all velleity. We fool ourselves into thinking we actually want change because the emotional desire is so strong–“I really do want it!”. But it’s just emotional desire, with no intention of actually doing anything.

Just Priorities

I can see why Mom was able to be so conative. She once told me, “Chuck, there is no such thing as excuses, there aren’t even reasons, there are only priorities.” Conation is built on deciding that something (losing weight, stopping smoking, being a better husband, etc.) is more important than something else (food, nicotine sedation, being self-absorbed, etc.). It’s all about priorities.

For every well-intentioned resolution to lose weight, stop drinking, call Mom, get sober, be more helpful, control your temper, or finish installing the molding in the kitchen, there are unconscious commitments to keep things exactly the way they are right now. But velleity gives us the cover we need to think we actually want change. The emotional desire to see things differently (velleity) passes for real desire to change something, which results in immediate action (conation).

The Only New Year’s Resolution That Will Actually Change Something

Here it is:

I hereby resolve that going forward, I will never again wait for some future date, including New Year’s Day, to do something I know I should do. I will be conative and decide that anything worth changing, is worth changing as soon as I recognize it, and that any time I want to put off that change, I will remind myself of velleity–the emotional desire, with no intention of doing anything.

Or the short version:

I know I want to change something, because I’m already doing it. Everything else is just velleity/desire.

Remember, there are no such things as excuses or reasons, just priorities. If it’s important enough to change, I will do it now, not later.

Conate!

Be part of the 8% who succeed – resolve to be conative in 2016. It can change your life!

(Pssst – Don’t wait for New Year’s Day to resolve to be conative. Waiting is just velleity.)

Article as seen on Inc.com