Know ‘your why’ and live a life of purpose

Do you ever stop to consider if you’re truly living and breathing “your why”?

Do you ever think about the journey you’ve taken to get to where you are right now?

Do you ever stop to consider if you’re truly living and breathing “your why”?

At the age of 16, I organised a girls’ weekend away with my three best friends at the time. (Interestingly, those friends still play an important role in my life today. But that’s a story for another time.) This expedition was a big deal for two reasons. We were celebrating graduating from high school and this was to be our first trip without our parents. We smelled freedom! Not only that, but this trip would signify what we felt was the end of an era. Our school years had come to an end and we were preparing to begin exciting new lives as adults. As country chicks, we expected that we would become separated once we secured jobs, and so this trip was one way of ensuring we solidified our friendships forever as we vowed to never lose touch.

Our destination was Ardrossan, a beautiful seaside town on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula. I spent hours planning every little detail of the trip and created beautiful folders for each of the girls, filled with everything they needed to know.  I provided a list of what to bring, maps, itineraries, brochures and playlists. I was in my absolute element organising and planning and my beautiful friends recognised how important this process was to me and showered me with love and appreciation for my efforts.

In hindsight I put a crazy amount of time and effort into planning the trip, but it never once felt like work to me. Because the trip gave me purpose, and I felt a deep connection with that purpose.

Perhaps planning for that trip to Ardrossan sowed the seeds for who and what I am today.

It was when I read the book “Purpose” by Lisa Messenger that I really started thinking about what my purpose is, and whether I’m living my own purpose.

My favourite definition of purpose is “the lens through which you filter all of your decisions, from the tiny to the monumental”. That’s from Paul Jarvis, author of “Company of One”.

It can be challenging to discover your purpose, to define “your why”. And it can be equally challenging to summarise your purpose in a single sentence!

Your purpose is so much more than a pretty sounding mission statement on your website or an inspirational quote on your Instagram profile. You broadcast your purpose through how you behave and how you represent yourself.  That’s why it’s impossible to fake your purpose. People will see right through you if you try.

So how can you ensure you are living and breathing your passion?

One technique I find very effective is to hold a reflective workshop. It can be solo, or with a small group of people who know you well. Spend some dedicated time reflecting on what truly brings you joy, and mind-map your responses to these questions:

  • who do you like to work with (so it doesn’t feel like work)?
  • what do you offer your clients?
  • what are your values?
  • where do you love to focus your time and energy?
  • what drives you more than simply making a profit?

It’s likely that some common themes will start to emerge while you’re working through and reflecting on these questions. Recognise any thread running through your responses and try and capture these to summarise your purpose in a single sentence.  This is not as simple as crunching numbers, so it could take some time to find the right words. Remember to consider both personal and business aspects of your life because it’s important for your business to align with your personal values.

While I was work-shopping my own why, I began reflecting on the past to pinpoint where this love of bringing people together began. The sense of joy sparked by my memories of planning that Ardrossan trip was a big clue which helped me identify common themes around my love of organising events to connect and elevate people. This is what I ultimately came up with:

“My purpose is bringing together groups of like-minded people and injecting direction, inspiration and joy to their lives”

I truly do live and breathe this purpose. On a business level I bring people together through Tammy’s Table, my Adelaide mastermind and business focus group, which provides direction and inspiration plus a healthy dose of fun. I take the same approach to leading my team at Tuckfield Conveyancing. On a personal level I run a women’s social group called “Lippie and Laughs” which is also about bringing people together and sparking joy. And yes, I’m also one of those crazy Mums who thrives on bringing my daughter’s friends together and taking them on adventures.

Everything I do comes back to my “why” and I truly believe that living my purpose has contributed to my success

If you know your “why” the “how” will look after itself.

When you feel a deep connection to your purpose, everyone around you will feel it too. And because I feel so connected to what I’m doing, it doesn’t feel like work. It doesn’t feel like an effort (most of the time).

I thoroughly recommend taking the time to reflect on your purpose and your why. When you are aligned with your purpose you’ll be better equipped to survive the inevitable challenges you’ll encounter and I know you’ll feel more confident in your choices in all areas of life.

Feel free to reach out if you hit some blocks while working on your purpose. I’d love to help you workshop yours!

Ready to become a better business owner?

Register your interest in Tammy’s Table. A community of like-minded business owners and managers who recognise the value of connecting regularly with their peers to celebrate achievements, share experiences and knowledge and help each other be more successful as leaders.

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