My definition of purpose is the concept of dedicating your life to the service of your fellow humans and the planet. If we all lived in that manner, just imagine how amazing the planet would be!
It sounds really simple. And it is to a degree. The challenge is that the modern world is set up in such a way as to be unsupportive to you following your authentic mission.
One of the best ways to describe it and a great place to start your journey to purpose comes from Japan and the concept of ikigai:
Purpose is a bit of a buzzword at the minute. But it's a kind of intangible thing to describe. It's like trying to describe the taste and smell of the number three.
And that's the thing with purpose. It starts as tingle. A fleeting feeling of connection. In many ways it's so much easier to find anti-purpose. Stress, anxiety, depression, illness etc. dog us all in the "developed" world.
On top of that the majority of workers and leaders are either disengaged at work or feel that their work has no meaning.
So most of us are going to work to do something we don't really want to do, having meetings and interactions with other people that equally don't want to be there.
All of this just so we can earn more money, stay on the hedonic treadmill, to buy more things we don't need to impress the people that don't care anyway.
We've never had it so good, and yet we've never felt so bad.
For most people all this is likely to lead to a life of regret. Ponder on the top 5 regrets of the dying:
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends.
I wish I’d let myself be happier.
Are you on track to finish your life with a bunch of regrets?
Have a look at the ikigai model and reflect on where you are at and how you might need to adjust.
If you want to talk it over, please do drop me a line!