What is your purpose in life? Why do you exist? What are you trying to achieve in life? What are your goals? What is your vision?
I ask these questions frequently as I work with clients and many of them are uncertain about their answers. They are wandering through life hoping to find purpose, but wondering just the same.
Why do people wander? They let busyness take over their lives. They confuse hard work with purpose. What an unhappy trap for business owners and executives. Busyness becomes their purpose and in doing they seem to lose direction and hope. When they lose hope they quickly come to a point of burnout because they no longer know why they exist and why they should care. They become people who are only going through the motions. Jane Johnson Struck defines these people as captives of hopelessness and despair in her article, “Becoming a Purpose-Filled Woman”, Today’s Christian Woman (January/February 2006).
My father once told me if I didn’t know where I was going, I would surely end up where I didn’t want to be. That wasn’t for me. I had this desire in my heart to lead a life that had significance. And I believe almost everyone has this heart desire to lead a life of significance and meaning. So how does one get there? Here are some thoughts on this matter.
I believe one may find his/her purpose at the intersection of his/her passions, talents, core values and motivations.
- Start by listing the things in life you’re passionate about.
- Next list the things you’re talented at – things that are easy for you to do. Maybe one of your talents is listening.
- Okay, what are the core values you live your life by?
- Finally, what are your motivations? They could be growth, or achievement. Maybe money or something tangible is your driving force.
Ask friends to help with this process. They can give you insight into yourself (especially in defining your talents) that will help you find your purpose and help you on your way. Another helpful means of finding your purpose is to look back over your life and record your successes. What were you passionate about when achieving these talents and what talents were you using in the process? What was motivating you?
Here’s the important statement for you to complete.
I exist for the purpose of serving others by ___________.
Ask your friends what they think about you’re purpose statement. Does it ring true to them? Let it sit for a few days and then return to it and see if it is still a strong reflection of you. This will take some time but it is well worth the effort.
Why do this? Well, the truth is that living a purpose-filled life is about living a life filled with hope and significance. There is a proverb that basically says, “Without vision the people perish.” How about it if we make this year a year of purpose rather than a year of wandering.
How do we do this? Call Doris for an HR Pathways demo!