My most requested leadership training is centered on a foundational principle that most people don't have a firm grasp on: purpose.
I have spoken to over 50,000 people this year and when I asked, "Who here can articulate their purpose?" less than 500 hands have gone in the air. My next question is always, "If we don't know why we do what we do, then how can we know if how we're living our lives or what we are doing is right?"
Living a purpose-centric life, one in which we make decisions that move us further towards a specific end-in-mind sounds simple, but how can we make this actionable?
Simon Sinek is a speaker and leadership author that created a model to help us do just that.
He calls this model "The Golden Circle."
He portends that most people operate from the outside in. They decide what they're going to do, how they're going to do it, and then if questioned or pressed, why they did that thing.
In essence- most people don't know why they have the job they have, watch the shows they watch, follow the people on social media they follow, or how they ended up where they are in life.
Life is too short, too fragile, too meaningful to live this way. Instead, we reverse the process.
We establish and define our why. We put it into a concrete statement. We memorize it. We connect it to meaningful moments in our life and then we act on it to create more meaningful moments.
The beautiful thing about our purpose is that they're innate to us. We are born with it and either consciously or subconsciously we've been living by it since we've been born. However, if we haven't ever taken the time to define it, we are missing out on a tool that could drastically change the way we make decisions.
Life is no accident and it shouldn't be treated as such. Start living on purpose.
Define your "why" statement. There are a variety of ways to do this, but I prefer the Lifeline method. Create a line on a piece of paper. Write "Day 0" on the left side and "Today" on the right. Fill in your Lifeline with moments that matter. Moments that showed you or pushed your towards your purpose. These can be good or bad, happy or sad. Try to come up with at least 10.
Then ask yourself, "Why do these moments matter?" At the heart of the answer to that question is your "why" statement.
Finally, put it into the following format "To (insert the contribution you're making to the world). So that (insert the impact you hope to have via that contribution).
Is it possible to live a purpose-filled life with a job you don't love? (The answer is yes, you're supposed to consider the how)
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” - Friedrich Nietzsche