10647104_10204209789437926_3997880773562553627_n

目的 (mokuteki) is Japanese for purpose. Two kanji characters: the first one symbolizes “eye”; the second means “target”. Put them together and we see the target. Literally and figuratively, that is purpose.

In a fitness class, is it better to be the instructor or the participant? When you’re the instructor, the great thing is you know what’s coming up. The bad thing is…you know what’s coming up: 100 more squats? 24 more push-ups? Tricep dips to failure? As the participant, you have no idea. Ignorance can be bliss. It can also be scary and downright frustrating. When you live purposefully, you become the instructor…of your life. You build awareness, accountability, and hopefully, acceptance for everything going on in your life…the good, the bad, the drama, the peace.

I did that. 

A single statement that can be both freeing and terrifying. When we realize how much we are involved with what happens to us, we start to choose differently.

Thank you for showing me what I don’t want. 

Powerful, life-changing stuff when we realize what we don’t want. Contrast that sets us up to choose differently next time.

When my 8-month old doesn’t want to eat what’s on the spoon in front of her, she scrunches up her nose, closes her eyes, and shoots one arm across to karate chop said spoonful away (sometimes away…more often, all over me!) We could learn from that. When we continue to eat the disagreeable spoonfuls presented to us, we deceive ourselves into a life by default. We ignore our inner wisdom and poison our bodies with undesirable tastes.

So, this week, keep asking yourself about the purpose of said activity, said spoonful, said person in front of you. When you think in terms of purpose, your thought process becomes more focused, your decisions more succinct, your life more on point.

When we align our lives with purpose, we become who we were always meant to be.

Here are some statements to complete and contemplate this week:

  1. The purpose of this exercise, movement, activity is…
  2. The purpose of this relationship, friendship, opponent is…
  3. The purpose of this thought about my body, capability, intelligence is…
  4. The purpose of that comment to me is…
  5. The purpose of this outfit I’m wearing today is…
  6. The purpose of this food on my plate is…
  7. The purpose of this work, project, class, business trip, meeting, competition is…
  8. The purpose of this purchase, appointment, vacation, indulgence is…
  9. The purpose of this injury, setback, scandal is…
  10. The purpose of my life is…

Do you want to explore PURPOSE further? Click here for quotes, mantras and our willPower dedicated weekly exercise!

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah is a studio owner, fitness instructor and competitor. She is a former investment banker and equity research analyst with her MBA from the Wharton School and her MA in International Affairs from the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. Sarah is fluent in Japanese and consults with Japanese companies on corporate governance, finance, and investor relations. Sarah's interest in Japan stemmed from her first tour with Disney On Ice as a professional figure skater. For more info on Sarah and her studio, visit www.starslocker.com.