The Secret to a Life of Success and Fulfillment
By Robert Knowlton
16th century essayist, Michel Montaigne, wrote, "the great and
glorious masterpiece of man is to know how to live to purpose."
Though this refers to the personal aspects of our lives, when
applied to business, successes often occur when our businesses
are also operating on purpose.
We hear and read a lot about mission statements: what we do; and
vision statements: what our efforts effect. A Purpose is
different. It is the "why" behind what we do. A purpose, personal
or business, is our "raison d'Ítre" or "reason for being."
Some say, in business, as in life, when you are not sure which
way to go or where to turn, connect back to why you're here,
doing what you do ... your purpose. Purpose provides ongoing
direction and focus, a clear, solid understanding of what you do
in business and in life, why you do it and how it benefits
yourself and others.
Insights into the way businesses work and what is necessary for
enterprises to last, come back to efforts being in clear
alignment with purpose. The same dynamic is true of people.
When you know your personal purpose (and everyone has one), you
can then consciously align yourself, your interests, and your
actions, with what brings meaning, satisfaction and fulfillment
to your life.
Great power, motivation and inspiration comes when you align
your personal purpose with your business purpose. Work no longer
seems like work, rather something fulfilling and of which you
want to be a part!
Throughout time the challenge has always been in defining our
personal purpose. The oracle at Delphi said, "Know thyself."
This is essential for clarifying your personal purpose and, the
process requires introspection.
Here are some specific steps to help you put the pieces of your
Determine your Core Attributes. These represent the kind of
person you are now and usually have been true of you since you
were a youngster. Knowing your attributes offers a sense of
security of self.
Define and acknowledge your unique Natural Gifts. The
capabilities, skills and abilities that seem to come naturally to
you (hint: you often take your natural gifts for granted because
these skills are so easy for you to do). Knowing your natural
gifts creates an inner sense of capability.
Connect to past experiences where you felt satisfied, on purpose
or like you were using all of who you are. Note the similarities
in these experiences and how you were actually manifesting your
personal purpose. Knowing your purpose gives you a solid sense of
the significance of the contribution you make.
Notice how your contribution to the world is part of something
much bigger than you, how it is connected to a larger Vision or
Connecting your personal purpose with what you do for a living is
satisfying and liberating. Take the time to "know thyself." When
you are living on purpose, you are bound to be successful in
business and in life.
(c) 2000, Robert Knowlton
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