Purpose: Find Yours (Final/Part 3)

I just finished watching the Martin Scorsese movie Hugo with my daughters (ages 10 and 8 – the 8 year old is reading the book in her 2nd grade class). Once again my writing inspiration hit me in the least likely place for the last post in my Purpose: Find Yours series.

The quote image of this blog post underscores a key message in the movie: if you don’t follow your purpose, you will not be truly fulfilled and happy in all areas of your life. Georges Méliès (Ben Kingsley) gambled everything to follow his passion, lost it, lived miserably for years and tearfully found it again in the least expected way. What a metaphor for life.

Now let’s get on with discovering your purpose final exercises. Reminder of the three activities that will lead you to success:

  1. Conversations with your network 
  2.  Reflection 
  3.  Writing

Final Exercise – purposely reordered:

a.     Review your source material - the stuff you’ve been writing about:
                                                    i.     Spot themes and patterns. When are you at your best? When are you at your worst? What turns you on?
b.     What are the qualities you admire in others that you need to or would like to develop in yourself?
c.      Think of your vision and mission are a narrative, timeline and storyline, with you as a character.
                                                    i.     What character or role do you want to play in an organization - not a job title, but more a character, like encourager, connector, problem solver, illuminator, strategizer, creator, etc.
d.     What are the characteristics of settings in which you could successfully be the character in your vision and mission? What would you need to play that role?
  • Reflection
a.     Once you’re done, run your statement(s) through these stress tests:
                                                    i.     New narrative for life - does this vision or mission suggest the qualities, characteristics, skills, resources you’ll need to move forward? Do they help suggest what will be hard about fulfilling it, etc.?
                                                  ii.     Stress tests for your vision, mission, purpose statement:
                                                 iii.     Vision: Is it clear how the world or your organization or the people you impact will be different after your work than before?
                                                 iv.     Mission: Is it clear what you do or who you are?
                                                   v.     Does it suggest several directions you could go into for your next stage?
                                                 vi.     Would your favorite job ever or a role you’ve envied pass muster?
                                               vii.     Would they work to help you select or weed out an industry, company, job or leader/team?
                                              viii.     If not, can you insert or take out words or concepts to make it pass the stress tests?
  • Conversations with your network
a.     Start talking to your trusted advisors and mentors. Use your new narrative. What are the reactions? Get feedback. Refine. Practice.
b.     Start interviewing. Whether for a new role at your current company, with a recruiter or during an in person interview for an opportunity that fits your mission and purpose statement. The more you practice, the more you will know and live your purpose statement. If it isn’t right, keep refining with the exercises outlined in the last three posts.

Finally, don’t get frustrated. I found my purpose. I feel it in my soul. It feels good. And I still have the hard work of staying focused and not getting distracted by the many shiny objects that come my way.

Commit to finding the meditative and focused time alone to focus on conversations with your network, reflection and writing. This will be a lifelong revisit to keep me on track.

“If you lose your purpose… it’s like you’re broken.” – Hugo Cabret

Here’s to doing the hard work. Merry Christmas!


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