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I have had a number of conversations in the last few weeks with people about the topic of Purpose.
Maybe it is the time of year. Maybe it is because we now are 18 months into a global pandemic and the realisation of the ‘new world’ has now hit most people. Maybe, it’s because in Australia it has been cold and winter and we have all been hibernating, but, no matter what it is, it seems to be a key topic of reflection at the moment.
What is it?
Why does it matter?
And what happens if I don’t find it?
I write this article having also just put the final touches on my presentation for the kick off of our first future focussed Leadership Program for High School girls that I am the co-creator of, and you want to know what one of the major themes is – you got it.
We hear a lot about purpose, and that it is critical to living a truly happy life. But what is purpose really, and how the hell do we find it?
As identified in the book “Ikigai” by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles, according to the Japanese, everyone has an ‘Ikigai’.
“Our Ikigai is something hidden deep inside each of us, and finding it requires a patient search. According to those born on Okinawa, the island with the most centenarians in the world, our Ikigai is the reason we get up in the morning”.
I don’t know about you, but I am 100% down for learning the secrets to a long and fulfilled life from those who are clearly in the position to give the goss! With some of the oldest living people on the planet, the residents of Okinawa know the key ingredients to a life full of the things that really matter.
I’m going to spare us all the part about good diet, exercise, low stress etc, as I think these are things we know about.
Where I want to focus is where we can map out our own ‘ikigai’ based on 4 key areas of:
According to the model of Ikigai, the intersection of these 4 circles is where we find our unique purpose. Our reason for being.
I love this. Why? Because anyone can give this a go, irrespective of what stage of your life, career journey, or even business journey you are in.
Many of my clients who seek me out are feeling unfulfilled, underwhelmed, unsatisfied, and generally a bit stuck.
They crave something more.
On paper, they usually look exceptional. They tick all the boxes of the standard society definition of ‘success’. High paying roles, fancy titles, corporate perks. Yet, for a number of them, something is still lacking. They have a sense of emptiness.
You know why? Usually, because they are operating in a space of ‘Profession’ only. They’ve found a great way to combine what they are good at (sometimes consciously, often not consciously), with what they can be paid for, yet they’ve not stopped to consider whether they actually ENJOY what they do. Additionally, perhaps what they do doesn’t align with their views on what the world really needs.
Then, for many of my clients, they’ve found themselves 15 or 20 years down a particular pathway based on what they are good at, and what they can be paid for, and they now feel they are in too deep to get out.
And you might be 15 – 20 years down a certain pathway, but based on current data, and the average retirement age continuing to rise across the globe, you’ve likely got at least another 25 to go.
Do you really want to be spending it only operating in the profession section of purpose, or would you like to step back, reflect and look at how you can bring real fulfilment to your career and to your life?
I know there are people who won’t even contemplate doing this activity, because they just don’t think it is possible to have a career that can pay the bills AND that they can gain true fulfilment out of.
Perhaps finding your true purpose doesn’t come in the form of the task work that you do every day from 9am – 5pm. Perhaps it ends up manifesting itself into some of the philanthropic areas you get involved with. Perhaps you decide to mentor up and coming potential within your Organisation and look to pay it forward. Perhaps, it sees you getting more involved with your children’s extracurricular activities and finding a sense of purpose and community there.
Whatever it is for you – do yourself the favour of stepping back and asking the 4 questions above.
Where do they all intersect for you?
Helping individuals work this out and what it means uniquely for them is my passion. Even more so is then helping them find ways to drive a successful career in line with their purpose, and drive tangible actions for how they can show up, be seen, and amplify their own presence in line with this purpose.
If you are ready to start operating from a place of purpose instead of just profession, reach out to me and let’s have a virtual cuppa.
Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.
She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.