As women, we are often so busy taking care of everyone else’s needs that we don’t have time to focus on one of life’s most important quests – discovering our purpose. Recently, while writing Profit with Purpose: A Marketers Guide to Delivering Purpose-Driven Campaigns to Multicultural Audiences, I had an astonishing insight: Fortune 100 brands, entrepreneurs, executives, and people in general are all looking for the same thing—purpose. But where to start?
Step 1: Defining Your Purpose
The mission to find your purpose can be confusing. After all, there is no one perfect answer. Start with basic questions. What are your natural strengths and skills? What do you LOVE to do? What are the ideal settings for you to work in (i.e., alone, group settings, etc.) What would you do for free? As a Christian, I often pray to God to reveal my unique gifts and talents, so I recommend that you tap into a power greater than yourself. Another idea? Start a purpose journal to record your gifts and passions.
Step 2: Understanding That Your Purpose Is to Serve Others
The most essential step in your purpose journey—its driver in fact—is to serve other people. Ask yourself, how do your God-given gifts serve the world? How can your gifts enhance the lives of others? Think about it—B. Smith’s love of hosting parties and cooking manifested through B. Smith Restaurant. How does she serve others? People connect and enjoy great southern cuisine. Shonda Rhimes’ gift of story telling comes to life in popular TV shows such Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. As you can see, Smith and Rhimes have aligned their purpose/passion with meeting the needs/interests of others. The goal for you is to do the same thing with your special talent.
Step 3: Bring Your Purpose to Life Through Service
Find ways to put your purpose in action! Volunteer and start contributing your gifts at local churches, community organizations, and at work.
Step 4: Connecting Your Purpose and Profession
Examine the impact of your role at work. Are you contributing your skills/gifts at your job? This can often enhance your sense of personal value. If your current career does not fulfill you, start researching others. And if your current job is not ideal, so what? You don’t have to wait to start delivering purpose. The author of the Twilight series, Stephanie Meyer, was a busy stay-at-home mom who nurtured her love of writing and voilà, the rest is history!
Step 5: With Purpose Comes Great Vision
Lastly, IMAGINE and DREAM. Give yourself time to DREAM of how your purpose can serve the world. Create a "2013 Living on Purpose" vision board. How would you expand the reach of your purpose? Give yourself permission to dream.
In 2013, commit to finding and living your purpose. It’s the most rewarding journey you can make. Perhaps, we all can take a purpose lesson from Queen Bey (Beyoncé). She sums it perfectly when she sings:
I want to say I lived each day, until I die
And know that I meant something in, somebody's life
The hearts I have touched, will be the proof that I leave
That I made a difference, and this world will see
I was here