I came across this great model about purpose recently, and whilst it’s pretty self-explanatory it made me really consider my purpose. I like the model, but I’m not sure that all purposes are necessarily linked to jobs or professions. In fact I think that sometimes we define ourselves too much by our job. This became apparent to me when I took a year off to travel two years ago and I had many moments of thinking – Who am I when I’m not at work and how will I define myself if I’m not in a corporate role. What if I don’t return to that role, who will I be?
For me the experience was somewhat freeing, take away the structure, the routine, the status and corporate expectations and what was left? What were my personal values, strengths and capabilities that were true to me and at the core of who I am? What was the scaffolding of my purpose?
I wasn’t sure I knew how to go about navigating my way through this unknown terrain, yet the possibility of moving forward with clarity, vitality and purpose was encouraging and illuminating.
Having time out doing what I love was certainly a key contributor to progressing my thinking about these lofty questions. I’m not suggesting everyone needs time out to travel to determine his or her purpose, but I am suggesting that everyone needs time out. This may just be a few moments everyday, or a couple of hours each week. The power of creating time to contemplate the purpose and meaning in what we do, is in my mind critical to our ability to flourish. How do we know if we’re heading in the right direction if we don’t take time to look at the map?
Here are a few simple tips on finding meaning and purpose:
- Identify the activities that are meaningful for you. These are the things that just feel right when you’re doing them, they have purpose and you feel authentic when you’re doing them.
- Identify the things that you are good at. The things that make you feel at your best when you are doing them.
- Create a brief statement that ties together what you are good at and what provides you with a sense of purpose. Create a mantra you can repeat over and over. Keep the phrase simple but comprehensive enough to answer the question: How do I want to invest my precious and limited time and effort?
- Check how your mantra supports your goals.
- Develop new insights and skills that help you to live your purpose with meaning.
- Take the time to reflect, savour moments and be 100% present. Recognize that sense of internal fulfillment and calmness when you re clear on your purpose.
- Find ways to spend more time doing the things that link to your purpose, or find ways to link what you do to your purpose.
Take some time out and join us on the LEAP Programme in Bali July 21-31 to explore more about “What is the scaffolding of your purpose?”