Sometimes, somewhere along the way, some of us have a crisis of purpose, when you ask yourself questions like ‘is this what I really want to be doing?’ or ‘I don’t know what I really want to do’.
We don’t all start a business because it’s our purpose in life. Mick Jagger has been quoted as saying that he originally became a Rolling Stone because of the money. End of story. He didn’t feel he had some bigger purpose to be involved in music.
Sometimes I think we find our purpose along the way, and sometimes we lose sight of it. It happens to many of us, and these are my top 4 steps to finding your purpose:
1. Patterns of Happiness (the ‘mojo’ factor)
When you’ve had times in your life that what you were doing or involved in made you totally pumped and motivated, or contented and fulfilled, what were the particular things that were happening that made you feel that way? When do you recall being most dissatisfied, unhappy and unmotivated? What was it about that time that made you feel that way.
Be very honest with yourself and drill right down. Go on….drill!
2. Music & Mindset
Now don’t laugh, but I want you to listen to the music that really shifts your physiology and makes you feel different in a positive way. I have my own personal collection of ‘mojo music’ that instantly shifts my mindset into a very resourceful and powerful space.
What’s important in this exercise is to understand where that music takes you and why it makes you feel that way. Who do you become when your mindset shifts in line with the mojo music. Sometimes it takes you back to an event or the words resonate with you. When you are ‘in’ that music, who are you being?
3. Changing Places
Think of someone with whom you would like to change places for a day or a week. Not because you want to meet that person, but because you would like to BECOME that person. Why do you want to experience their life? Is it because their life would let you experience something important that’s missing in your own life? Be honest. Go beyond a single event, for example, if you want to be Madonna because you want to get up on stage and do her thing that’s fine, but you also get the rest of her life for the week as well – Guy, the kids, the paparazzi, intense workouts etc.!
4. What’s Changed
Have a look at what you’ve written down or thought about from the above 3 exercises. Is there a theme of what you want and what you need (to do, achieve, have, be, experience) – drill down to your feelings and values. For example, your recurring theme may be that you love teaching children and that’s when you’re happiest, and let’s say you are currently a primary teacher. You can’t understand why you don’t feel a sense of purpose or alignment with what you’re doing.
Drill down to why you love teaching children and maybe you’ll find that responsiveness (of children) is important to you; playfulness (of children) is important; making a difference (to their formative years) and so on.
Maybe what’s changed is that the children you are currently teaching do not respond in such a way for a variety of reasons, or maybe they do, but you want to extend your experience beyond teaching children to find responsiveness, playfulness and the opportunity to make a difference somewhere else or in some other way.
When you get to that point, you’re coming close to finding your purpose.
Sometimes you just need to take yourself through this exercise and ultimately reinvent some aspect of your business or your environment, in order to reclaim your mojo and find your purpose!