Living with purpose

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Ben, 59, had a number of good paying jobs, but he lacked job satisfaction. He wanted to continue working, but at a job that had some meaning for him. He wanted a job that would enable him to “be what he was born to be!”

While some may think this is unrealistic, my research described in Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, finds most successful, satisfied adults live with purpose.

To have a satisfying successful career, you need to have a clear sense of purpose. Clarifying your purpose and striving towards goals that enable you to express the real you gives life meaning, direction, and satisfaction. It not only contributes to health and longevity, but it also makes you feel better in challenging times.

With a purpose you have a step by step design; without a purpose, you live by default. Your purpose is your compass. It keeps you on the right path and aligns your activities when you get off track.

Ben identified his purpose and other personal qualities, researched and narrowed compatible options, then developed a plan to achieve desired goals. Within four months, he accepted the CEO position of a large food processing company.

Have you clarified your purpose? Does your career path reflect your purpose?

How to clarify your purpose

Ben’s purpose is to build things and help them grow. To identify his purpose, Ben looked for themes that emerged from the following: his strengths and accomplishments; what he would like colleagues to say about him; absorbing childhood activities; a prize he would select for being the world’s best; people he admires; skills he wants to use in his ideal job; how he would occupy his time if he had billions; and a recurring dream.

Ben loves using his problem-solving, decision-making, and mentoring skills. He needs challenge, autonomy, a sense of accomplishment, and opportunities to develop personally and professionally. His likes managing people and finances as well as marketing and sales.

Ben explored occupations that would enable him to express his purpose in the general management, finance, and management consulting fields. Then he clarified his goal, and outlined an action plan. Once he knew where he was headed, he made a focused effort to attain his goal.

He tracked his progress, and regularly reappraised his goals and plans. Ben modified these as circumstances changed.

Ben’s goal and plans flowed from his purpose, and his daily activities were guided by these. Ben based all decisions on the overall direction he wanted his life to go. This enabled him to stay on track.

When you follow your purpose, you have the power to reap the rewards of a more meaningful personal and professional life. You become more genuine, confident, and a better decision maker. You have less stress and higher levels of energy and enthusiasm. Additional strategies for living with purpose are found in Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life.

Dr. Carole Kanchier, career and personal growth expert, is author of the award-winning, best seller, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life (2014). A registered psychologist and coach, Carole Kanchier can help you clarify your purpose: