Leading Change by Picturing Your Purpose

Change is hard because it forces us to make a choice between the pain of the present and the potential of a new, yet unknown future. In my last post we talked about the incompatible wishes we all experience and the energy required to stay on track towards healthy change. I also introduced you to the Four P’s of Change.

  1. Pinpoint the Pain
  2. Picture Your Purpose
  3. Prepare Your People
  4. Prune the Plant

In this post we will focus on the second point in the Four P’s of Change, Picture Your Purpose.

Once you’ve pinpointed the pain and recognize what your old patterns are costing you, it’s critical to have a clear picture of where you want to go. In doing so, you can experience more energy for change. You do this by clearly understanding what you stand to gain by following through on that change.

Let’s think again about finances. Most of us wish we could save more money. I know I do. Simply desiring to save more money is great in principle, but there’s no energy behind it. If you want to capture that energy, you need to clearly picture you purpose.

In order to do that, you’ve decided to set a budget to save enough money to put a down payment on a house within two years. That’s your purpose. It’s clear now. You are committing to save money each month to buy a house. You still need to lay out a plan, but the energy needed to stick to a plan is becoming more clear.

To crystalize it even further, you could write out the answers to the following questions:

  1. What will it give me/ us to follow through on this goal?
  2. What would it feel like to be a homeowner within the next two years?
  3. How would owning a home and providing stability for my family impact our quality of life?

You are again clarifying what is at stake. When you pinpoint the pain, you determine what is at stake negatively. When you picture your purpose, you clarify what is at stake positively. In both cases, you gain energy for lasting change. In the words of Simon Sineck, you start with why.

Our final post on this framework for change will deal with the final two points:

  • Prepare Your People
  • Prune the Plant

How has picturing your purpose pushed you towards lasting change? Comments are welcome.