How do we find our sense of purpose and why is it so important?
Going into month six of the COVID-19 pandemic, people and communities have faced extraordinary challenges both economically and psychologically. With unemployment still high, and general uncertainty even higher, the average individual finds themselves forced to reflect on many aspects of their lives more so than in ‘normal times.’ This experience has made many reflect on their sense of purpose.
While continuing to evaluate the topics of community, personal relationships, and social change, the concept of purpose continues to come up. Today, let’s jump right into the idea of purpose. More specifically, let’s discuss why finding a sense of purpose is so important and what we can do about it.
“The two most important days in life are the day you born and the day you discover the reason why.” – Mark Twain
Why Purpose is Important
Many might assume that income is the primary driver of purpose for most people. While many psychological studies and research have rejected this notion, the current state of the economy further emphasizes the need for all of us to find purpose outside of the simplest definitions of economic prosperity (easier said than done, I know).
Finding a sense of purpose is derived from our ability to self-reflect and evaluate what truly matters most, which in turn empowers us to transform ourselves and elevate others. Finding purpose helps us find happiness and confidence which in turn empowers us to show up better in various areas in our personal and professional lives.
When we find purpose and achieve fulfillment, we also become better equipped to forge more meaningful relationships and elevate others. This is the intersection where individual purpose can drive collective growth and innovation in our communities and workplaces alike.
How to Find a Sense of Purpose
We all might have a different process for finding purpose, but generally, it pays to start with some simple self-reflection. What makes you happy? Where do you find it easiest to devote your attention? What legacy do you want to leave when you are gone? If you had a free day with no obligations, what would you choose to do with that day? Lastly, what will help you reach the answers to these kinds of questions? Be honest AND vulnerable with yourself especially if the answer to some of these questions might conflict with aspects of your life presently.
On a more general daily note: Dr. Paul Corona of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management recommends we ask, listen, and give more to build more meaningful relationships while elevating ourselves and others. You can watch this micro-video to learn more.
Purpose is a vital element that empowers people to bring the best version of themselves to the table. Finding purpose provides a sense of peace, happiness, and even confidence that allows us to elevate others and to devote ourselves to greater causes (either business or personal).
So, what do you think?
What elements complement purpose in helping us become the best version of ourselves? What else helps us find a deeper sense of purpose? What are some other positive benefits of a fulfilled sense of purpose? How can leaders find purpose and elevate others to do the same?