At The Change Maker Group, we have the privilege of speaking with people in multi-national companies, local charities, NHS, education and the community at large. From these conversations we are well aware of how many people are feeling rudderless. The world has shifted and changed so much in the past 2 years, who are you now?
As a result of these conversations The Change Maker Group has launched a ‘Reset to Change’ series. The first is ‘Reset for Resilience’ and will be aired very soon.
A fundamental aspect of Resetting is having a Purpose in your life. This is where we will start with a 2-part insights series. Cathy Summers and Vanda North will briefly address three aspects, and please do contact us if you wish to continue the conversation.
- Why is life Purpose necessary?
- And why is it EXTRA important right now?
- How do I find my purpose?
1. Why is life Purpose necessary?
Corporations would benefit greatly by taking the time to help their staff discover and live their vision and purpose. Then look at how the jobs they do can help both the staff and the corporate visions be attained. This would raise ‘work’ to have energy, motivation, and dedication to the new, appropriate, and needed level to manage the turbulent change times of now.
Let me give you an example – a story that happened to me many years ago and that I have shared with thousands of people, re-appreciating its lesson over and over. It ties together all the points we are going to share and shows them in action. It shows their power.
It all began while visiting the ladies’ room in a company in America, some 55 years ago. As I entered, I was impressed by the fresh flowers and pot-pouri, it was before this had become the fashion in toilets. I was looking for a dish to leave a tip when the attendant came in. I went to express my appreciation and she said, “It is my goal to make everyone feel a little better than when they came in. Often people are rushed and preoccupied, or maybe stressed and upset, so I try to make a calm, peaceful and happy atmosphere, they can feel cared for and ‘at home’.”
She went on to tell me how she did this from her small pay, because she felt it was so important, then one day someone had given her a budget to pay for the flowers. “You know,” she went on to tell me, “You can tell a lot about a company by its toilets!”.
That story has inspired me since that day.
This lady did not let her role in life, being a toilet attendant, stop her from having a vision and purpose. She was a woman with a mission and played her role with all her energy and focus. She made an amazing difference in so many peoples’ lives. And since then, I always check out a company’s toilet!
The power of a life lived with a resilient purpose, verses a life lived without a purpose is so very great. The feeling of confidence, worth, contribution, legacy, and wellbeing attained from living your life with purpose is unparalleled by any other endeavour.
The power of your purpose is so great that I call it the “second pulse” and in fact, I believe keeps the other beating when all circumstances of a physical cause may have stopped it.
Context versus content
Your Purpose creates “context” and therefore a reason for all your activities and the general “content” of YOUR life.
The Purpose is your ultimate goal; it is your “Albuquerque”. This represents your final destination.
However, it does NOT say what route you will take,
It does NOT say what methods of transportation you will use,
It does NOT say how long the journey will take, etc.
It DOES say that the ultimate goal is to get to Albuquerque.
So, the content – the journey, the method, the means, the speed and travelling companions are all yours to change and choose.
The steady pulse beat is that you are eventually heading towards Albuquerque.
Your purpose provides your life its reason for being. Its knowledge of “Why I am here” as opposed to “Why AM I here??”
2. And why is it EXTRA important right now?
As people adapt to the new circumstances of work, effective leaders increasingly focus on helping people to make sense of events.
In McKinsey’s article ‘The next normal’ they share that the search for meaning is intrinsic to recovery from trauma and crisis. For many, the workplace is a powerful source of identity and meaning. Research has shown that meaning and associated well-being can explain up to 25 percent of performance. Leaders can shape a meaningful story for the organisation and help people build their own stories, invoking common culture and values as touchstones for healing and strength. In their messaging, they underscore a shared sense of purpose, point to how the organisation can rally at a generation-defining moment, and indicate new paths to the future.
How Vision, Purpose, and Mission work together
Let’s get clear on what we mean by these – as far as your people are concerned:
Your vision is the completed ‘picture’ of what it will be like when you are / have achieved your purpose. It provides the inspiration to keep on going. It answers the question ‘What?’
An individual’s purpose is the motor to keep them going. It’s their contribution to making the vision happen and answers the question ‘Why?’
Their mission is all the ways they may help realise your vision and answers the question ‘How?’
“You’re born, pay taxes and then you die!”
Many individuals do not feel they have a purpose in life, over and above existing, putting food on the table and paying the bills. They are just “going through life”. Some of the more cynical will say “You’re born, pay taxes and then you die!”.
Ironically, it’s much easier to manage your life and all its demands when they are placed in the context of your vision and purpose for yourself.
The power of a life lived with a resilient vision and purpose is so very great. The feeling of confidence, worth, contribution, legacy, and wellbeing attained from living your life with a purpose is unparalleled by any other endeavour.
A life lived with vision, purpose energy and joy is also highly visible and infectious – in a good way! – inspiring others and starting a ripple effect.
So how many of your workforce feel inspired with Purpose at work?
Imagine if you asked your workforce the following questions:
- Do you have / remember your purpose? Y / N
- Is your purpose clear and detailed? Y / N
- Do you live your purpose every day? Y / N
- Have you forgotten/forsaken your dreams? Y / N
- Would you like life to be “easier”? Y / N
- Do you feel constantly ‘tapped” or tired? Y / N
- Could you use more energy? Y / N
- Is your life ‘joyous’? Y / N
- Do you share joy? Y / N
- Has your life lost its meaning? Y / N
In part 2 of your purpose insights, we will explore the crucial aspect of, if you don’t think you have a Purpose, and you’d like one – how to find your life Purpose.