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The purpose of life is living a life of purpose.
The power of this particular mantra came to me last week on a call. I was talking to a potential client about their brand and their goals. I asked, “What’s your purpose?” They laughed and said, “To make money!” Then they turned serious, saying, “Actually, I’ve lost track of my purpose, thus this call.” I blurted out, “Well, if you are really lost, then we need to look inside and remember that the purpose of life is living a life of purpose.”
Lightbulb! My client laughed and responded, “Agreed.” That was it. He got it. And I did, too.
Every person has a purpose. Everything we do is done or created with purpose. We may not know what that purpose is at the time, but rest assured, one exists. Often, the purpose is directly or indirectly nudged by influencers: those suggesting what we could be, what we could do, or what career, car, or clothes we could have. Often, that’s ok, but for many, we see our ideas and passions influenced towards purposes that run counter to what we wanted to be, or create, or focus upon. External influencers tell us that profit is key, or that market share is the primary goal, or that status is the only true test of success. The more we listen to this, the more our purpose is outside ourselves and the farther we tend to get from who, what and why we create and dream in the first place.
When purpose is driven by external influencers (to have money, to be famous, to be admired, to be anything), one is led by an intangible, and you will find that you are rarely successful in achieving your purpose. However, when the purpose is based on internal influencers at the heart of who you are and what you create, there is a very clear way to know if you’ve achieved your purpose: you will feel good about your day and your progress.
What I love from the definition above is actually the verb: intent.
Living an intentional life, creating work and focus based on intention is a leading way to focus, and to keep purpose front and center in a proactive way.
So, back to my call. My potential client and I started talking about the intent of their business. What was it created to do, or what role was it developed to fill? That became a much more interesting discussion. It turned into several meetings about direction, priority and how they can reorder resources to focus more strongly on what really matters: the true purpose and intent of their company.
I too find myself occasionally asking the question, “What is my purpose?”
When I put the focus on money, or where I am now versus at another point in my career, or comparing myself to those around me (on social media, in the trades, etc.), I fixate on a purpose that is outside of my intent. I fixate on those external influencers that divert me away from my purpose. However, when I focus on the true intent of what I’ve created with CORE, I find myself living my mantra and the rest comes naturally. I am helping people become brands. I am helping companies externally communicate their purpose. I am creating media that is purpose-driven.
I am living a life of purpose!
So, I’ve come to find out that my mantra isn’t unique. Robert Byrne, the great Wayne Dyer and I’m sure many of you have used this statement, but this particular mantra is designed to help me focus what I do, and more importantly how and why I do it.
Living a life of purpose. What a magical reason to get up in the morning!
Patrick Jager is the CEO of CORE Innovation Group – a multi-disciplinary strategy and project implementation firm focused on media, communications and business development.