I once worked in a role where I had no accountability at all. My manager never wanted an update, never asked me about the work I was doing and was barely present in my one-to-ones. It sounds great right. A nice, cruisy job without the constant worry of someone looking over your shoulder. After all, nobody likes being micromanaged.
And it was great. Actually, it was really great. Except for one thing. Something was missing. Something big.
I never felt like my job had any meaning and therefore I always felt like I was wasting my time. Mostly, I felt that my being there didn’t serve any purpose.
The mystery of human experience lies not in the staying alive, but in finding something to live for. — Fyodor Dostoyevsky
In my last blog, I spoke about some of the benefits that knowing your purpose can have.
My top 4 includes:
1. Living a life that is true to yourself
2. Ability to focus on the important
3. Allowing you to create a sense of fulfilment
4. Increasing your motivation
Those might be my top four but they’re also just scratching the surface. From a business perspective, there is a direct correlation between purpose-driven culture and business success. I’ve certainly seen that to be evident in both myself and my clients who run their own business and personal fulfilment perspective too.
The end of the year is a great time for reflection so while you’re at it, why not reflect on what you stand for. Here are my 5 steps to get you started.
Start by asking yourself the right questions. Take some time for some self-coaching and consider your answers to these questions:-
What energises you?
What makes you lose track of time?
In what areas are you most talented?
In what ways do you serve your community?
Identify what your answers have in common. For example, when I ask myself the questions above, my key themes include:-
- Having a good conversation
- Helping someone achieve their goal
- Helping someone overcome their challenges
- Learning something new
- Getting (quick) results
Take a different view. We can only ever see ourselves from the lens we use. Sitting in the observers’ seat allows you to really see yourself from a whole new angle. Think about this for a moment. How would you describe what you look like from above? What about if you were observing yourself side on from the left?
Anything you describe now an image that you’ve created because apart from the odd photograph giving you some slight insight, the truth is you don’t really know so your mind just filled in the gaps with whatever information it has.
So take a seat in the observers’ seat now at your 80th birthday party. Imagine that you’re in a room full of people that you love and people that you’ve impacted. In front of you, one of your closest loved ones taps their glass for a toast. That person shares their fondest thoughts about you and passes the floor on to the next person.
As they go around the room sharing their stories, what sorts of things are you hearing? Make a second list of the key themes.
A note on this exercise:- always stay in the observers seat! It can be really easy to float back to being inside your own body but the challenge then becomes that you answer through your own lens again. It may help to visualise yourself as the observer sitting behind yourself so that you maintain dissociation.
Put it all together. By now you should have an idea of where your talent lies, what energises you and in what ways you can serve your community or others. You should start to see a pattern forming and you can use that to identify ways in which you can put it all together.
In my case:-
- I’m passionate about helping people be their best, learning and helping others find their love of learning
- I’m talented in coaching, listening, learning design and facilitation
- I serve the community through volunteering in the learning space and coaching
I can use this:-
- To create engaging learning content so that others develop themselves
- In performance coaching
- In various psychotherapies
- In teaching
- In a mix of all of these
Do something with it. Go out into the world and do it with purpose. Notice how good it feels when what you’re doing aligns with who you are (more on that in our values blog). It doesn’t just feel good, it can be incredibly rewarding. Enjoy it!
The final step
We are a constantly evolving species. The person we were yesterday is not the same as the person we are today. In fact, the person you were when you started reading is not the same as the person you are now because you’re armed with new knowledge. With that in mind, this is not a one-off process. Review your purpose regularly to ensure that you’re constantly aligned.
Need help creating a life of purpose? A coach is a great way to increase your awareness, see new possibilities and implement great strategies to help you live your best self. If you’re interested in learning about how coaching can help you, get in touch now.
Until next time,