Every month we wait with excitement at the thought of a new pay-day.
The reality then kicks in.
If you are like me, I imagine the bulk of the money is there for a short period of time before it is time to pay the bills.
The salary you earn allows you to lead a certain lifestyle. It may not be the lifestyle you want, but you have luxuries that many around the world only dream of.
Whilst getting paid is important, it should not define you.
One thing that does define us is our individual Sense of Purpose (SoP).
What is SoP?
Common goals and objectives exist for everyone at work, but sense of purpose will be unique to each person.
SoP can have different variations:
- Your aim or intention
- Your determination to do or achieve something
- A feeling your actions have great value or significance.
Your SoP may be inherited from others (often passed on by your peers or others you work with).
Alternatively it may originate through your belief system.
If it falls into the latter SoP is likely to be part of your DNA and will rarely change.
A quick acid test – If I spoke to several of your Colleagues and asked what your SoP is right now, what would they say?
Your own SoP could be to deliver the best customer service possible.
It could be to have the best project management reputation in the business.
It could be about making sure people always feel valued and cared for – whatever it is, your own personal belief system will underpin your sense of purpose.
Developing Your Sixth Sense
What if you don’t know what your SoP is, or there seems to be a lack of it at work?
How can you start to develop and foster an SoP that is beneficial to you and those around you?
Remember how I mentioned that purpose could be inherited? This is a great way to start.
Everyone wants to feel like they are part of something bigger.
If you work in retail, let’s say you work at Apple, you are not just selling iPhones, iPads and iMacs.
You are selling products that will, in some way, enrich someone’s life.
Knowing how this product will make someone feel is the SoP, not the sale itself.
What does your team do?
What service are they offering and/or what are they selling?
How does this impact your customer and what emotions do you want your customer to feel.
Companies are thriving where each person believes a strong sense of purpose exists. They not only care about the work they do, but the work has meaning in some way.
Since the turn of the Millennium the desire for ‘Millennials’ to achieve a sense of purpose is even bigger.
Unlike previous generations (who just wanted their work to be a reflection of their work ethic) Millennials want to be noticed.
They want to place a significant dent in the planet with what they achieve – a strong SoP helps them with this mission.
Benefits of SoP
How does SoP help in everyday life?
When you have an SoP the biggest challenge can seem like an opportunity, and not a problem. It does not feel overwhelming and demotivating – quite the opposite.
Your SoP becomes your philosophy, your thesis – it drives everything you do.
When we come up against tough times your philosophy (hopes and beliefs) becomes the yardstick by which decisions are made.
What if you lose your SoP?
Not knowing what your SoP is, or losing it, can be dangerous.
You increase the risk of anxiety and if you have a real sense of hopelessness it can convert into depression.
If you don’t have an SoP of believe you have lost it, consider these questions.
- What do you believe in?
- Which values do you hold most dear?
- Recall a time when you had a strong sense of purpose – what were you doing, how did you feel and what made it strong?
- What do you want to achieve?
- If time or money were not an object, what would you do?
The above questions push away all the issues that are of concern. They focus on you, what is important to you and where your priorities lie.
Sense of Purpose might just be the most important (sixth) sense of all.
Believe and take action.