When was the last time you re-evaluated your purpose?
We often talk about purpose like it is a static thing. Kind of like a concrete pad that you build on, you take it for granted that it will be secure, and it just does not move. Normally I would refer to your values in this way. Actually, I would even say they are pillars or foundation stones, things you build on, and you can see their impact in everything else you do. But purpose has some fluidity to it, because it is so impacted by your surrounding environment, most importantly, how you grow and develop as a person on your journey through life.
The pandemic has been a chapter in life all by itself.
Different chapters effect us in unique ways. The pandemic has been no different. It is through this time that we needed to learn and adapt in a whole new way. Life changed, how we live and work is completely new, and how we related to each other was turned on its head. If you will recall, we all had a hard time adapting to pandemic life, and we are still learning our way through it.
For many, purpose was not adaptable in this new chapter of life, and it’s been a rough road.
Your mission can remain the same, but adapting your purpose is necessary as time and circumstances change. When we consider what life after the pandemic will look like, we may use words like ‘pivot’ due to the fact that we are actually changing direction. As you learn from life, you take note of different curves in the road, and it helps you develop resilience. If you know your mission, and your values, but are not adapting your purpose in your circumstances, you may have trouble fulfilling what you hope to do.
Recently I went through the process of evaluating my purpose and drew up a web based on four main areas.
I get excited by… These are the things that drive your PASSION. These are the things that give me energy and keep me up at night!
I naturally do… These are the things that represent your INNATE SKILLS. Basically, they come naturally to you and are not something you need practice to perform.
What I think about… These are the things that represent your MISSION. When I am presented with a situation or a problem, these are the first things I consider to accomplish.
What I have done… OR What has shaped my thinking… These are the EXPERIENCES that have impacted and shaped me, but also how I learned and reacted to circumstances.
As you can see, I like to diagram and write it up in different colours, and it can look a little messy. But that’s my style! If you prefer to write it up in a linear fashion, using post-it notes, putting thoughts and reminders in 4 baskets, whatever works best for you. The point is to ask the questions of yourself and expand your thoughts on what makes you tick in your given situation.
The next step: Connect the common thoughts in each category and bring it together.
You may find that there are similarities every time you do this exercise. That is OK, because you are you, and there some innate aspects that make you do what you do. The point is learning how to adapt and work with these things in your circumstances, and with freshness.
Let me know how your purpose evaluation goes!