You too can find your purpose 

Author: Rosette Wamambe. PHOTO/COURTESY

What you need to know:

‘‘We were each created to fulfil a specific purpose. Our job is to find out what that something is” 

Last week, we dived into the principles of personal management and agreed on the definition of the word purpose as something for which we exist. We then discussed and concluded that living life with a clear purpose is the foundation for being an effective leader.  This week we get out our thinking pads and begin to do the work of discovering our purposes by answering a series of questions. We know that good leaders ask good questions because questions get us into the reflection stage where we learn, unlearn and then relearn.
I love these two quotes on purpose, one by Robert F Kennedy who said, “The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.”  Debasish Mridha also adds to this when she states that, “You must have a definite purpose of life and a deep desire to achieve it. Without purpose, life is boring.”
I know with certainty that we were each created to fulfil a specific purpose. Our job is to find out what that something is and then live life according to that purpose.

As we start this work, I request that you keep in mind the words from Lysa Terkeurst who cautioned us thus, “finding our life’s purpose does not come in one assignment with a big title and a complete job description. Discovering our purpose unfolds slowly, it is more like a seed planted deep in the ground”.  Similarly, Jason Versey adds another layer of caution when he observes that, “our ultimate purpose in life lies in selfless service to others. Selflessly giving of ourselves to our spouses, children, friends and community, employers and customers. This unlocks a treasure chest of priceless gifts for both the recipient and us. Let us go the extra mile in all we do and see the riches we discover.” 
Before I share the questions that I propose we use to guide us in this noble exercise, allow me to share my own story of how I want to make the world a better place in my small corner of the world. The year was 2009 and I was what Les Brown refers to as “tired of being tired”. I had made the decision to leave my corporate career for a while to follow my husband who had taken on an international assignment. 

Our marriage was young and so were our children. In my view they needed us to be together so that we would support each other as we raised them. It was not long before I started missing the corporate world. Every time we had an argument I ensured that it started and ended with the phrase “because I am not working”. That was until Benjamin decided to put a stop to it with a statement, “Rosette, I did not know that your career was your identity.”
I write about this story extensively in my first book The Expatriate Wife: Did Relinquishing My Career Mean Losing My Identity? Benjamin’s statement caused me to ask many questions and I also took personality tests to help me answer the big question. Who is Rosette without the career I had left behind? 
At the time the purpose statement I choose to guide me was “I empower my clients to live a simple, productive and contented life”. Today since becoming a transformational coach with the Maxwell Leadership Team, this statement has evolved to “I serve my clients as they discover their definition of success and then live life according to that definition”. 

These two statements serve as my campus whether I am making a decision on what consulting assignment to take on or what people I allow to influence my life.  Allow me to pass the ball to you and request that as you start this journey you take time to be still and reflect upon the simple questions below: 
1. Take any personality test of your choice. 
2. What are your strengths and what skills or talents do you possess?
3. What are you most passionate about in life?
4. What is your current definition of success?
5. How would you want to make the world a better place?

Wamambe is a transformational leadership coach with the Maxwell Certified Leadership Team    [email protected]