Setting Your New Year’s Purpose

This is the time of the year where we have indulged, where we are reflecting and where we are asking the ‘big questions’. In last week’s blog Happy New Year: Reflections & Aspirations, I put forward some top 10 lists and my New Year theme. For a lot of us ‘find your purpose’ has become a ‘bumper sticker’ and the prospect can become quite overwhelming. In previous blogs On Purpose & Finding Your Purpose I explored the mechanics of uncovering your ‘WHY’. As we are in contemplative mood, at this time of year, today’s blog delves into the considerations in establishing your purpose.

1. Can WHY = Family?

Family inspires great love and commitment, and most of us want very much to care for our partner and our children. So much so, that my kids and I established the TRUEL family values.

But a ‘WHY’ is whoever we are – not just at home, but also at work or out with friends.

Your ‘WHY’ will come not from talking about your family, but from talking about the feelings your family evoke in you.

The reason your best friend loves you is the same reason your significant other loves you, and it’s the same reason your best client or colleagues love you too.

2. Can I have more than One ‘Why’?

Nope. Each of us has one WHY and one WHY only. The WHY is the one common thread that brings out the best in us and makes us feel more fulfilled. As Simon Sinek says “if you are different at work than you are at home, in one of those two places you’re lying.”

Who we are at our core does not change depending on where we find ourselves.

We either live in alignment with our WHY or we do not.

3. Can my ‘WHY’ change?

For most people our WHY is fully formed by our mid to late teens. By that age we’ve experienced enough and made enough choices of our own that we can recognise the situations in which we’ll thrive and those in which we will not.

But while you may have sensed your WHY at that age, you probably weren’t able to express it.

That’s because the WHY comes from the limbic part of the brain, which has no capacity for language, so it is hard to put into words.

As years go by, and we gain a deeper understanding our WHY and the contribution and impact we make, we may find more precise and meaningful language in which to express it.

However the feelings behind the words will stay the same. The words you use may change but your WHY will not.

Other times it may feel different is if we have felt an experience that felt transformative – a personal struggle, a tragedy & the death of a loved one.

If these events inspire us to reconsider what’s important, to live or think in a more positive way, that doesn’t mean our WHY has changed. It means we have gained a deeper understanding of ourselves and have begun to live in closer alignment with our WHY

4. What if I don’t have a ‘WHY’?

You do have a WHY. Everyone does. The only question is whether you’re willing to let yourself be open and vulnerable enough to discover what it is.

As long as you are honest with yourself and others, you will discover your WHY.

It may not be perfectly articulated or polished right away, but with a genuine desire you will discover your own.

5. What if my ‘WHY’ doesn’t align with my job?

If your work and your WHY are not aligning, you don’t necessarily have to throw everything away. We cant always control the environment we are in., but we can take responsibility for the way we show up.

Your first step should be to positively influence those around you everyday. Start by living your WHY the best way you can. It is just possible that, if you do, things will begin to change for the better.

If that doesn’t work, it’s important to remember that our goal is to surround ourselves with people who believe what we believe.

Again, dig deep in understanding your companies WHY. When I was at CUB, I didn’t know it exuded the qualities of the ‘Regular Guy / Girl’ archetype or that it’s purpose was ‘united by the bond only a beer can create’ or that these elements aligned with my WHY (as CUB nor myself had articulated it). Yet I knew that when CUB was at its best and I was at my best we were connected.

Just remember, moving toward something (eg. A situation in which you can thrive and live your WHY) is always better than moving away from something (eg. a situation that isn’t working for you).

For those of you still on holiday, may these days be fruitful for you. For those going back to work this week, I hope the aforementioned provide some stimulus for you being the best you can be

Enjoy the journey!

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