Finding one’s sense of purpose in life is potentially the biggest challenge we face as humans. What is the meaning of life? Why are YOU here?
Once you find your purpose or your WHY, motivation comes naturally and effortlessly. Having a purpose that is bigger than yourself is like harnessing the Trade Winds in your sails (minimizing effort, maximizing navigation). Simon Sinek is the authority on the topic of purpose. In his book, START WITH WHY, he outlines the value of why organizations exist, using APPLE is the consummate example of what consumers buy into. It’s not the “what you do,” it’s the “why” you do it.
Beyond discovering your WHY, make sure you clearly communicate that to your friends, customers or fan base. Express it with passion and conviction. If you don’t believe in your WHY and you aren't committed to it, your professional or personal brand will appear anemic and potentially fail.
In the age of Millennials and GEN X, purpose is what drives them. Whenever you tap into somebody’s reason for being (their motivation) you have influence (family, friends, colleagues and employees). It all starts with you. Find your own why and you are empowered. Leverage your why and you are cleared for take-off.
Without purpose, many are lost and merely exist. It’s not to be rushed. It can change. It’s always guided by your core values.
WHY comes in 2 parts.
Both halves are Siamese twins connected at the hip. Both are arguably fed by the ego but in very different ways.
The first of those twins is the Altruistic WHY—”the beautiful twin”. That’s the politically correct sense of purpose. It’s the generous giving part of your altruistic WHY. It’s the motivation that makes you the consummate social entrepreneur or humanitarian. It’s the part of you that cares and wants to provide a service that makes the world a better place. It’s the one you read of in company mission statements designed to capture the imagination and loyal dollars of the consumer.
The second half of your purpose is the secretive and negatively viewed what’s in it for me WHY—”the ugly twin”. It’s the selfish reward, applause-seeking and self-validating feeling you get from your achievement, from your giving. Russian author, Ayn Rand, talks deeply about this “Objectivism Philosophy,” claiming that everything we do is about our own personal gratification. It’s the selfish empowering emotions of feeling relevant, loved, powerful, important, rich, accepted, elevated, and beautiful and of value (all listed traits dependent on your personality type and values). There is no need to deny that “ugly twin”.
Top 10 ways to find your WHY.
What are you passionate about?
What comes easy to you?
What brings you joy and fulfillment?
Review your life to see what you’ve already been doing with joy.
Listen to your heart and intuition.
Ask others how they perceive you and your qualities… there is insight in that.
Take time to be with yourself.
Go deeper into who you are and what you really want.
What would you do for free and until the sunsets.
Selflessness… does it bring value to the world?
Don't feel obliged to deny your deepest needs to be "politically correct" in an age drowning in undeserved trophies and awards for participation. Life is tough. Survival and self-actualization even tougher. Don't hesitate to put the oxygen mask on first and stay alive with humility and gratitude. The more empowered you are through your PURPOSE the more you can give and empower others.
It’s a win win when you find and follow your WHY.
PRESIDENT of ENGAGEteams360