J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

How To Find Your Purpose

How To Find Your Purpose

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Purpose is power.  One of my favorite definitions of “power” is “the ability to act.”  When you know your purpose, you can channel your time and energy to make things happen in a more significant way.   Purpose brings clarity.  Clarity inspires action.

To put it another way, a lack of purpose creates confusion and immobility.

The challenge is that finding your purpose can be a complicated thing.  It doesn’t have to be, but it often is, especially if you haven’t learned an effective way to find your purpose.   It’s easy to get your purpose mixed up or lost among your vision, mission, and values.   The thing to remember about purpose is that it’s your “Why.”

In other words, “WHY” do you do what you do.

It’s one thing to climb a mountain, “because it’s there”, but do you want to do your mound of work, simply because it’s there.   What if you could connect your work to something more?  Something greater.   You can.  It’s your purpose.   You create your purpose, and your purpose gives meaning to what you do.

It’s you on fire … or, as we at the foosball table like to say, it’s you “en fuego.”

Even if you climbed the mountain, just because it’s there, it’s more likely that it’s a personal challenge that will lead to a private victory.  And, how much more meaningful would it be if you were climbing the mountain on behalf of your favorite cause or charity?

You’d move mountains.

The same is true in work and life.

It’s one thing to say what you do, or to know your mission.  It’s another things to say where you’re going, or what is your vision.  But when you know your purpose and why you do what you do, you take your game to a whole new level. 

It’s the fuel that drives you.

Now, then … how do you actually find your purpose?    I’ve written a feature-length post on how to find your purpose.  It’s jam-packed with tips and tricks I’ve learned about finding and using purpose to amplify your impact.   As a special bonus, it includes an exercise I use in my workshops on Getting Results the Agile Way.  It’s the real deal.  It’s the same thing exercise I take people through from around the world to help them find their drive and get their game on.

If you nail this … if you truly find your purpose that inspires you … you can easily triple or quadruple, or in some cases, even 10X your productivity.   Why?   Because energy is a force multiplier.  If you are just going through the motions, it’s hard to speed up, especially, if it just doesn’t matter.   But, if you find your fire inside, you can breathe new life, even into the same old dull routines.   Now, you have meaning.  Now, you have drive. 

Your drive can be one of the biggest factors in what you achieve whether you are a program manager, a developer, a manager, a thought leader, or whatever your role may be. 

Make 2013 your year.  

Find your purpose and show the world, and yourself, what you’re capable of.