Recently I have been having a lot of conversations with people about ‘purpose’; their purpose, the organisational purpose and even the purpose for a meeting or project team. I therefore thought a series of very short blogs on finding our purpose could well be helpful for many of you.
This is part two. If you missed part one then you can find it here:
Thanks for all the lovely comments from the first blog. There were a couple of more general questions in addition to confidential personal ones I have addressed with individuals.
Q: When is it best to find our purpose? – to be honest, when we have a defined purpose our performance is always better as we have more confidence, clarity and resilience. If we follow this train of thought then the best time is when you feel that you could do with more of these three characteristics in your life and/or business.
Q: How often should our purpose change? – this is a super question. In my experience our purpose is like the diamond in the rock: it is always there and never changes. I don’t believe we ‘create’ a purpose it’s more that we reveal it by chipping away at the rock that gets in the way of us seeing and connecting with it. That said, there are different levels of clarity with which we see such diamonds, and over time we can cut it and polish it to become the most beautiful jewel in our life. In summary, a purpose is better than no purpose but the ideal is to reveal the purpose, but please be patient; finding our purpose is not always easy nor obvious.
Without a purpose we can drift from month to month and year to year, being blown by the metaphorical wind and tide of life with no focus on where we should be heading. With a (strong) purpose we can weather most storms, show resilience, courage and an inner confidence that others find comforting and inspirational.
So the questions that come to mind are:
What is a purpose, why is it so important and how do we find our own?
This is the second of three separate and short blogs over a couple of weeks. I would love to hear your feedback as we go so I can address any questions in the next instalment, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Why is finding our purpose so important?
A clear purpose gives us resilience, courage and an inner confidence that others find comforting and inspirational. Having a strong purpose takes us beyond ourselves and soon we are fighting for a much greater good and thus the level of our own importance diminishes.
This is true servant leadership and takes us to a place where our levels of success and achievement can surpass anything we previously thought possible. Think here of Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama as prime examples of humble leaders with an amazing intent that shone from within them and made them feel nothing and yet everything all at the same time.
Simply put, our purpose helps us put the jigsaw of our life both together and then on display in a way that helps to organise others to achieve something together. This creates some wonderous and even miraculous movements and events; think of the end of apartheid in South Africa, the collapse of the Berlin Wall in Germany and even Live Aid. None of these happened overnight, and all started with an incredible purpose to impact beyond any individual, that gelled communities to come together and achieve the impossible.
Now, not all purposes need to be world-changing, but the higher the context of our purpose, the more transformative we can be.
See our third and final blog on finding our purpose here.
If you’re interested in learning more or finding help to find your purpose, as an individual, team or organisation then do get in touch.
After all, iTS Leadership!