She was intentionally vague with her "at a nonprofit" response while stuttering to get it out. I thought that was odd so a few seconds later I ask her "Which nonprofit?"
With a nervous laugh, she says "Planned Parenthood...you either love us or hate us!?!?"
I replied back to her the same way I would to anyone given my line of work (I'm a coach and strategist that helps people to maximize their potential): "I respect anyone who believes in their sense of mission and purpose whether I agree with it or not. The tragedy I see the most is people who have no purpose or sense of mission at all! At least you feel some sense of mission or you wouldn't be working on a Sunday!"
The visible sigh of relief and relaxation in her shoulders told me that she is judged quite a bit based on the organization she works for...I was glad my comment gave her some sense of relief to at least not be judged for one day!
What does this have to do with purpose?
In our current world humanity is so fractured based on differences of opinion or perspective. I am not writing to discuss that...I'm writing to reiterate the importance of how having a sense of purpose or mission can lead to a more authentic and empowered life.
What we see most times in coaching can fit into one of the categories below:
- People who are working towards a mission that others expect from them (parents, teachers, etc) but that has no real meaning;
- People who believe they're working on a mission but what their doing is really fueling their ego or pride;
- People who flirt with a mission or delve into their potential purpose but as soon as it gets hard, they abandon it because we've all been programmed to take "the road of least resistance"
And what's even more important about 95% of our population that operates with the above (but is also well known amongst coaches) is no amount of vacations, money or vices (temporary experiences) is going to fill the voids of a purposeless life.
What are you doing today to create more purpose in your life? And like the lady I met above, even if you haven't figured out your singular purpose, join a group, tribe or organization that helps you feel more connected to a sense of mission.
And don't stop looking until you find it!
P.S. See the "Free Resources" page for tools to help you connect with your purpose!