Lately, I’ve been reflecting on my business in the time of COVID. This has, unsurprisingly, forced a reflection on my own purpose and career and I’ve realized something quite powerful. Taking stock of my strengths - at navigating chaos and crisis and identifying solutions and setting good strategy - none of those things are where my gifts truly lie. The truth is, I am intuitive, I have a knowingness about people and where their true intentions and desires come from. I know instinctively if someone is aware of and following their own truth – or not. Before my own awakening to this, I wasn’t always conscious of the ways I used this gift. I would help companies and their executives navigate tough situations more so by gently guiding them based on my hunches – this gut feeling. As I’ve gotten older, however, I see myself becoming more and more unwilling to hide this truth about myself and understand that I need to actively integrate this gift into what I do. More importantly, I feel compelled to share this truth with the business world: That everyone has an inner truth, whether we follow or chose to ignore it – this inner truth is, ultimately, our purpose in life.
I can tell you that unequivocally at the heart of every business challenge or crisis – whether they be internal to the organization or external – there is a misalignment with purpose. Both from the leader’s standpoint and from the organization. I have seen it firsthand, when leaders are disconnected from their own higher purpose, or their internal GPS as I call it, the seeds for chaos and crisis are planted deep within the organizations they run. And, yes, we have heard repeatedly that business today must be mission-led, that it must be purposeful to answer the call of its customers and employees. But if we’re being honest, how can that truly happen when the leaders themselves have lost their connection to their own purpose?
This is where my purpose began to come into view for me. Looking back at my own career – both the highs and the lows – I can see clearly that I have certain skills that come naturally to me. Navigating a crisis, staying calm during chaos, seeing the solution to a business challenge quickly and driving leaders toward alignment. The realization has come that integrating those skills with my gift of seeing people’s truth – and helping to guide them – reconnect them to that truth – is where I can truly help.
Understanding my own truth and realizing that this truth applies to everyone, especially leaders is how I’ve landed at the title of Purpose Coach. This is the work that truly fulfills me. This is the work that makes me feel, finally, like I can and will make lasting change that is for everyone’s highest good. This realization also means I talk A LOT these days about higher purpose and I’ve begun to wonder if people know what I really mean when I use those words. While I think I’ve laid out clearly why it matters, I’m not sure I’ve taken the time to define it - what is one’s higher purpose?
Your higher purpose is your big WHY. The reason you are on this planet, in the life you’re in, with the people and resources that have been laid out throughout your life. It is the reason for each and every experience you’ve had – because they have been building blocks and road signs to your big WHY. They’ve taught you how to do what you do, what you’re good at and what you’re not so good at and they have revealed to you what brings you a deep sense of joy and fulfillment. These experiences are clues and these clues come together to reveal your higher purpose.
There is an important myth about higher purpose that I’d like to bust right now: The idea that one’s higher purpose is a “Godly” mission, something that is done only in service of others and to your own detriment in some way. For example, we’ve been taught that following our purpose means we must choose between fulfillment and financial success. This is a lie. The truth is that your higher purpose is simply the integration of the things you are naturally very good at and the things that bring you a sense of joy or fulfillment. When you do what you love, you can’t help but be successful. This can include things like creative arts or charity work, but it can also include financial planning, law, sales and much more. My goal is to help leaders become clear about why and how they will live their purpose and integrate it in their life - in service of themselves and others.
I have so much more to say about purpose and I cannot wait to share it with you. My vision is of a new reality where we are more connected to our purpose, therefore being more fulfilled, leading with more clarity and hopefully avoiding some of the chaos we all create when we are lost.
For now, I hope this definition serves you all well and that it has inspired you to think about your own higher purpose. That is the very first, and most important step in the journey.