There is a lot of talk about setting goals.I am big believer in having goals, systems to track them and plans to achieve them. However, one area that I don’t think is covered enough is Purpose. Through both my coaching business and in my personal life I get to speak to a lot of people. I find that the vast majority of people are just wandering through life without any sense of purpose. They go to work, do their hours and go home. They have good days and bad days but on the whole are fairly uninspired. This is largely down to them not knowing what their work purpose is (other than paying the bills). They haven’t taken some time out to seriously look at this
The most successful people in any walk of life tend to have a well defined sense of who they are and a clear purpose or meaning to their work. Because they know this, they find that they are passionate and motivated to come to work. They find their work provides them with energy and a context to their life. They know their why, they know their purpose
Don’t get me wrong, you can go through life without having a clear purpose and you can even be quite successful. However it will come at a cost. You might put the hours in and have the talent to succeed at something but you will feel drained of your energy. Work will just be a means to an end for you and after a number of years it will wear you down. You will be counting the days to retirement and dream of winning the lottery to escape the 9-5
So how do you understand your purpose. Although every individual has their own way of working this out there are a few steps that can help you
Understand your values – This is the first and most important step. You need to know at the core what you find most important, what you believe in and what you want to be aligned to.
Think of what naturally comes good to you and what you get complimented on– It’s far easier if you align your purpose to something that naturally comes to you
Think of what you would do if you were guaranteed not to fail– Most people settle for something because they are afraid to go for what they really want. Lose the fear and see where your mind takes you. That is your passion and ultimately your purpose
Think about what you want to be remembered for – If someone was reading your Eulogy what would they say about the contribution that you made through your work. Thinking about this can help you narrow down on your purpose
The 4 step process above can help you towards understanding your purpose. I’d encourage everyone to go through the exercise to get a better sense of what and why they should be doing what their doing.
In the words of Tony Robbins “Activity without purpose is the drain of your life’