It's May 12, 2021, and for the past 15 months, we’ve been impacted in how we live, learn, and lead differently during a global pandemic.
We’ve learned much about ourselves and others, and what truly matters. As a result, people have left jobs they never liked, moved long distances to be closer to family members, and started new careers centered around their passions.
The massive disruptions we’ve experienced have made us more aware of our priorities, while also raising questions about our purpose and if we’re really living a happy and fulfilling life.
As we transition back to our offices, social gatherings, networking events and more, could now be the right time to reinvent yourself as a leader and individual with clarity about your true purpose?
Richard Leider, an expert in helping people define their purpose, says...
"Purpose is a verb…it is an active, inspirational aim; the power in purpose is activated when we wake up in the morning with our purpose foremost in our minds and when we go to bed at night knowing that we worked toward it.”
We feel great about ourselves and the lives we’re living, if we know we’re living our purpose.
Living a purpose-driven life should be centered around what you’re naturally good at, what you’re passionate about, and it should be congruent with your priorities and values. It’s definitely not about trying to live your life in order to please others.
Throughout our lives, there are mile markers like getting an education, beginning a career, having a family, moving up in our careers, etc. Our purpose in those “middle years” of one’s life may be centered on being a great parent while being a top contributor to a company. When those roles change, what do we do? What is our purpose when the kids are grown, and the financially rewarding career has come to an end?
We can begin to feel like we matter less without our former roles that occupied a lot of our time at work and at home.
The phrase, “finding our purpose” is a bit misleading, because the answer is already within. It may change over time as our roles in life shift, but it’s never outside of us.
Some people believe you’re born with a specific purpose in life, and it’s part of your destiny, and others believe we choose our purpose freely and create the life we want.
Neither belief is better than the other. What matters is what you believe, so you can decide to live the purpose you think you were born to have, or freely choose the purpose you want to have.
Clarifying our purpose at any stage of life requires us to pay attention to who we have become because we are different at 50 years old than when we were 25! We can use our curiosity, motivation, intuition and life experiences to reset our purpose when we feel the need to do so.
Ideally, your purpose should leverage three things: your gifts, passions and values. Identifying those three things will go a long way in helping you reset your purpose.
If you’re not clear about your purpose at this stage of your life, you may simply need a different mindset – a different way of thinking about it, as suggested below by Richard Leider:
“Having a mindset of living purposefully -- choosing how you will use your gifts and talents to create more meaning in your life, is more important than focusing on having a purpose. The majority of people believe we all have a purpose, but they have no clue what it may be or how to find out.”
He suggests asking yourself the following questions:
1. Have you recently felt like you’d like to be doing more with your life?
2. Do you often yearn to use your gifts (natural talents) to contribute more to the world?
3. Do you feel like you’re “majoring in the minors” – wasting time on things that are too small for you?4. Do you desire to “major in the majors” – to serve others in a larger way but you don’t know how?
5. Do you ever wonder if “this is it?
If you can say “yes” to any of these questions, you’re probably ready to renew your purpose.
No one wants to get to the end of their life and feel like they did NOT live a purposeful, meaningful life. It’s the only one we get, yet 72% of Americans regret later in life that they did not take time to focus on who they could have become if they lived their purpose.
Living your purpose enriches your life tenfold, and it means that…
•You’re growing and expanding through experiences that light you up.
•You’re excited to get up and out of bed every day to help someone, solve a problem, make someone’s day, create something amazing and when you go to sleep at night, you have this deeply gratifying feeling that you gave 110%, were very productive and did your best.
•You focus on what matters and you minimize negative distractions.
•You feel more passionate about everything in your life.
•You’re intrinsically motivated to do what you do.
•You have more clarity about who you are and what you want to do, so you don’t waste time on irrelevant stuff.
•You live with total integrity because you know yourself better than ever and your actions are aligned with your priorities and values.
•You have a more positive outlook, more fun and you feel like you’re in flow a lot of the time.
•You feel more joy, fulfillment and freedom from worries in your life.
If you’d like to know more about how I help leaders renew their purpose and achieve higher levels of success, connect with me by clicking here. Together, we can figure out if I can help you in your leadership journey.
Here's to living with clarity about your purpose!
Jennell Evans, MA, CMMI
Leadership | Emotional Intelligence | Mindfulness
Advisor & Speaker