When I think about my purpose in life, it’s less about what I was put here to do and more about what I want to leave behind. Thinking of it in this way reminds me:
- My time on earth is limited – if I want to live a purposeful life and build a purpose-driven business, I had better get on with it.
- My daily habits, thinking, and behaviour – should all be focused around my purpose.
We don’t like to talk about it, but ignoring the fact that death is inevitable can keep us living a life without purpose or keep us believing we have an infinite amount of time ahead of us.
Living with purpose gives us the energy we need to drive us forward, to keep going. It allows us to take action that inspires us – and gives us the resilience to bounce back when we fall down (and we will).
But what does ‘purpose’ even mean?
- Purpose is having an aim in life
- Purpose is the reason we exist
- Purpose involves being determined and resolute in the pursuit of it
Our purpose is central to who we are – not who we think we are or who we think we should be. We get to decide what to do and how we do it – it is not something that is imposed upon us.
When we find our purpose, we will want to live it until the day comes that – well – we can’t. At that point we will know that we made a difference.
When you think of people who have lived a purposeful life and created a purpose-driven business who comes to mind? Here’s a few that come to my mind:
- Henry Ford
- Coco Chanel
- Estee Lauder
- Steve Jobs
Their purpose, their hard work, their legacy – continue to have an impact on us long after they’re gone.
I’m sure you’ve all seen or heard the quote: “Do one thing that scares you every day.”
I agree it has become a tad over-used, but what if you actually did it? What if you did one thing that scared you every day… then one day something amazing happened?
You discovered YOUR purpose!
You discovered what you were meant:
- To do
- To create
- To become
- To leave behind
That’s what this quote is trying to tell us. Don’t wait for the ‘right’ time. Don’t delay going after what you want just because you’re afraid of it. If not now, when?
Living a purposeful life means living a life on your terms. It doesn’t mean everyone will like you. It doesn’t mean everyone will get what you do. It doesn’t mean you will have all the answers.
Living a purposeful life means a life filled with:
- Authenticity – letting go of what others expect of you
- Vulnerability – willing to fail and learn, versus fail and fall
- Creativity – experimenting and experiencing
- Curiosity – asking more questions than you answer
We perceive the pursuit of a purposeful life as taking up more energy (physically and mentally) than the pursuit of a purposeless life. When in reality, both take up the same amount of energy.
Living like today is your last doesn’t mean climbing a mountain or skydiving from a plane. It means doing what comes natural to you and what brings joy to your heart. It means caring less about what others think of you and more about what matters most to you.
When it comes to finding purpose in your business – this really is no different to finding purpose in your life. It has the same intrinsic results, but with the added benefit of financial rewards. Imagine what your business is doing for you and for those around you. If it fulfils your desires in life and provides a solution to the problems and pains of others – then it’s a business driven with purpose.
“It is the denial of death that is partially responsible for people living empty, purposeless lives; for when you live as if you’ll live forever, it becomes too easy to postpone the things you know that you must do.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (Five Stages of Grief)