What is your purpose?
“I am only here for the beer”. Back in the day, as a teenager in South Africa, this was quite a common saying.
I am a child of the ’80s. Here in the UK, this was the time of the New Romantics, the Falklands War, Thatcherism and mining strikes. In South Africa, it was the peak of the anti-apartheid movement, of massive sanctions that cut us off from the rest of the world, of civil war and conscription for 18 year old boys, and economic and cultural isolation. It was not the most hopeful of times, was it?! That’s probably what drove us to perm our hair into submission and watch Arnold Schwarzenegger mumble “I’ll be back” whilst snogging our boyfriends in the back of a Ford Escort at the drive-in cinema. (OMG the memories! There is a whole book in that, I’m sure!)
But the point of this blog post is not to reminisce about my miss-spent childhood. It’s to talk about motivation and ultimately: Purpose. Which is the very thing we lacked, back in those halcyon days of the 1980s.
So let me ask again: What gets your juices flowing? What makes you get out of bed in the morning? What makes you feel excited and enthused, ready to take on the world and make massive attempts at achieving unbelievable things?
In his book The 8th Habit, Stephen Covey writes, “Deep within each one of us there is an inner longing to live a life of greatness and contribution – to really matter, to really make a difference.”
The most powerful, deep-seated, and enduring motivator is the Power of Purpose. Simply put, you want to feel that what you do is important and has a sense of significance.
Having a sense of purpose is central to having a stable, grounded sense of confidence in ourselves. Without purpose, we can easily feel that we don’t matter and that there is little point in achieving much or in applying ourselves. A lack of purpose is one of the largest causes of depression. One of the hallmarks of depression is a loss of motivation to do anything. One of the hallmarks of a healthy psyche is the will and motivation to be active, mobile, take control and be in a position of power.
So simply just “being here for the beer” doesn’t really cut it, unless you are being treated for depression, in which case I would sugest that mixing alcohol and anti-depressants is not a great idea.
We all have something that gets us going, gets our juices flowing and our blood pumping that little bit faster.
If that something is the thing that we do for work every day …. Wow! How lucky! “If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life” (A quote attributed to eveyrone from Confucius to Marc Anthony to Einstein) certainly rings true.
If you are not doing what you love, then may I dare ask the question WHY NOT?
We only get one chance to live this life. If it’s wasted on aimlessly meandering like a ship without a rudder, then it is certainly pointless. Having a purpose pulls us along, compels us to do things that push our boundaries and challenge us to be better than yesterday. Purpose is a powerfully positive motivator that drives us to create, explore, discover, venture forth into wider places and achieve our best selves.
It is in our purpose that we discover our vision, our values and our virtues.
Have you discovered your purpose? What is it? How do you live and breathe it? Please reply with your comments. I would love to know!
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