All of us have roles. We are leaders, agents, employees, parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives etc, etc. We perform numerous tasks based on the roles we identify ourselves in. While these roles are important and help us build our perception of ourselves and our lives, I am wondering if there might be a deeper, more profound way to look at how we occupy and manage our place in the world. While it is important to be clear about our role, roles are really functions or positions we perform and hold. The more important place to focus is on our purpose.
Roles become hollow places to occupy if we are not clear and in alignment with our purpose. Your purpose is about your intent, your raison d’etre (reason for being) as the French say. As we examine our roles, the real, underlying question is, why are we doing what we are doing? Why are we fulfilling the roles we are in? Roles become empty and unfulfilling without the clear and intentional understanding of why. Why are you a parent? Why are you a leader? Why are you a boyfriend, girlfriend husband or wife? Why do you do the job you do? The answer to these questions is what matters most.
Purpose is what keeps us going when we feel frustrated or annoyed in our role. Purpose is the fuel that endures and overcomes the obstacles we face. Purpose is what helps us make decisions about how we spend our time, the people we love, the jobs we do and the life we lead. Many don’t think about purpose or why they do what they do. This month I encourage you to consider your purpose. Here are the steps to get you started:
1. What is the reason you are fulfilling the roles you fulfill? (i.e., I am a coach and a speaker. Those are roles. My purpose in those roles is to help people live better lives as they define them. I could hold those roles without clear purpose but that would leave me hollow.)
2. Do your choices reflect your purpose? Living in alignment with your purpose requires choices that support your purpose. Sometimes those are difficult to make.
3. Does your behavior reflect your purpose?
4. Are you willing to sacrifice certain elements of the roles you have to live, love and serve in alignment with your purpose?
5. Do you find numerous ways to serve?