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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 purpose together.

Step 1
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.

Step 2
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.

Step 3
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.

Step 4
Notice how your contribution to the world is part of something much bigger than you, how it is connected to a larger Vision or endeavor.

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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