Day 8 of 31 days to Creating Your Inspiring Personal Plan for 2012
Having given thought to your desired legacy (Step 7), it is now time to focus on the closely related issue of your life purpose. For Step 8, you will develop a one sentence description of your life purpose.
I want you to know that I have my flak jacket on to shield myself from the critics who have told me that it is ludicrous to ask people to define their life purpose in 24 hours. (How ironic that some of these critics are professionals teaching people to do all kind of things without even considering their life purpose. How much sense does it make, for example, to learn how to use time more efficiently if you have not defined your highest life aspiration. You may not be able to select the perfect life purpose in 24 hours, but I believe that by following my process (today and in tomorrow’s lesson), you will create, at minimum, a great starting point for further exploration.
For many people, discovering their life purpose is indeed a lifelong quest. And, I hope it will become that for you, as I strongly believe that having an open mind with regard to our life purpose is a wonderful thing, worthy of reflection from now until you pass. I encourage you to read on this subject, attend programs designed to help you discover your purpose, meditate on it, or do whatever will best help you deepen your understanding of this all-important topic. The forty day process in Rev. Rick Warren’s best seller, The Purpose Driven Life, is an excellent self-study program that costs only the cost of the book (less than $15).
For me, the journey to get clarity with regard to my life purpose has been a long one. I look back and now chuckle on the energy I put into pursuing dreams without ever getting to this most important issue. My life was a series of quests to achieve milestones that were, in retrospect, largely ego centered. It is nice that I achieved uncommon success in automobile racing at such an early age. It is nice that I was the youngest officer in the history of a major bank and then the youngest consulting partner in history at one of the major accounting firms. Etc. Etc. But, is that what life really is about? Isn’t life something more than beating someone else to a spot? I now realize that those milestones were just preparation for my real life purpose.
Tomorrow, I will share with you my own statement of life purpose (as well as providing you with your Step 9). But, for today, I want you to reflect on this issue for yourself, and then draft a one sentence statement of your life purpose.
Like in every step so far, put at least a hypothesis down in writing. You can always polish the description later. What is most important is that you see how all of the elements in this process weave together. Getting hung-up, on any step, with perfection will get in the way of the iterative procedure I have designed into the process by encouraging you to take a bite-size step every day. (If you are struggling with perfectionism with regard to any step in this process, please see this wonderful quick read guest post by Janet Vanderhoof Perfectionism: What a Killer! )
When you have your own life purpose statement draft – and only then (please do not peak) – take a quick look at the front page of the Dave Carpenter web site and see if you can discern my life purpose and how it weaves through my vocational activities (and even beyond that).
Co-host, Career Success Radio Show
A leading authority on career success; 15-year executive coaching veteran
Contact: [email protected], 239-285-5575