In order to be a storyteller, you must be centered on your purpose. This exercise is designed to help you do that.
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Finding Your Purpose by Finding Your Intersection: The 1 Question You Have to Ask to Find Meaning
Purpose is personal. There’s no way around it. You cannot live out someone else’s purpose and you’re not going to find your own by asking other people what their purpose is. In my work, I have found that there is an intersection between the skills someone has learned through study and work experience and the skills someone has learned through life’s adversity. Find that intersection and live there–that is your purpose.
For Robert Renteria (www.fromthebarrio.com), education, the military and business, taught him how to build a leading company in the coin laundry business. But life taught him about domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, gang-banging, and the value of an education. After almost 50 years of life on this planet, he found his intersection, wrote a number of books and then started a foundation that allows him to spend 100% of his time now giving back to at-risk kids and families and helping them navigate the difficulties of life. He could have stuck it out in Corporate America and business, but eventually he took those skills and directed them at something personal. That was his intersection.
Devin C. Hughes is another great example. Successful leadership speaker and consultant, Devin started changing his life around in 2011 by writing a business style memoir called Contrast that shares with readers his heritage of growing up both black and white, being a bully and bullying, and struggling through identity challenges and drug addicted parents. Since then he has shifted his speaking and consulting career to have these very personal conversations within the world of business and life. This is his intersection.
Part 1. Reflection
We all have an opportunity to look inward to find our calling. That’s where it begins. Here’s a simple exercise to help you determine your calling. You can view the questions below. Spend a few minutes reflecting on each of them. Do not overthink - often it is our first immediate answer that is the purest.
- What were you amazing at in school?
- What subject did you love the most?
- What are you amazing at in your current job?
- What brings you the most joy at work?
- What do you LOVE doing?
- What are three things in your life that have been the absolute most challenging?
- What have you been through in life that you would never wish upon anyone else?
If you can be honest with yourself, somewhere in these answers lies your intersection.
What if, instead of regrets of what you didn’t do and hopes that you did do something, you set out in your life right now to find your purpose and live the life that you truly want?
Begin this exercise to discover, uncover, or perhaps, even recover your purpose. Find a quiet place and answer the following questions. Don't think about them for too long. Give the first answer that comes to your mind. Think with your heart instead of your head.
- What are you passionate about? What makes you come alive?
- What do you value? Is it achievements, family, love, freedom, spirituality? Why are these important to you?
- What would you do if you had no limits?
- What change do you want to be in the world?
- What brings you true joy?
Consider now your intersection exercise and your purpose exercise. Use the answers to create a vision of where you would like to see yourself in one, two, three, four, or five years? How can you use the skills, talents, and passion you possess to make the world a better place and to live a life that is filled with joy, value and purpose?
If you would like step by step guidance through a provocative approach to purpose that I've developed, check out our MY Powerful Purpose workshop by clicking the button below.