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The Missing Ingredients – Purpose and Direction

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.

John F. Kennedy, American President

Without coordination or organization to your action, you will not make progress. No matter how strong you are. Regardless of how long you work. It does not depend on how hard you push.

  • Unless aligned with the direction of rotation, a push on a flywheel does not speed it up or add to its stored energy.
  • Unless provided a complete circuit or path on which to flow, electricity’s potential cannot do any useful work.
  • Unless one finds meaning and fulfillment in their life, their labor becomes futile, their days become long, and their hopes dim.

Kennedy’s Challenge to the Nation

Saturn V rocket blasting off from the pad on its way to the moon - showing purpose and direction!
Saturn V Rocket Launch – To the Moon!

President Kennedy demonstrated the truth of his observation when he provided hope for America, united individual dreams into one direction, and courageously set a goal for the nation.  With one goal he converted the massive, chaotic energy of a nation running in different directions into a race. Therefore he gave the nation a defined finish line and a means whereby to measure progress and success.  “We choose to go to the moon in this decade…” is how he put it, adding direction to the efforts and purpose to the courage. With these words, he gave the nation a goal to reach and a deadline to meet.

Thus, the efforts and courage of a nation, an ambitious aerospace industry, the inquisitive academic institutions, and a fledgling agency called NASA were galvanized. Through JFK’s challenge, they were transformed into a coherent, united, and purposeful reach. Then, the nation went into space, to the moon, and back.

Your Challenge

Therefore, consider your work within your family, associations, and professional organizations.  What is your purpose?  What are your goals?  Perhaps they are not as monumental or far-reaching as visiting the moon. However, to your group, they may be just as important.  Spend time developing and thinking about your goals.  Then, with purpose and direction in mind, use your goals as focal points for your brave endeavors.  Fulfill JFK’s observation:

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.

The Missing Ingredients:  Purpose and Direction – today’s LeaderLink.  Look for more Leadership Principles from P H Tyson & Associates.

Note: This post is a modified version of the PREP – Point, Reason, Example, Point Dynamic Speaking organizational tool. See Practicing PREP and PREP In Action for more information. Then, follow the link on Practicing PREP for your own set of PREP cards. Get the free Downloadable PREP Set 2 (JFK’s quote is Card 2).

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