One of my favorite questions I ask others is, “What is your purpose in life?” Most of the time I’m greeted with a blank stare. They’ve never thought about purpose or how it fits in with their life.
I’ve a big believer in a values led life and purpose is a first cousin in knowing what your values are. After you understand what your values are, having a way to integrate them into your life is an important thing.
Let’s start with what my purpose is as an example.
I always like to start these conversations with what my personal purpose is. It’s simple. I want to do interesting things with interesting people.
One of my core values is curiosity and learning about things that are cool and different. When I hang out with interesting people who do interesting things, I often am rewarded by having my curiosity bucket filled.
Now, if that person is talking in jargon and seems to only be using words specific to their area of expertise, they will turn me off. The reason again is simple. One of my core values is simplicity where we take the complicated and make it simple.
If you can’t explain whatever your expertise is in simple daily language, then you’ve lost me and you will not be very interesting to me.
Do you see how this all fits together? Once you know what your values are, it’s easy to build a personal purpose for them. Are you willing to take a little time, figure out your values and then build a personal purpose for that?
Do you know what your values are?
This is where we need to start. If you don’t know what your personal values are, it’s almost impossible to build a personal mission that makes sense. Values are where you start and mission is where you end.
There’s an easy way to build values. You just take out a sheet of paper, write all the things that are important. After you do this, start crossing off any value that is not something you pay attention to every day and are core to who you are.
This should leave you with about three to five values that are core. Now you can build a personal mission statement around those values. Just make sure that your mission is short and has a yes or no answer and addresses each value in its own individual way.
If this sounds hard, it is. Spend some working on this. If you do, you’ll be richly rewarded by not wasting time with people who don’t add value to your life.
What’s the big deal about having a purpose in the first place?
For me, the big deal is it gives me a road map for how I should spend my time. It gives me a sense of knowing what I’m doing is what I’m supposed to be doing. Do you have that sense? If not, I bet if you spend some time and do the work, you’ll be rewarded with having a more focused life.
I love my personal mission. It reminds me every day that I need to reach out to those who are interesting and add value to my life. Isn’t that something you want in your life? If so, take the plunge and get to work.
After all of this work, what am I left with?
You’ll have clarity. One of my favorite statements is “Clarity is power.” I learned this statement in a New Age seminar in 1984. Since that time when I don’t have clarity, I know I need to look at my personal mission and values and see if what I’m doing fits in with them.
Yes, it’s possible that over time your values will change. In fact, if you don’t find some of your values changing over the years, you might feel you’re starting to stagnate.
The more you learn the more you might find that what served you in the past is not serving you today. It’s OK to change what you value, and it’s OK to change your personal mission. After all, they’re just a tool to help you live a great life.
What do you think? Are you willing to live a values led life? If you’re interested, just click here and set a time to talk with me about our values process. You might find spending a few dollars on this will short circuit the time it’ll take you to develop your values and a personal mission statement. It’s something I love doing and something that can add real value to your life.
Oh, and while you’re at it, please scroll down and leave me a comment about what you’re thinking about living a values led life.