One of the books I have on my shelf is, finding Your Purpose – A Guide to Personal Fulfillment by Barbara J. Braham (2003). It is from the Crisp Fifty-Minute Book series that makes it an easy read. I always love books that start out by saying “Warning, this book may change your life”. What a great disclaimer!
What is finding your purpose? For many this may mean the type of work you do. This book for instance centers on finding the right job that matches your values and strengths. It looks at the difference between just a job and actual work. This is important, don’t get me wrong, but finding your purpose should be more of a quest than just how you make the ends meet. I still like this book though as with everything you have to take what works and adapt it to your life.
One of the ways you can begin to explore your purpose is to look around you and find people or jobs/work that you admire and have said “I wish I could do that”. Who are these people? What are these jobs? What is it about the people or jobs that make you want to do ‘that’? This is the start of finding your personal purpose.
One of the ways I like to think about finding my purpose is to be a mind map. An organizational chart of what I like and want. My mind map changes from time to time so it is good to revisit every so often to make sure you are on the path of purpose. Things change and each of us changes so don’t feel you need to know everything right now.
My Personal Example:
Ten years ago if you asked me what my purpose in life was I would have stated my vision as “I will be the first woman on the professional fishing tour”. This was a great vision and one that I really got in too. I had a trolling motor before I owned a boat, I had every lure you possibly could imagine, I had more poles than I could ever use, I had never fished in a tournament but spent hours watching them on TV, I had every Tactics of fishing book written, in short I was living my vision of my purpose.
Ten years later I still have that passion and desire, but I have changed. Yes, I still love to fish and if money was no object I would in fact do everything in my power to be a professional fisherwoman, but I want more. I want a purpose that impacts others. I want to help others go through life with purpose, dedication, no fear, and support. It is more than fishing for me now; I want others to feel the sense of peace that comes from knowing how valuable you really are. That is my purpose.
My Vision Statement now reads, “I will find a way every day to make a positive impact on a person, event, animal, or cause”. That is my purpose and I have put as much time, money and energy into this purpose as I have the professional fisherwoman idea. I have earned a PhD in Training and Performance Improvement, I have started a Life Coaching business, I have started this blog, I have found ways every day to have a positive impact on something. This is my purpose, this is my life. If money were no object now I would find a way to be a professional fisherwoman who has a positive impact on something every day.
What is your vision? What is your purpose? If money were no object, what would you be?