Why am I here?
What do I have to contribute that will make a difference?
These are just a couple of questions that bestselling author, award-winning producer and Hall of Fame speaker David McNally posed to us at Studio/E Masters last month. We were fortunate enough to get to spend the morning with David as he took us through a presentation about making the most of the one life we are given to live. We were even more fortunate to receive signed copies of his new book before they were made available to the public.
One of the first things we talk about at Studio/E is desire, or your purpose statement. This is the reason you get out of bed each morning. It’s not a “how,” it’s a “why.” Why you do the many things you do each day (being the president of a company is not a purpose; it’s a way to live into a purpose.) We believe in having a desire statement so much that we even incorporated a space for it into our tools, the compass (line #2) and the spanning header over the map:
David McNally’s desire is to provide people with the knowledge, skills and inspiration to perform at their best. That’s his why, his desire. And how he does this is by publishing books and doing presentations like he did for us. Your desire might be something entirely different. It could be to bring happiness to every conversation you engage in or to make peoples’ lives better.
The point is that a strong why statement that puts your desire front and center is an amazing source of energy and becomes invaluable when you’re navigating new territories where things are ambiguous, volatile and unpredictable. Your why also serves as a great filter. Sure, there are lots of things you could be doing out there and many are things that you might even do pretty well. But are they the kind of things that truly nourish you; the things that build the kind of legacy you want to leave behind someday?
If you haven’t established your why — the reason you are on this Earth — we highly encourage you to do it, and do it soon! David’s newest book, Mark of an Eagle: How Your Life Changes the World, may just help you get there. In it, David shares a framework that leaders can pass on to their teams and families, who can in turn pass it on to their own teams and families. We were honored to be the first recipients of this brand new book at Masters, and we heartily suggest reading it if you aren’t yet clear on your desire statement. And we’d still encourage you to read it if you are clear on that because it will reinforce your already powerful thinking.
A good life is one lived in a way that leaves a mark on the world. What will yours be?