“Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to Great Places! You're off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.” ~Dr. Seuss
After my last blog post, I shared how excited I am about having a clearly defined purpose because it helps me decide where to go. Dr. Seuss is correct that I get to choose the direction and my purpose helps me set the course. If you don’t have a clearly defined purpose, I highly recommend you read the book The Power of Purpose by Richard Leider or go to his Life Reimagined site and click on the option to Create Your Purpose Statement. The site is free.
The first thing you will do on the Life Reimagined site is select from a list of things you are good at like creating things, instructing people, empowering others or researching things. Next, you decide on the passions that inspire you like the outdoors, the arts, education, making things or your well-being. Then you determine the values that you feel most strongly about like compassion, relationships, health, curiosity or spirituality. Finally, you decide on the things you want to focus on in life including wanting to be healthy, have more peace in your life, being challenged, fulfilled or a multitude of other things. The lists of choices in the program are quite extensive. After you make your initial selections, you narrow down to your top three in each category and you end up with a purpose statement. The purpose statement the program created for me, based on my answers, was “I want to use my gifts for Creating Things, Awakening Spirit and Writing Things and passions for Outdoors, Education and The Arts to create an impact on Personal Growth, My Friends and My Spiritual Group because I value Spirituality, Relationships and Health. This will help me to Be present, Be creative and Be purpose-driven.”
That purpose statement really does sum up my beliefs and intentions, but it doesn’t roll off the tongue for me, nor was it easy for me to remember. But, I used the ideas and concepts from the book and website to create an easy to remember purpose statement that drives me. To sum everything up in a few words, I determined that my purpose is for personal growth to positively impact others. I can use that purpose statement to make decisions. I can ask myself if an activity or event will help me with my intention for personal growth or will make a positive impact on others. I am a person who uses name mnemonics to remember things. For example, as a kid in science class, I used ROY G BIV to remember the colors in the rainbow. So, I decided to create a mnemonic for the words I chose from the Life Reimagined website as part of my purpose. I know that exploration and learning new things is part of my personal growth. So my mneomic for personal growth is NEW PLACES and the letters stand for:
The second part of my purpose statement is about positively impacting others. One of the things that I feel I do best in life is teach, and so I used the mneumonic TEACHER for the ways I want to impact others. The letters stand for:
So, my purpose is easy to remember: Personal growth (NEW PLACES) to positively impact others (TEACHER). The reason for sharing this with you is not because my purpose is something to emulate, because it is not. The reason for this blog is to inspire you to read great books and utilize tools on finding your purpose in a way that works for you. The important thing is to clearly delineate your purpose statement. You have unique gifts and you must determine how you will share them with others. In Richard Leider’s book The Power of Purpose, he shares research by Dr. Majid Fotuhi that shows people with a strong purpose in life protect their brain against cognitive aging and are more likely to stay sharp in their seventies and eighties. Take the time and effort to create a purpose statement so you can have a meaningful life, share your gifts and make an impact on your world. I can't wait to hear about the Places You'll Go with a clearly defined purpose!
Today is your day, how do you choose where to go and what to do?
If you have a purpose, what is it? If you don't have a purpose, what will you do to create one?
Peggy Steffens is an artist and Chopra Certified Meditation Instructor
My goal is to build a community with like-minded individuals who want to grow, share and learn from one another. Please post comments to enrich the experience for all.