Purpose is not a one-time statement or definition. As we expand and grow, we understand our purpose through our life experiences. Dr. Beatrice Berry, author of I’m On My Way but Your Foot is on My Head, has a very simple way of defining purpose. She asks two questions: “Why me?” and “Here now?” She believes that you can answer these two questions any place, any time and your purpose will be self-evident.
In my book, Leadership Energy: Unlocking the Secrets to Your Success, I provide many action learning exercises to expand your energies in all areas. Here is another option to Dr. Berry’s simple questions taken from my book.
- Grab a notebook.
- You will be documenting your career time line. Create a representation (linear or nonlinear) of all the jobs, paid and volunteer, that you can remember.
- Once this is complete, go back and reflect on each position. Identify the following:
- What was your strength?
- What did you enjoy?
- What value did you bring?
- Review the answers to the three questions. What do you notice? Are there patterns to your answers?
- Write a statement answering the following questions:
- What has been the purpose of your life so far?
- How do you share this with others?
- What do you believe is your purpose as a leader?
This does not need to be long or complicated. Whatever your history shows is your answer for today. As you move forward in life, you will expand this answer based on your life experiences.
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