Everything you need to know about your life purpose

Everything you need to know about your life purpose

“You don’t have to think there’s just one thing and once you figure out that one thing, you’ll be set for life.”

BY Business Chicks, 6 min READ

In partnership with our Movers and Breakers event partner, UV-IQ.

 Welcome to our series wrapping up some of the best takeaways from our annual Movers and Breakers conference in Broome. We heard from some of the world’s foremost thought and industry leaders, who inspired us to be more curious and challenge ourselves in what is possible. Here are some of the most important lessons from our talk with the Centre for Leadership Advantage, who provide psychological products and services for leadership. The team at CLA are passionate about building successful organisations through clarifying workforce needs, enhancing leadership capabilities, and determining how to make the best decisions to manage the success of your staff.  

1. Your purpose will consume your thinking

Marcele de Sanctis, CEO and organisational psychologist and Rearn Norman, organisational psychologist, from The Centre of Leadership Advantage (our education partners) led a robust discussion about purpose. 

Marcele and Rearn first defined purpose as something that is part of your “over-arching” goals. This means your purpose will tend to seep into different parts of your life, taking up your time and emotional energy.

“Your purpose will not consume 10% of your time or come into your head once a month; it is on your mind all the time,” Marcele said.

However, this idea that is consuming your thinking regularly will only become a purpose when there is a plan to action it.

“Your purpose is also the intention to pursue; the move to action. It only becomes a purpose when you set a clear intention to pursue it.”


#2. We don’t have to have just one purpose

 And, we all cheered when the CLA team said that.

“You change and develop over your life; you are exposed to so many people, experiences and callings,” Rearn explained.

“You don’t have to think there’s just one thing and once you figure out that one thing, you’ll be set for life. It puts way too much pressure on yourself.”

“Our purpose can be flexible… Something might serve us for a period of time, and we grow and develop to discover something new.”


#3. Purpose has economic value

Yep, it’s more than just a calling or something for your personal life. Business benefits from purpose. Here are a few reasons why:

  • More than half of employees would take a lesser wage if it meant their role had a sense of meaning. Despite this, most employees don’t feel like they are in a meaningful role
  • Employees who were more highly engaged were more likely to outperform their peers and 69% less likely to quit in the next six months
  • A reported 400% higher returns for brands that were based in ‘shared intent’ compared to S&P 500

#4. Extrinsic motivators run out

When companies have tried to evade setting purposeful motivators (or intrinsic motivators), some have defaulted to extrinsic motivators.

Think promotions, bonuses, or gaining a profile in the company. But, extrinsic motivators have a time limit and also don’t serve the company in a long-term way.

Instead, we need to be looking at intrinsic motivators:

  • Mastery: Are we giving people the opportunity to get better and learn their skills?
  • Autonomy: Are you allowing people to leverage their skills and leeway? Are we getting out of their way and letting them do their job?
  • …You guessed it: purpose

#5. Your purpose doesn’t have to be work-related

“Whether it’s for you, or your colleagues, your purpose might not be related to your work. It might be more social or focused on your community, and work is simply an enabler of that.”


#6. Conduct a meaning audit

The CLA team suggests for you to break down your week, as granular as possible (into chunks of hours) and rate the activity you were participating in.

Their rating system operates from a high-meaning activity (I was engaged in this task, I cared about this, it was intrinsically important to me) to a low-meaning activity (the opposite).

If you walk away from your meaning audit with an overwhelming amount of low-meaning activities, it’s time to re-evaluate what’s on your schedule.

Their tips? Don’t try it after a particularly awful week and try it for a couple of fortnights so you can find an average.


#7. Lookout if you are over-purposed

“There is a greater risk of burnout if you are deeply passionate about what you are doing, and also spreading yourself across multiple senses of ‘purpose’. It is hard to know when to disengage and set healthy boundaries for yourself,” Rearn and Marcele explained.

“Even if the work is intrinsically meaningful, it doesn’t mean you can’t look at what is meaningful to sustain you.”

Interested in hearing more from the CLA team? Find out more about our partnership and leadership immersion programs,  LEAD EMERGING and LEAD EXECUTIVE here.  

Thinking of joining us for Movers and Breakers 2020? You should! We’re heading to the Barossa Valley!


©2020 Business Chicks

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