It’s that time of year again - we’re expected to have our resolutions at the ready. But a resolution without a meaningful purpose attached to it is like an envelope placed in the mail without an address. It’s pretty much going nowhere. Purpose is what propels us to take action in both our personal and professional lives, infusing passion into our efforts. But what is the real power of purpose and how do you know when you’ve seized it?
Genuine purpose is more than a reason to bother with something. It’s a drive to pursue an interest that becomes a hunger that becomes the essence of who we are and how we connect with the world. We don’t exit the womb knowing our purpose. It’s something that comes to light over time, maturing as we do in practice and experience. But we have to pay attention to the sparks that light our fire:
Motivation – As humans, we need to be moved to care enough to put energy into anything. Once we understand what’s important to us, what we value, our motors start to run.
Intention – Knowing the outcome we want, what our mission is, will guide our motivation toward a goal.
Force – When something is a part of who we are, we can’t deny it. We’ll feel a pull over and over again toward a certain result because it makes us feel whole. No matter how hard something is, no matter how many times we fail, we will go back for more because of the magnetic force of our purpose.
Others – You’ll know your purpose when it’s no longer about you. We unconsciously recognize how we are intertwined with each other, our communities, our environments. With true purpose, what we seek to accomplish goes beyond what’s in it for us. It’s experiencing the satisfaction of having an impact on others and believing that we have something valuable to leave behind.
When we tap into the powerful nature of our purpose, work no longer seems like work, life seems less difficult, and we look forward to the challenge of being better.
What’s your purpose for 2018?