I believe that we all have a life purpose – the reason we exist – the reason we were born. Now of course I have no way of knowing if that is true or not – but believing it makes me feel important and helps to give me the courage to do the things that matter to me.
What I am sure about is that when I am doing things that are in alignment with my life purpose I feel fulfilled – I feel that I am making a difference – that the world is a better place because I am here and that is a good feeling.
The Japanese have a word for it – ‘Ikigai’ meaning a reason for being. Your Ikigai or Life Purpose will be something you feel passionate about, something you are good at, something the world needs and something you can be paid for – however it is you want to be paid.
When you are living your purpose you want to get up in the morning because you feel you have important work to do.
Finding your own life purpose is a journey – an enjoyable one! I have been refining mine for many years now.
When I first started thinking about this I was practicing as a property solicitor. When I thought about why my job that made me feel good it was because I felt I was helping my clients achieve their dreams – I loved it when I secured that home they had set their heart on.
When I became a law firm leader I realised that even more than helping clients I enjoyed creating a business where our staff could flourish and grow in whatever way they wanted – and therefore I was helping both our staff and our clients achieve their ambitions.
Then I recognised that one thing that really upset me was when we employed people who did not have any dreams, or if they did they felt that their dreams could never be achieved. I found this incredibly sad and wanted to help these people identify their ambitions and work towards them.
As managing partner I worked incredibly long hours. I thought this would give us the best chance of success. I was stressed, grumpy and not getting any joy in life. I eventually realised this was a mistake and not something I wanted for others. I realised on reflection that if I had done my best work rather than my most work I would have achieved more at work and in my personal life and been much happier. I realised I want to help people do their best work not their most work.
Over the years I have refined my life purpose which I now state as:
– to help people
– to dare to dream
– to believe that their dreams can come true
– to achieve their dreams
– and to enjoy every step of the way.
Now I am working as a coach I do this by helping leaders gain clarity about what they want and what they need to do to achieve that. Then I support them in doing their best work so that they are more successful, more fulfilled and happier at work and in life.