There has to be more to life than this, right?
If we are honest, we have all had that thought on more that one occasion, but why are we driven to see more, feel more, do more and achieve more? I think, it’s the insatiable desire to feel valued and have purpose in life.
It’s funny how we humans process things of importance. I mean, success is based on what we have achieved and where our material capital is situated, rather than what and who we have to share it with. There are so many opportunities that buzz in and out of our life, that we often find ourselves fleeting from one thing to the next. But how do I know what I’m doing is what I’m put on this earth to do? We constantly find ourselves asking “who am I, and what was I put here for?”
There are two powerful days in your life. The day you were born, and the day you discover why. The day we are born, well, that’s pretty straight forward, but the why are we here and what am I meant to do, is the golden question we are all seeking out the answer for. Purpose, or the why, is our life strategy that creates a centre to everything we do. It’s the reason we do what what we do, it’s the reason we work or follow our business idea, or dream of doing the things we love someday. But to a few people who genuinely seek out why they are on this planet, the challenge is to see that which is unseen in our thoughts, become reality. I have been asked on more than one occasion, how do I truly, genuinely know what my ‘why’ is. It’s a genuine question, and as leaders, how do we get other people to know our ‘why’.
Purpose is far more than a frosted glass statement in the reception of our organisations, it’s a clear and definitive direction where it is communicated. It’s how we measure progress, but more importantly, it’s why we exist. You can always motivate people to do things based on reward of work, like having an innovative idea, or hitting budget for the month. But, what if we could achieve so much more than reward for good work and we could start to see ownership of culture and vision? Or in other terms – our ‘why’. How much more progress could we see if in our own organisations we could know our own purpose of what we do and how we do it, simply because we displayed our ‘why’.
As human beings we are motivated to contribute, and we are motivated to contribute by two drivers – emotion and purpose. Emotion is the ‘humaness’ of our contribution, and purpose is the strategy to achieve it. In other words, I do this for my family and their future, so that they are safe and taken care of, and I contribute to this by creating a plan to see my business flourish, not only financially, but in leaving a legacy for my family for the future. If you can understand the ‘what is my purpose’ on this planet, then it literally will change your world. And if it can change one life, what else could it impact. Imagine an organisation that is forefront in their purpose, an organisation where everyone is given space to achieve the ‘why’.
To simplify this, I heard a great example of finding your purpose the other day, and it was this… Ask yourself these five questions, and as you do, say the answer out loud. What is your name. What do you love to do. Who do you do it for (in other words, what is your focus audience). How does what you do, help fulfill their want or need. How do they change or transform as a result of what you do? Now, say the whole five answers out loud. There’s your purpose. Imagine what would happen if we asked the same questions in our organisations and then made our ‘why’ known.