Thanks today to my beautiful FB friend Samantha for inspiring this post. I just read her post “When the Right Doors Open: A True Passion for Acting” and while commenting I realized that for many people purpose is a difficult concept because they try to equate it to a career path or single mission.
Then I read an interview with Seth Godin, Why We Are All Artists: Seth Godin in Conversation – Part 1 talking about the release of his new book We Are All Artists Now. In the book, we learn how others can control how we soar if we let them. I am looking forward to reading the book.
How does this relate to Purpose?
Purpose is the why of anything. But the question I, and perhaps you, were asked as a child was “what do you want to be when you grow up?” What career, work or job do you want to do?
I answered a nurse and my mother promptly told me that I was too smart to be a nurse and I should aspire higher and become a doctor. She encouraged me to become a pediatrician. Well since my mother was wise, I agreed and studied hard to become a doctor. Unfortunately, circumstances conspired and I failed to become a doctor despite spending years working in hospitals as a volunteer and summer aide. No regrets, I love helping business owners change mindsets instead. It fits my bigger purpose.
I remember a friend who when told by his parents that if he didn’t study harder was told that he would become a rubbish collector. He promptly asked what they earned and why it would be so terrible to keep the city cleaned up. And today, he owns a large rubbish service business.
And I remember when my children were in primary school and they were asked what they would be when they grew up and my younger son was derided for wanting to be a lazy bum. This is the same son who now makes a huge difference supporting businesses and his local community both online and off.
Why why is important?
Simply because when you know why you have passion and passion gives you energy and energy gives you power and power gets the job done.
And why is bigger than any career or job.
Why is the motive behind someone becoming a doctor, a lawyer, a banker, a pilot, a nurse, a mother or multiple roles.
Yes I know many of us become a role by accident rather than design but is it really an accident?
Do we take a job that could fulfill our why, our purpose but then choose to hate the role because others say it’s beneath us?
It constantly amazes me how many people in hospitality or retail hate what they are doing rather than realize that they may be fulfilling a purpose of helping people make decisions and enjoy an experience.
They get stuck by how others view the career or service and feel like what they are doing is worthless or all they can get. They get stuck because of the opinions of others.
If your why has you stuck in a career you dislike
Express your why differently.
Describe what you do in larger terms.
Instead of being just a teacher – say that you open up young minds or inspire development.
Instead of just being a doctor – remember that you are helping people enjoy life by helping them through physical or mental or emotional challenges.
Instead of being just a waitress – describe yourself as someone who creates memorable time outs and helps people recharge their batteries or celebrate and create special memories.
Instead of being just a sanitation worker – be the person who helps keep your city healthy, smelling nice and rat free.
Instead of being just a…… express it as something much bigger.
How can you express what you do today in a way that inspires you and keeps you out of stuck?
To your changing mindset and higher purpose