I attended the Puget Sound chapter of ATD’s annual conference last week. It was an amazing day of networking and growth. I always enjoy being around other organizational development people. It invigorates me, feeds me, and helps me continue my growth, on both the professional and personal side of life.
During one session, we were asked to pause a moment, reflect, and identify our purpose in life. While this is something many people don’t think about, I do. The answer came quickly because I already knew my purpose. It’s this simple: To make a difference. That’s it. Broad and deep. It’s not my vocation, but rather, who I am. Whether it’s a difference to the people I love, people and organizations I work with, or the world in general, I want to be a change agent. My most satisfactory moments in life have been when I’ve made that connection and that change. There was the young man who attended a two-day train-the-trainer session who, upon leaving the company 3000 miles away from me, wrote to me to thank him for the impact and influence I’d had on his life. There is the executive team I worked with and changed how they communicate as a team. This change eventually filtered down to their whole organization and they are a different (and better) place today. Just yesterday, a friend read an email from her sister who I’ve never met. The sister said I was inspiring her by my Facebook posts.
I live each day, striving to live my fullest life, and fill my purpose. Rarely do I take the time to see that I’m already fulfilling my purpose each and every day in some small way. But it’s not enough, is it? There are still people out there I can help. There are still organizations I can work with to help them change the culture, or build great teams, or become a learning organization. Yes, I have a purpose. I love it. And as much as it helps others, it continues to help me grow, push, and stretch to become the best me I can be.
Do you know what your purpose is? I hope so. If not, breathe, slow down, reflect, and find out. Each one of us is special and has a unique combination of gifts that are meant to be, meant to help you make a difference somewhere, somehow. Find your purpose. You’ll benefit and those you touch will as well.