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“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all of your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world.” – Patanjali [Tweet this.]

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All of us — parents struggling with a child, nurses struggling with patients, executives struggling to grow a business, couples struggling to keep it all together — realize: some days, some people and some challenges can appear insurmountable.

So, how do we rise above when everything seems to be working in perfect harmony to pull us down? [Tweet this.]

In my presentations I often answer this question by quoting one of my favorite books, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Several times in his remarkable story about surviving the Holocaust he shares this quote: “When you know your Why, you can endure any How.” [Tweet this.]

When you know your Why – your purpose, mission and meaning – you can endure any How – any obstacle, challenge or struggle.

We are focusing this month at Rising Above on choosing purpose vs. complacency. What we know is that the most significant men and women, the finest organizations and the best schools live purposefully. They intentionally decide each day to live up to the fullness of their potential.

Today I’m sharing a simple technique that will allow you to discover, articulate and live your purpose, too. I call it an Ignition Statement.

Our Ignition Statement, our personal Why, keeps us fired up to strive even higher, to make one more call, to greet others in love, to race on toward that higher calling for our lives. Our Why also serves as fuel to fight on when everything seems to be going wrong, when everyone else seems to turn their back, when the way forward seems to difficult.

Using myself as an example, some of the pulls on my time today include constant travel, nourishing relationships, remaining healthy, growing a business, balancing priorities, leading my family, serving my community, striving in my faith, and passionately living. This can be a pretty full plate and managed without intention could lead to stress, breakdown, and discouragement.

Thankfully, I have an Ignition Statement for my life. Asked why I strive to do the things I do and to do them all with total joy the answer is simple and compelling: because God demands it, my family deserves it and the world is starved for it.

Friend, this quote lights me up today to remain fully alive each day regardless the challenges within it! And, keeps me absolutely laser focused on the person I’m speaking with or the task before me.

So here’s how you can create your own Ignition Statement for your business, family or life. Ask yourself this: When I am at my absolute best, when I am totally crushing it, when I am making a difference and on fire for who I am and what I do, why am I so alive, so effective, so on fire?

Let your answer begin with the first word: Because.  

So, in example: when I am with a patient and am compassionately serving and totally in the moment I am thriving because:

When I am achieving my quotas at work, making a difference, and racing home to love my kids I am thriving because:

When I am making a difference in the community, classroom or home, and feel totally alive, I am thriving because:

My friends, in identifying why you are most fully alive you are gifted with not only recognizing what’s worked best in the past, but what will be most effective in igniting you every day going forward.

And that frees you to live onto this truth: The best is yet to come.

You just finished reading my blog When You Are Absolutely Crushing It… So, what did you follow “because” with? What is your “ignition statement?” What will be fueling you next time you have a challenge? Please share your ignition statement below.

8 replies on “When you are absolutely crushing it…”

I need more specifics, maybe a worksheet or hand out to help me develop my ignition statement. I am a teacher by nature and I am struggling with this. I’m reading your book and looking for my why. I have had a Why previously but need a new one or an everlasting ignition statement.

Thanks John,

I find your ignition statement very inspiring. Everything I do, I believe God would approve, I do to improve my families lives, immediate as well as extended and I receive self satisfaction as well. I hope what I do sends out waves for others to do better for themselves and their people. It has to start somewhere and I’m not to shy to lead the trend, even if its not the popular or fun thing to do. Thanks for your inspiration, Sheila

Fantastic. Thank you for being brave enough to share! I’d like to send you my “What More Can I Do?” journal to help you keep your ignition statement alive and in focus. Email your mailing address to abby@risingabove.com and we’ll get it in the mail to you! J

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Live Inspired Together is a community of friends changing the world together, starting with their own. In a world that often focuses on negativity, John O’Leary - Live Inspired shares the other side of the story through his member-supported channels (essays, Live Inspired Podcast, video, webcasts, social platforms) to connect our community and share inspiration and actions to live it. Support now.