One of my favourite shows at the moment is Vikings. I am also partial to Game of Thrones and Spartacus. What these shows have in common are characters who come together with a clear sense of purpose, even if that purpose is fighting to the death.
Now I’m not suggesting for a moment, that living with purpose is like the re-enactment of a gladiator-esque TV show but on an individual level, there is nothing more powerful that having a clear sense of purpose.
Clarity about what you stand for
A really good friend of mine asked me to think about what I think is important. As I rattled off a list of things – a new car, a new house, a pay rise to fund them – she said: “No that’s not what I mean. What are your principles? What are your personal values? What do you believe in? What matters the most to you?”
Answering these questions will get you to your truth – the values and your core beliefs that are important to you. This becomes your purpose.
Focus on what’s important to you
If you think about applying for that next job, for example, having clarity about what you stand for can help you to assess how you would fit in to the new office culture.
Are you clear on what your prospective company stands for? Their values, their purpose? Does it excite you or does it leave you cold?
A well-known retailer has a leadership value that states ‘All leaders are right. A lot’. If you are working for an organisation that values being right all the time, what are the behaviours that support that? How does that fit with your values?
Having your clear purpose – being able to articulate your values can help others relate to your viewpoint, particularly if it is different to theirs. More importantly, it helps others to trust you.
The foundations of trust are simple:
- There is consistency of thought and action – you do what you say you are going to do,
- You are able to show the real authentic you – sharing your true thoughts and feelings enables others to engage with you, know where you stand, and ultimately respect your position,
- You take responsibility – you are willing to take responsibility for your decisions, actions, thoughts and deeds.
Let’s make a plan
If you are not 100% clear on your purpose, that’s ok.
If you thought you had a clear purpose, but have somehow got lost along the way, that’s ok too.
If your purpose has changed or you feel it should change, there is no better time than now.
Reflection can be a wonderful thing and gives you the chance to ask yourself, what is my purpose?
Ps Please note the references to Vikings are purely to draw analogies. Any similarities between the Vikings TV series and your experiences at work or in everyday life are purely co-incidental.