“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain
A simple word and one that you hear a lot these days (hands up: I’m as guilty as anyone).
Through my work I meet a lot of people trying to find their purpose, seeking a happier path where money isn’t the sole goal. They’re not alone.
Each of us at some point will wonder what it is we’re here on this planet to do. However it can feel like panning for gold. Some find it, others don’t.
Those that don’t can feel disillusioned and lost, like they have to settle for second best. And end up living half lives, where they only bring part of themselves to work.
There are ways you can accelerate progress—we do our bit by offering coaching, courses and gatherings where people get to ask the difficult questions and get clear on what their next steps might be—but as with anything this intangible, there are no guarantees.
So if you’re one of those people looking for answers to life’s big questions, my advice is simple—stop.
Instead, find the purpose in what you do and slowly, over time, your purpose will unravel if you give it a voice. Stop thinking so much and focus on what’s in your control. That is, what you do each day. Every job I’ve ever had, no matter how bad, has taught me something about myself and moved me closer to doing work that doesn’t feel like work.
I’ve found my purpose by working here there and everywhere over the course of 20 years, in some great jobs and some awful ones. But always giving it my all and making the best of it. In fact, some of the worst experiences at work taught me the most.
So even if you’re cleaning toilets for a living, there’s always a way you can positively impact others and bring meaning to it – and if you don’t believe me check out the inspirational Valerie in the Charlotte airport:
The crucial thing is to change path when it feels right and gradually move in a direction that feels more like you.
Purpose isn’t something you find, it’s a process of elimination. One that takes a lot of patience.