In The 3Ps to Launch, Grow or Reinvent Your Career – Part 1, we talked about your passion and purpose as being ‘what’s right with you’. We also outlined some tips on how to tap into your passions. In Part 2 we look at your Purpose.
Purpose – Your ‘Why?’
Working out your purpose is no small question, yet this is probably more important than your passions. This is because, while your passions can be transient, your purpose tends to be more stable. Your purpose can be described as your ‘why?’ and this is what will allow you to thrive not only at work, but at life. Your life purpose doesn’t have to be your career or your job, but if you can align the two, all the better.
“He who has a why can endure any how.”
German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche once said, ‘He who has a why can endure any how.’ Knowing your why is an important first step in figuring out how to achieve the goals that excite you and that help you create a career and a life you enjoy. Focusing on your purpose can also help to keep you going during challenging times.
Purpose and Meaning in Life Are Fundamental Human Needs
In positive psychology terms, achieving a meaningful life contributes to an increased sense of wellbeing. And that’s because finding purpose or meaning in life and contributing are fundamental human needs.
Great! So how on earth do you work this out! And, does this actually have to come from your work? And how is it different from your passions?
Where Do You Invest?
One way to understand your purpose is to think about where you feel driven to invest your time, your focus and your personal energy.
Going Back to Move Forward
For me, going back to move forward was helpful in working through my purpose. Thinking back to when I was a teenager, I was always drawn to the helping professions. I got off track for a bit because back then the helping professions were all in the therapeutic or medical space. I’ve since realised that my purpose is more around helping people thrive through the developmental spaces (coaching and training), rather than the therapeutic spaces. When I think about my why, it’s the satisfaction I get from supporting people to thrive. When I found myself in roles that didn’t allow me to do this, I wasn’t really happy and needed to find ways to ensure I could come back to this.
Some examples of purpose might include a few of the following: for healers, their purpose may be about improving and sustaining well-being; for artists, it may about creating something meaningful or beautiful; entrepreneurs and inventors might want to bring new and useful things into the world; for justice-seekers, it’s often about righting wrongs, defending the defenseless and making the world a better place.
Purpose and Values
As you can imagine, all our ‘whys’ are underpinned by different values, and tapping into your values is an important part of working out your purpose. Importantly too, it’s about then making sure your values are aligned with your actions, with the work you do, and ideally, with the values of the company you work for or you would like to work for.
There are many ways to explore your values. One way I heard about that won’t give you a definitive answer, but which acts as a bit of a thought starter, is to ask yourself three questions:
Again, this isn’t going to give you a definitive list, but it’s a thought starter.
If you are interested in delving into your purpose and into your values in greater depth, give me a call (0413 776 564) and we can work this through together.
Once you have a good understanding of your passions and purpose, you will want to express this through your Personal Brand. We’ll discuss this in Part 3.
Have a wonderful day.
Laurenne Di Salvo
Leadership & Professional Development Coach | Corporate Trainer | Learning & Development Consultant
0413 776 564