Purpose is a funny thing. People say it a lot; we hear it a lot; we reference it a lot… But I’d argue we don’t understand the effects of “purpose” a lot.
If we are lucky, our goals will align with our stated purpose. When that is true, good things happen… actually, GREAT things happen. We don’t often state our purpose, and I bet many of you reading this couldn’t give me your purpose this very instant.
Still thinking about it? YOUR purpose. Not your company mission statement; not your professional goals; not your health goals. What’s your purpose?
It’s hard to say it, even after identifying it. Why? Because you become very vulnerable when you admit to your purpose. There is a natural defensiveness in us all – to not allow ourselves to be “vulnerable”. It’s a survival instinct. Stephen Covey is world known for conflict resolution – what’s at the base of, The 3rd Alternative? Purpose. Get past the superficial and get to what really matters for all parties, and there is almost always a 3rd, and better, alternative.
What have you done lately to identify your purpose? Reflect lately? I mean truly reflect. Not brag at yourself for accomplishments, or complain about those “other things” that keep getting in the way of what’s “yours” – but reflect.
For me, I think it’s a huge question that I don’t know if I can answer. But, I’ve figured out how to identify short-term purpose. They’re called, “goals”. You can endure anything if you have a purpose to do so. Nobody I’ve ever spoke to would go to Boot Camp or Officer Candidate School if it didn’t result in becoming a military service member. I didn’t go to Boot Camp for fun – I went to become a Marine. I didn’t go to OCS and trade my “rockers” for “butterbars” because I wanted to be a “Boot” again and enjoyed PT and getting yelled at; I wanted to be an Infantry Officer and lead Marines at the ultimate test of leadership – the world has ever known.
Take a look at what you do each day, and answer yourself: Does this fulfill my purpose?