I recall being bombarded by the use (and abuse) of the word “purpose” during my teenage years that, at the mention of the word, I will subconsciously roll my eyes because it felt abstract to me.
Fast forward to my current reality, I can tell you for free that not much will change in terms of the frequency of the message except that the word in itself would not be so abstract anymore. You will constantly be reminded by TED talks, motivational speeches from peers, parents, religious leaders and even social media. You will be questioned about your purpose and where you do not have a ready answer, you may feel a tinge of disappointment or panic.
Just so we are clear, in my opinion, Purpose is the reason for your creation. It might be something very grand like Yuri Gagarin or may be something humbling, living so selflessly like Mother Teresa . One thing is certain, the things that excite you are not random, they are connected to your purpose. Follow them.
Some people have a head start by discovering their purpose early in life, while some others discover it much later in life. Unfortunately, some others end up living their lives with their purpose untapped.
In the midst of the craziness of our daily lives, it may be scary or even pose as a herculean task trying to discover the reason for your existence. Don’t get flustered, I have a couple of useful tips that can set you off on the journey to discovering your purpose:
Find your heroes
Who do you admire for their courage, achievements and qualities? Who inspires you? Once you discover them, study them. What do you like about them? For instance, there are three women I think very highly of. I have listened to almost every speech given and read almost every article written by two of them, Sheryl Sandberg and Arunma Oteh. I also like Beyoncé, a lot.
I realized that I like the leadership skills of Sheryl Sandberg. Sheryl is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. I think Arunma Oteh is an extremely smart and courageous executive, especially drawing references from her time as the Director General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange before she proceeded to be the Vice-President of the World Bank . And finally Beyoncé, she is resilient and is unstoppable when she sets her sights on anything.
Read, A lot! Read! Read!! Read!!!
I know reading in itself sounds like a chore, but hey relax. Start with book on topics you like, Then progress to authors whose writing style you admire, with time you will catch on. Reading is my happy place, when I am bored or in need of company, I simply pick up a book. It improved my vocabulary and more importantly my outlook on life. A book has the power to completely change how you see the world. You are as powerful as the information you have. Two sure ways of improving the quality of information you have are: Reading and listening. This will be key in discovering your direction and vision.
Challenge the status quo.
I like to call it ‘think different”. One phrase that irks me the most in the work place is, “that is how we have always done it” especially when there is no clear explanation for the reason why a particular process is being adopted. Think different, see different. First, Don’t challenge processes blindly, understand the reasoning behind the process then find a better way. After all, there is always a better way.
What is your belief system:
A lot of your actions come from what you believe in and I am not referring to only your religious beliefs. What principles do you hold dear and what is the threshold for some of your actions and inactions. Your belief system is so important that it has the ability to determine your risk appetite.
I should add here that, if any of the tips listed above do not help with pointing you in the direction of your purpose, Do not fret. Keep an open mind in discovering what works for you.
Execute! Execute!! Execute!!!
There is no point buying the best materials or hiring the best engineers, if no one actually starts the construction of a building. A plan remains only a plan if it is not implemented. So also is your purpose only going to remain abstract if you do not actively take steps to bring it to a reality in your life. It will require hard work.
Surround yourself with excellence, After all, you are the sum of the 5people you spend the most time with. Find Lifters. It is also important that you get feedback. Keep working on yourself. Keep what works for you, do away with what doesn’t .Build up on your skills. Find the gaps you need to work on and build your skills. Measure your progress, that way you appreciate your journey a lot more and won’t be so hard on yourself.
I hope you enjoyed this write up.
Lots of Love