Two bricklayers are working alongside one another at a building site. A man walks by and asks one of them what they’re doing.
The first bricklayer replies, “I don’t know and I don’t care. All I do is slap this crummy mortar on these crummy bricks and pile them up in a crummy line.”
The other bricklayer smiles, proudly proclaiming, “I’m helping to build the new cathedral.”
We’ve all met people who focus on the “what” they’re doing instead of the “why” they’re doing it. It’s difficult to feel passionate about something when we’re missing the meaning behind what we’re doing and why we’re here.
So why are we here? What’s our purpose?
How a person defines purpose has as much to do with his or her mindset as it does with personal, philosophical, cultural, religious and scientific beliefs.
The Purpose of Knowing Your Purpose
Defining purpose in work, life and business is not about the daily tasks, it’s about the reason for the tasks in the first place – the why, not the what. Discovering purpose allows a person to create the vision behind the tasks, and knowing that vision can dramatically change results.
For example, a chef’s purpose is not to cook food – that’s a task. The reason for this task is to help people enjoy life by having a good time with loved ones around a meal they didn’t have to prepare (or clean up) themselves.
People who are fulfilled at work know how their work supports the company’s vision, values and goals. This is true whether they own the company or work for someone else.
Knowing your purpose:
· Give meaning to everything that you do.
· Guides you through the tough times and difficult decisons.
· Encourages you to follow your heart instead of following the crowd.
· Motivates you on your journey even when you encounter failure or rejection.
How to Fulfill Your Purpose AND Make a Living
If you want to have a career, inspired on your life purpose, try the following approach:
1. Identify your strengths.
Your life purpose is directly related to your character strengths. For example, if communication is your strength, then your purpose may originate from that strength.
2. Determine your passions.
Passions are the things you love to do – with or without external rewards (like money or recognition).
3. Determine your causes.
Identify the causes that matter to you. Is there a condition in the world that makes you feel discontent or compels you to action?
4. Find the sweet spot.
After determining your strengths, passions and causes find the overlap between them. That’s the sweet spot, where you’re likely to find the most fulfillment in your work life.
5. Your mission, should you choose to accept it…
Based on the information above, write a personal mission statement – it can help guide your passions throughout your career.
It’s not (necessarily) about the money.
Instead of focusing on a money goal, try setting goals that “add value” – a goal that improves the quality of people’s lives or of the earth. Whether you’re a bricklayer, a coach, a CEO or a soloprenuer, it’s ultimately through helping others that we all achieve our life purpose.
Are you a highly motivated leader but struggle navigating the corporate environment? Do you wish you could lead with authenticity and more confidence? Would you like to break through to the next level? Go to www.thewonderloft.com and get your FREE Audio CD: “Get Recognized, Valued and Promoted at Work”.
Angela Joyner is a leadership expert, coach and national speaker. She founded The Wonder Loft, LLC coaching practice for women. Angela is devoted to teaching women around the world how to authentically navigate the corporate environment, lead with confidence and get promoted at work. Through private coaching, workshops, and signature talks, Angela shows women (and a few good men) how to create a powerful leadership brand and an abundant life they love.