I have a confession to make, I’ve been struggling. Things haven’t been falling together as naturally for me as they usually do. I have been waking up in a bit of a fog. And I’ve been doing my best to pull my way out!
I often speak about the importance of having a purpose. Purpose is a foundational aspect of resilience, when you have purpose it’s simply easier to navigate the world.
This isn’t about your life’s purpose, rather it about knowing why you are doing what you are doing AND enjoying what it is you do.
Now when I say knowing “why,” I don’t mean superficially. Most anyway can articulate a quick response to a question such as this. I mean at a deep level.
- Why is this something you are doing?
- Why is it important to you?
- Why are you choosing it over something else?
As a leader it’s critical to truly understand why you are doing what you are doing and being able to articulate that to your direct reports.
If you are proposing a major initiative and you don’t know why, how can you expect others to get behind you and develop the resilience to handle any bumps along the way?
Really knowing your purpose provides alignment and makes it much easier to make decisions.
If the choice doesn’t fit with your purpose, is it really a choice at all?
Sometimes purpose can get buried in the minutia of the day-to-day or simply get lost all together. Lately, this has been my experience. I know my purpose and I try to make decisions based on it but over the past few months I completely lost sight of it. Basically, I’ve been spinning- just functioning, but not with passion and focus forward.
Recognizing this is the first step and recently I did. I am exhausted. Why am I doing all of this work? Realizing I was getting nowhere I took a step back, what IS my purpose?
Ah HA! My purpose is to be able to use my strengths to have a positive impact in the lives of others. I am at my best when I know my work resonates and is meaningful for someone else. I am at my best when I am giving rather than taking.
My light bulb moment was to recognize that as I have been working to reach more people, I have gotten stuck in my “brand.” I started visualizing bestselling books and national tours and I completely forgot why I was doing what I was doing in the first place. I was feeling overwhelmed and ready to just quit. When I recognized it, it all changed. Suddenly it fell into place and I remembered who I am.
Purpose isn’t easy; it takes regular work to keep it on the forefront.
I realize that I am vulnerable right now as I am working to have a larger reach with my message. I realize that I can (and most likely will) get sucked into a spin cycle and temporarily forget my purpose. I’m human. But, I know it’s only temporary…and I can and will move forward.
Take a moment to think about your purpose. Why is it you do what you do? If you don’t know, that’s where you start. Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea, some quiet music in the background, and free write with this question on top: If I (or my team/department/organization) could do anything, what would I do, and why?”
Keep writing until you feel it physically and know, without hesitation, that you have your answer. Then, hold it, post it, share it, lead with it and most importantly, don’t let it get lost in the day-to-day.
Would you mind dropping me an email and sharing with me your purpose? I’d love to hear it.
Make this a great day,