I’d like to talk about the power of knowing your purpose or “knowing your why.”
So, what’s the deeper purpose that drives you? What’s the larger cause that you’re fighting for?
It’s important to figure this out because research shows that people who lack purpose are more likely to be sick, depressed, and anxious. The good news is that people who have a strong sense of purpose are happier and live longer (Hill & Turiano, 2014).
But, what is a “purpose” anyway?
Our purpose, according to Ken Blanchard, is not the same as having a goal. Many people confuse the two.
Here’s the difference. You can check a goal off of a list. But, Blanchard says a purpose has no end. A purpose is an on-going calling, reason, or vision for your life. It’s the force that drives you toward your goals, your “why.” So, let me ask. What were you put on Earth to do?
Mother Teresa’s purpose was to serve the sick and dying with love when nobody else would. She wanted to help the poorest of the poor die with dignity. Wow!!!
The vision of the online organization the All In One Academy is to change “education for the better by providing a quality world-class education to anyone anywhere.” I just love this.
But, you don’t need a fancy-sounding vision statement to know your purpose. You just need clarity. My personal vision is pretty simple: To teach emerging leaders the best communication skills available.
A purpose has lots of benefits in addition to health and happiness I mentioned earlier.
1. A clear purpose connects us to something bigger than ourselves. Even a well-paying job :moneybag: can seem pointless if we don’t understand why we’re doing it. We thrive when we see a good reason to work hard.
2. A clear purpose makes the best decisions more obvious.
Should you apply for a promotion? Start your own business? If saying “yes” aligns with your vision for your life, then go for it. If not, then pass.
John Maxwell, the famous leadership author, once wrote, “Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the great.” Vision clarifies priorities.
3. A clear purpose will help you keep moving forward not matter what comes.
In graduate school, some of my classmates didn’t complete the program. When writing 30-page papers at 2 a.m., they asked themselves, “Why am I even in grad school?” They couldn’t think of good enough reasons to suffer through it. In contrast, the students who finished program had clear answers to that question. We knew our “why.” In Benin, most of students post on Slack to meet All In One-Academy requirements OR they just post for the instructor. It is a MISTAKE.
So, give yourself some time to reflect about what you feel called to do. If you’re the praying type, pray for clarity. Or, ask a trusted friend for their point of view on your calling.
There’s an old saying that makes a lot of sense to me: “The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”
But, maybe you already have a sense for the deeper purpose of your life. Maybe you know pretty well what “gets your motor running.” If so, remind yourself of that purpose daily.