7 Ways to Rediscover Your Personal and Career Purposes
How do you define your personal purpose? How about your business purpose? Having a greater understanding of these two areas will only enhance your emotional intelligence, contentment, and future success. When we understand more of how our purpose is applied in our personal and professional lives, we become more focused and satisfied. We look at our purpose as a compass that guides us forward and helps us accomplish meaningful things.
What is the essential element of purpose? Is it passion? Having passion is very important, and it connects with our purpose. Hudson and McLean in their book, Life Launch, A Passionate Guide to the Rest of Your Life, maintain that, “Passion is your sense of energy for something. Your passions are your internal energy source, the fire or determination you have for reaching some destination up ahead” (67). We all have seen those who have a real passion for things in their lives.
Regarding personal purpose, in Hudson and McLean’s view, “Your values, deep energy, and passionate destinations are all wrapped up into one profound sense of purpose, pulling you ahead into more of yourself, through the chapters of your life. That sense of purpose is like a vibrant channel, an illuminated path, a personal calling” (p.66). So it is easy to conclude that our passions are those things that matter to us; they are those things that we find desirable and meaningful. For example, if you are passionate and value your faith, family, friends, achievement, community, and lifelong learning etc., you display a sense of energy and vibrancy toward achieving and sustaining these things that you value the most. So what are your passions? What do you have a sense of energy for? It is clear that they align with your personal purpose. Your purpose is much more than just a set of goals.
Next, let’s examine business purpose. According to BusinessDictionary.com, business purpose is, “The progress and actions taken by a person throughout a lifetime, especially those related to that person’s occupations, a career is often composed of the jobs held, titles earned, and work accomplished over a long period of time, rather than just referring to one position.” When we apply passion to our business purpose we have a greater sense of energy to represent and align our goals with organizational goals, strategies, systems, structure, and culture. It keeps things exciting and new and drives us wanting more and achieving more. We work to create purposeful work that advances our organizations and our careers. Then, people around us see that passion and respond to it positively. It creates synergy and progress. Again, our purpose is the compass, and it guides us forward to accomplish many meaningful things. This, in turn, advances our career success.
Rediscover Your Purpose
If you live out your life without personal passion or career passion, you will gradually lose your zeal for life. This position is not a good place to be. There are always simple ways to rekindle passion in you, so you can apply it to your personal and business purposes. Here are some suggestions:
- Dream: Start doing what you love, even it is only one thing a day
- Start an exciting side project that you’re passionate about
- Connect with family, friends, and colleagues: Network and find new friends
- Increase your knowledge (for personal or career purposes): Read books and take new courses
- Read and understand your own body language: Realize when and what makes you feel passionate. Do more of that!
- See the big picture: Think long-term, mid-term, and short-term
- Sharpen the saw (Covey, 1989): Establish a balance for your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health
Life is a work of art, so keep painting and shaping your picture. As you move through life, envision how your career and business purposes connect and are applied. It will increase your focus and improve your own self-awareness. As new stages in life occur and we experiences change, continue to adjust and adapt and learn how to make adjustments and shape your personal and career purpose. There is always fine-tuning to do as we move forward in our life and career. Remember, it all starts with a vision, a meaningful and gratifying picture of the future. From there we set our goals and then establish plans and processes to achieve that vision. Dreams and goals do come true, they just take time.
Bill Davis is an Instructor and Dr. Sadeghinejad is an Assistant Professor with the Forbes School of Business® at Ashford University.
Covey, S. (1989). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. New York: Free Press.
Business dictionary.com (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/career.html
Hudson, F.M., & McLean, D.P. (2006). Life Launch, A Passionate Guide to the Rest of Your Life. Santa Barbara, CA: Hudson Institute Press.
Merriam-webster.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/purpose