What is Your Purpose?

There is a commuter stop I traverse daily that has pavers in the sidewalk with sayings that each begin with “I came here to . . .”

Thinking about this, I realized many people who seek (or perhaps have achieved a measure of) success have not taken the time to ponder their own purpose and focus. As we become adults and seek work, we take on a job, which is often,ultimately, just something to do . Later we may realize that what we really need is to build a career. From job to career to vocation a gradual shift takes place. The vocation we land on if it is truly our vocation is something that becomes a part of us as we become a part of it. The definition I like best is from Dictionary.com – Vocation = a strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career.

Each paver in my commuter station attests to the ability to self-reflect and express the specific focus of that individual at that moment. They say things like “I came here to collect herbs for medicine.”, “I came here to watch my daughter graduate.”, or I came here to worship.”

Each arrived at that specific place with a purpose in mind. Each of us needs to take time in life to reflect on our values and dreams. By aligning our values with our dreams we may develop goals for our career and for our personal life. No matter where you are in life it is never too late to take stock and set focus.

If you have not already identified your core values follow this three-day plan.

DAY ONE: Pause right now and jot down things that really make you feel positive in your work and relationships… Set this list aside for twenty-four hours.

DAY TWO: Review your list to see if each item still feels like it belongs. Remove or revise items that are not quite what you meant. Group the resulting items then set the list aside one more time.

DAY THREE: Again review your list and make a new list of the values that resonate with you. Typically three to five values are all a person has in their core. More than this runs to sub-values and conflicting values. You want to eliminate conflicting values and focus on primary, not sub-values.

Put your core value list where you can see it daily. Armed with your core values you now have a tool to weigh the job opportunities and relationships that come your way. As you decide on new positions to apply for, new entrepreneurial endeavors to pursue and new business relationships to develop, determine whether they align with what is important to you at your core.

Now use this approach to identify your dreams..where do they intersect with your core values? Focus on those intersections and you will reach the goal of your focus, values, and dreams- your destination. Now you will be able to clearly state why you are where you are.

Now that you have confirmed what matters to you watch for my next post addressing moving from dreams to action.

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