Full disclosure: I am not necessarily a believer in the idea that everyone has a singular purpose in life, and that we would all wake up excited to go to work every day if only we could find our purpose.
Besides being a very privileged perspective, I think it’s a risky proposition. I mean, let’s be real. Most people work to live, not the other way around. And most are doing extremely valuable work that needs to get done, and there is great honor in that. So I’m not knocking it. Not one bit.
But what if you were in a position where you were feeling chronically disillusioned and discouraged by the daily grind, and it was beginning to take its toll on your psyche, and perhaps even your physical health? And what if you had the means to do something about it? Should you?
Well….perhaps. That’s a personal philosophical question that you can only answer, so I’ll just leave it there.
What I can do is tell you the steps I take with clients who are ready to find more fulfilling work and live in a way that is more consistently and authentically aligned with their personal values. A life that feels more balanced and intentional. Work that makes a positive impact in the world that they can feel excited about. And it necessarily requires addressing the whole person.
Because I like to make things easy to remember, I crafted my approach into 5 C’s that I use as an integral framework for guiding people to achieve greater fulfillment. It’s what worked for me, and I’ve seen it work for clients, too. Here’s my “secret sauce” (obvs not secret at all, but definitely zesty and nourishing).
- Connecting to self – spend some time reviewing your beliefs, feelings, sensations, desires, and interests. Engaging in honest self-reflection and using mindfulness techniques are helpful practices for this foundational step.
- Clarifying what’s most important to you – examine your values and needs, and work to identify the purpose that best aligns with who you are and how you want to live your life. What speaks to you and allows you to bring your best self to the world?
- Community building – find your tribe, those who share your chosen purpose, for ongoing support and to enhance your well-being with a sense of belonging.
- Cultivating the skills you need to align your life to your purpose – these may include developing your curiosity or creativity, setting boundaries, asking for help, or cultivating a growth mindset. They may also include specific job skills.
- Creating the life you want to live – set priorities, make a plan, create a supportive environment, and commit to living authentically as you grow into your next chapter.
I believe we each have access to numerous avenues that can offer a sense of purpose and meaning. What’s most useful is to identify the one that calls to you in a particular way, that you can realistically bring within reach. This is why I call my practice “Cultivating Possibility.” We can’t know what else is possible until we choose a new direction and start doing things differently than before.
It sounds so simple, right? Ha! Not so much. The truth is, many of us make partial efforts to move towards what we really want, only to get sidelined by life’s inherent complexities. Sometimes it takes repeated efforts before we find the determination to make it stick. Trust me, I know! And generally, even when we are ready for it, we need some help in traversing the rocky terrain and completing the journey. This, too, I am intimately familiar with. That’s why I’m always happy to offer my thoughts on where to start if you’re struggling to generate forward movement. But I’m not here to sell you on my services. Really. There are lots of ways to get the support you need to make a change. If you’re serious about living a more fulfilling life, I feel confident that you will find what you need – both internally and externally – to make it happen.
Note: If you are considering working with a coach, make sure you find a good fit. And if you think I might be that fit, take a look at my website and let’s have a chat to find out. A coaching program is a significant investment in yourself. It will be important to work with someone you feel comfortable with to ensure that mutual trust and respect can be established.