What is a high endeavor?
Let me tell you…
A High Endeavor is any undertaking worthy of your energy, love and devotion.
This could mean showing up for your kid’s soccer game, washing the dishes or listening to a friend in need.
These are all high endeavors minus the adventure…essential parts of life, yes, but they don’t necessarily inspire you to be the best possible version of yourself.
Because without the element of high endeavor, an “adventure” is just doing something you don’t usually do, and which you may or may not grow from.
And choosing a high endeavor is akin to deciding which mountain — metaphorical or real — inspires you to align your values with your actions.
But before you do anything…
“It is essential to regularly take stock of your values, and then do whatever you can to align your life with your most critical values. Living in harmony with those values creates the fertile environment for happiness and peace of mind. Some people call this living authentically.” – Live Bold & Bloom
So when you’re tuned in to your values, and your actions support them, you can summit any mountain you choose!
And because the experience of summiting these mountains changes you — the more challenging the mountain — the more potential you have for growth.
And yet, it is so easy to get derailed and lose track of the very thing that drives and motivates you.
It’s easy to get lead astray by shiny object syndrome. To get pulled towards something that seems like a good idea, but acts a distraction from what is most important.
Or the opposite of that…feelings of overwhelm and impossibility can hold you back. Especially if you view the mountain as one giant conquest, rather than a series of small steps.
It’s why you need to:
LEAD WITH INTEGRITY
An essential component of any high endeavor is your relationship with it.
It’s important to understand and acknowledge that external definitions of success — what or how things ‘should’ be — offers no practical value or foundational support for your sustained success.
An external definition can provide momentary satisfaction and validation when facing a challenge. But mostly, it acts to derail you from your high endeavors by placing meaning and importance on something outside of yourself.
Always live your truth.
“Integrity can be defined as always interacting with others ethically and honorably…approaching work with honesty, and having made a commitment, keeping your word.” Michael Lee Stallard
Walk your talk.
And interact ethically and honorably with yourself…not just others.
So how do you stay fully engaged and reach those summits without losing focus?
START ON ROUTE
How you start your day plays a critical role in living a fully engaged life and maintaining your core values.
You’ve most likely heard me talk about easing into your day…with a breath rather than a bang and creating a morning routine to set the standard for the rest of your day.
A morning routine instills discipline and helps your mind to stay focused and engaged.
My ideal day blueprint is an excellent tool for establishing a 20 minute morning routine that leads to a more productive day.
Part of the routine includes free journaling that acts as a brain dump — setting specific and measurable goals that support your high endeavor will keep you oriented and moving in the right direction.
If you haven’t downloaded my ideal day blueprint yet, I highly recommend it.
When climbing a new or established route, it quickly becomes apparent when you go off route…
…the rock quality degrades, the options for safety protection diminish and the movement becomes less fluid and less obvious.
And you begin to struggle both physically and mentally.
The same thing happens when you stray off course from your high endeavors.
BLOCK AND PROTECT YOUR TIME
Your time is precious, and everyone wants a piece of it.
Every interruption, every call for help from family, friends or coworkers is a distraction.
If you want to work towards your high endeavors, then you must protect your time at all cost and allocate it to work for you in service of your high endeavors.
Be vigilant and disciplined that your time is yours and yours to decide how to use.
Planning your week with a detailed scan of your calendar to add, remove, or adjust your schedule to work for you is also essential. It ensures you are directing your time and energy on activities that will move you closer to your goals.
REMOVE DISTRACTING TASKS
Distracting tasks creep in from all directions…of course, there are regular life events, but it’s important to pay attention and know the difference.
…because these distractions serve to entertain and maintain the status quo by keeping you so busy and involved with trivial matters that you can’t attend to the bigger picture.
Important means: long-term, foundational, coherent, in the interest of many, strategic, efficient, positive…
If you take care of important things, the urgent things don’t show up as often. The opposite is never true.
When you allow urgent tasks to pull you away from the important ones, your high endeavors remain in a distant future waiting for you to someday attend to them — and will remain there as long as you allow unnecessary distractions to dictate your time and energy.
And do anything you can to clear your path and remove unimportant tasks from acting as a barrier to reaching your goals.
KEEP YOUR ENDEAVORS FRONT OF MIND
Keep a note or photo on your desk. Tape a phrase to your laptop. Write your high endeavors somewhere…anywhere you can see them often.
Any simple communication that cues you to stay present and focused will work.
A reminder that your decisions, actions and time demand you keep your high endeavors front of mind and necessitate decision-making to maintain that immediacy.
YOUR HIGH ENDEAVOR + VALUES IN ACTION
When you are empowered by the why, it’s easier to stick to your goals.
When your values are clear, it’s easier to determine your actions.
And when your values and actions are aligned you can purposefully pursue your high endeavors and live a fully engaged life.
The best part?
The lessons learned and applied throughout your life occur long after you have stood on each mountain peak.
The most significant enlightenment you face as a leader lay not in the brute success of standing on the summit, but in the nuanced application of the lessons learned in the process.
Sustained learning continues by applying those lessons in all areas of your life.
And your integrity as a leader is evident in your ability to maintain focus and direction towards your high endeavors regardless of external influence and factors.
The lessons gained from past experiences — previous mountains — help you frame what to pursue in the future. It is that core sense of applying your values that clarifies your direction and refines your ability to choose and engage in future high endeavors.
Do you feel like your values and actions are supporting your high endeavors?
If you have questions about this or need help connecting the dots, please email me, I’d love to chat.