Equation of a Purposed Performer – Part 2 of 3

Previous Blog In The Purposed Performer Equation: Recognizing Your Potential

In our last blog (linked above), we talked about the path to recognizing your potential.


But here’s the dirty little secret of life: plenty of people recognize their potential and never go anywhere. You probably know more than a few people who actually think pretty highly of themselves but don’t seem to have the corresponding levels of achievement. That means they realized something about their abilities (it could be self-delusion, yes), but they can’t move forward with it.

The next chain in this bridge is the idea of personal conviction though.

Start With Why

The idea of personal conviction is rooted in your “why,” or your purpose. Across the last 10 years, that idea is maybe best associated with Simon Sinek and his famous TED Talk “Start With Why.”

The “why” underscores everything. A simple work example: Have you ever been given a project and just told it was urgent? There’s no background or context to it? It just has to get done now, now, now? Many of us have been in that moment; it’s often called a “fire drill.” No one likes those moments because they’re rushed and scary and people are yelling to do this or do that. The real reason, however, that our souls don’t like those moments is because they lack any semblance as to “why.” The reason for it even happening — the “why,” or the purpose of the project is gone and replaced with “Get it done.” We, as humans, don’t love these kinds of moments.

Sometimes we get asked ‘why’ we frame up this overall idea as a “Purposed” Performer because “Purposed” is a past tense. Shouldn’t it be “Purposeful?”

We don’t think so and here’s why…

“Purposed Performer” is the term we use because we believe the idea of purpose has to be a choice one makes ahead of time with intentionality. Personal conviction means that you chose a course in life, as opposed to waiting for something to happen to you. You went out and made something happen based on your beliefs.

Eric Thomas and the Guru Beach Story

You may have heard this; some call it “the most powerful marketing message ever.” It’s been incorporated into a few hip hop songs in recent years.

The basic breakdown:

A young man goes to a guru and says he wants to get on the level of said guru. The guru says “Meet me at the beach at 4am tomorrow.” The man is confused, but he goes. When he arrives, he asks why they are at the beach. “I don’t want to learn to swim,” says the man. “I want to make money.”

The guru tells him to wade out, then deeper, then deeper. When he gets past waist-high, the guru goes out and plunges the man’s head under the water. The man struggles. As he gets weaker, nearing passing out, the guru pulls him up.

“What did you want in that moment?” the guru asks.

“I wanted to breathe.”

“When you want to succeed as much as you wanted to breathe in that moment, then you’ll succeed.”

This story underscores a key idea here: the more convinced of something you are (that you should be successful in this case), the more committed you become to it (you need to get it to the level of needing to breathe). Is it a bit over-dramatic? Potentially. But the idea is there.

How many people do you know that tell themselves they “should” do something — say, go to the gym — but never really do it?

The lack of commitment is really a lack of personal conviction. It’s a lack of understanding your “why.” Even the young man in this story might miss his mark if the goal is just to “make money.” That “why” is seldom deep enough to sustain a person over the long haul.

Conviction drives commitment and conviction begins with having a purpose around what you want to do in life.

Now, as you run after that purpose, obstacles are going to get in the way.

This is what we’ll address in the next blog as we complete the triangle.