Purpose – the Secret to great sleep!

Ever read about the habits of successful leaders?  One of the habits is making health a priority – nutrition, exercise and sleep

I’ve been struggling with my sleep for ages. I have a tracker and one of the things it tracks is my REM and Deep Sleep combined. I’ve been aiming for the recommended Deep Sleep 20% and REM sleep 25% so combined total of 45%.
I tried lots of different things to improve the quality of my sleep, including taking Melatonin, which had short-term impact. But in the last 2 weeks I have noticed a significant shift in my sleep pattern averaging combined REM and Deep Sleep of 43.6% up from an average of 32.1%.

So, what happened?
Well I made a decision to put ‘action to my faith’.  I developed a schedule to enable me to:

stop pondering life purpose and put energy to executing it!

That happened 2 weeks ago and then I woke up this morning to this Inc article:  which notes that researchers at Northwestern University found that “having a purpose in life specifically results in fewer sleep disturbances and improved sleep quality and over a long period of time”.

What if I don’t know my Purpose?

If I don’t know your purpose you need to find it – but how?

Often we make the search for meaning in our lives complicated. When I work with corporations to execute strategy- things are easier with those who have a clear strategy – clarity comes from alignment to their Mission (the reason they exist), their Vision (the impact they dream of making), and their core values. Without too much explanation I can tell you that a Corporation’s Mission IS NOT to make money…although too many think it is. If you want to understand a little more on this, my Blog The Power of Why’

So where do we start?   Start with what you know!   If you have a faith you know you were “created”.  The book, The Purpose Driven Life – Rick Warren  sets out 5 purposes, including being planned for God’s pleasure. I like to think of these multiple purposes as being part of the ‘fullness of our purpose’.

So we know we are planned for God’s pleasure.  We also know we were pre-destined  and that God’s thoughts towards us are “good and not of evil to give us a future and a hope We were no accident, we were planned for by God and He has a purpose for us:

It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone –Ephes 11-12 (Msg)

So what is the overall purpose God is working out? Well we may not know the full extent of this but what we do know is – He intends to reconcile everything to Himself through Christ. Regarding mankind this is to be achieved through the Great Commission “Go make disciples of all nations…”   I love the word “commission” I think of it as two words Co and Mission, that is co-labouring with Christ to execute the Mission . This is a great starting point as it shows we all have, like a Corporation, One Mission.

Executing our Mission

When I think about the ‘fullness of our purpose’ a key part of that is answering the question – how will I execute the Mission?  Just as in a Corporation every individual has a unique part to play in executing the mission so to with us.

Dr. John Stanko is an expert on ‘Purpose’ and helped me on my Purpose journey, which started back in 2000.  His book ‘Life’s a Gold-mine- can you dig it’ really does have nuggets of Gold. Key principles I learned from Dr. Stanko was that finding the unique part of your purpose,  is a journey of discovery.  We must keep asking and seeking the Lord and know he will answer and we will find it. I also learned to be aware of where I ‘sensed God’s pleasure’, that is those things that you do naturally, easily and know it can make a difference.

As you come with me on this journey as one who is Purposed4Leadership take some time to think about your unique Passions, Experiences and Gifts and ask the Lord how you can execute the great Co-Mission.

Have a Great weekend