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Articulating your purpose: your 10 point plan

Looking for meaning in your life and work, but struggling to identify and express what is most important to you? Read TPB Founder & Director Pat Dwyer’s guide to articulating your ‘why’.

Purpose seems to be a must-have these days – everyone from world and business leaders at Davos to the Emmy award-winning sitcom Modern Family talk about it. Purpose, your “why” – is said to be your reason for being, your ‘ikigai’ in Japanese. It is that which makes you get up in the morning and do what you love the most; it is that higher reason, although it lies at the very base of our core essence.

Why do we need to know our ‘why’? Quite simply, so we can live it, do more of it, mean something to others and make a positive impact on our lives and theirs. They say “find your purpose”. I say it’s already within you and it just needs to be discovered, surfaced – and then lived out. Whether you got thinking time in your next run or swim or are sitting on the train, here’s a 10-point purpose spark to get you closer to discovering your purpose:

First: look back

1. What was it that you loved the most doing as a child?
– Whether it’s taking your toys apart, playing tennis, or swimming in the sea, your favourite hobbies reveal something about the kind of person you are.

2. What was one of the toughest times you’ve gone through that has shaped who you are today?
– A death or loss, a major failure or a bad decision then has formed your character today. What is it that you say is a definitive low point in your life that has helped make you who you are now?

3. What was one of the happiest times you’ve had that has shaped who you are today?
– A family moment, a triumph, a milestone for your team or a move to somewhere could all reveal something about bringing out the best version of you.

Then: look in

4. If you were to leave, what is it that others would say they miss about you?
– Is it your smile or corny jokes? The fact that you are an organiser? You have a role that you constantly play in various circles, that you may not realise…

5. If you were to have a free day – no strings attached, no responsibilities to attend to, what would you do all day?
(Don’t overthink this.)

6. When you come to meetings or get-togethers, how do you show up?
Not just with a bottle of wine of course, but is there an aura/ a mindset that usually is very “you”?


Finally: look ahead

7. Purpose does not change nor expire but may be refined over time

8. Purpose is not a branding tagline
Though it becomes that if it does not come with your actions, habits and attitude.

9. Purpose is pursued and lived out, but never fully perfected
If you are a leader of your organisation – whether a company, a team, your family, or any other kind of group, purpose is in your soul.

As such, and this is tenth point

10. Make your soul, your role.
To paraphrase a famous quote, “Vision without action is dreaming, Action without vision is a waste of time, but action with vision – and purpose – can change the world!”

Get in touch  to have a coffee and discover how Pat and her team can help your business be a force for good – for society, the environment and your bottom line. 

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