Know Your Why – your purpose

Knowing Your Why – your purpose gives you clarity and enables you to be your authentic self. This month’s Mind Gym helps you assess if your purpose has changed and if you’re living it out.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t first drum up people to collect wood, and don’t assign them tasks and duties, rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” – Antonio de St. Exupery, author of The Little Prince

Let me start by telling you a short story about a friend’s dad, Andrew. He had been on the board of directors for a major bank for a number of years. A very astute and clever man, Andrew retired at the age of 68 after many years of active and devoted employment. He liked playing golf and was still happily married. 12 months into his retirement he sadly started losing interest in life – the difficult adjustment from his old work identity and work responsibilities gone. Three years later, Andrew has cancer and dementia. What happened? I believe he lost his sense of purpose, meaning, and identity in life.

Source: Robert Dilts, Neurological Levels of Change

Purpose – sometimes also called vision, higher self, or spirit – is the level at which we define the meaning that we give to our lives, or to anything within it that we do.

Purpose is a consideration of how we fit within the greater whole, and also what value we bring to it.

This could mean how we fit within our partnerships/ marriage/family or work team or organisation or community or environment or the world!

Aligning to our purpose in one or all of these areas creates amazing results – it allows us to know where we are going and why. Because of this, it often gives us the strength, determination and commitment to show the best of ourselves. Every great achievement has been fueled by a clear sense of purpose.

You may have heard of the story about Alfred Nobel – who happened to read his obituary that had been mistakenly written about his own brother. It is reported that after reading the obituary, as the so-called man that invented dynamite and became very wealthy, then went on to set up the Nobel peace prize for promoting world peace!

A short guide to finding your purpose

You might find that your identity has changed and you have to do some thinking around what it is now. Paula, a friend of mine spent the first half of her life as a Mum to 3 boys. Paula’s purpose was to help others to do well in life. She was passionate about giving it her time and energy, for the first half of her life.

Source: Pixabay

Paula is now about to complete her Occupational Therapy degree and become an Occupational Therapist. She still remains a mum and one day will be a grandmother too. Paula has adjusted her priorities and time and energy to achieve the same purpose but in a different way. Her purpose has always been to help and see others benefit and advance in life from the help that she provides for them.

Knowing your purpose will also help you to plan, make room and align the other things in your life to achieve that purpose.

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