Do you find your work has meaning? Do you feel like you’re making a difference? In my work I hear a lot of clients talking about “wanting to make a difference.” In terms of career planning (yes, that’s a concept) working in alignment with a sense of purpose is a critical ingredient (so to is using skills you enjoy using). So working 1 on 1 with 100’s of clients trying to work out what they REALLY want to do for work has given me a unique perspective on the topic of PURPOSE.
It’s an illusive concept that is difficult for many people to pin down. It’s my opinion that most of us have to CHOOSE a purpose. It’s less of a calling and rather something you pursue. I know of an author who describes the agony of writing, even though it’s clearly his passion and linked to his sense of purpose (to make a contribution to society in his case). I thought that was interesting as there exists a belief that your purpose should be bright and all-consuming, like a brightly burning star you follow, and that following your purpose makes things easier.
Our purpose is not always clear and nor is following it easy. In fact in many examples following it will lead you off the well worn path and onto a little dirt track where you need a machete to hack through the jungle. It is however, hugely rewarding when you achieve the many goals along the way of following your purpose.
I watched a wonderful movie recently that I want to share with you. It’s called Being Elmo, the loveable Sesame Street character, and is about his puppeteer’s pursuit of his dream. From an early age in the late 60′s Kevin Clash was hooked on puppets and dreamed of working with his idols on Sesame Street. The story is about more than just him following his purpose but it’s crystal clear he was ‘on purpose’ and determined to succeed. It was also a timely reminder that behind every success was a whole lot of challenge, persistance and a bucket load of passion.
In my opinion its rare for people to know their calling so clearly and follow it so determinedly but it’s inspiring to know that it happens and motivates me to continue exploring and testing my purpose. I hope you watch this movie and use it to reflect on what you’re passionate about and whether you’re ‘on purpose’ or not.
Check out the preview below