Knowing Your Purpose
All the Way to Thriving
In the last issue, All the Way to Thriving, I stated that thriving goes beyond success, means having a sense of purpose, and is something you define for yourself. The close-up below conveys the story of one of my clients, Lydia¹, and how she came to identify her purpose.
Close-Up: Lydia's Story
When Lydia, a recent Now What?© graduate, first inquired about taking the program, she already had an idea of what she wanted to do: own a truffle farm. She was passionate about food and had a particular interest in artisanal food production. While growing these culinary delicacies was a dream, Lydia wanted to be sure before making such a significant leap from her corporate career. As a senior consultant for a major human resources firm, she had experienced great success, yet something was lacking in terms of her own fulfillment. The structured approach of the Now What?© Program² appealed to her as a way to run her truffle farm idea through a "due diligence" process, as well as explore other options.
As we approached the midpoint of the program, Lydia’s Life Blueprint® was emerging clearly. She saw that her love of cheese, food, and wine was really about the experience that went along with enjoying these delights. Over the years, she had naturally gravitated to the role of organizing parties and events for her friends and family. Even her unofficial role of family photographer provided insight about her ability to “see differently”. As we put these bits of information all together, it was evident that Lydia’s purpose had to do with seeking out new experiences and revealing them to others. The essence of her purpose was right there. We played with a few short phrases to express it. She let it simmer for a few days and then read an article in the newspaper (appropriately in the food section) and saw a phrase that spoke to her:
I expose people to new things.
Lydia’s purpose, expressed in words, shed light on the direction to take her research. Here are the roles she considered: cheese maker, truffle farmer, wine producer, gourmet foods shop owner, psychologist, staff member for a politician, lobbyist, writer, tour director, fund raiser, event planner, photographer, and teacher. As Lydia narrowed down the field, she confirmed that her real passion encompassed an overall theme of “Food & Fun”. Ultimately, she selected being a truffle farmer and may seek to combine this with other complementary food and wine related pursuits.
Lydia identified a five year milestone when she will retire from corporate life. In the meantime, she is working her action plan and will plant trees for her truffle farm in October of this year! She envisions walking through the mature trees one day, accompanied by her dogs who will be busy sniffing for truffles. (Acquiring the dogs is in the action plan, too.)
I asked Lydia what difference it makes to have her purpose expressed in words: I expose people to new things. She said, “It reminds me to be true to myself.”
Knowing Your Purpose
Knowing your purpose and being able to express it in a few simple words will shed light on the decisions you face.
“There is a vitality, a life force,
an energy, a quickening,
Here's to you,
²Now What?® is a registered trademark of InterCoach, Inc. and is based on the book Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction by Laura Berman Fortgang.