The Importance of Purpose
Posted on 4th February 2021 at 13:16
Great business owners and leaders are hard wired to consider the welfare of their employees, colleagues and teams. This is of the utmost importance; 2021 could be another challenging year. It is equally important, however, to consider your own welfare.
How are you doing? What support are you getting? It can be difficult to keep going when the wind is continually blowing you in the wrong direction.
2020 taught me that a powerful sense of purpose is one of those tools that will help to get you through the difficulties that are to come. However, a sense of purpose needs to be nurtured. I know this, because in the last quarter of 2020, I lost mine.
Like many firms in the United Kingdom, mine took a battering in 2020, especially in the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Being an optimistic person, I chose to believe that I could steer my business through it and by the fourth quarter of the year. I was reaping the rewards of my efforts. However, during that same busy, successful period, something weird happened.
I found myself in a state of nihilism; what was the point of it all? I got up, worked, did everything that I needed to do. However, I had lost my joy in doing it. Apart from earning money, I could not seem to attach much meaning to it.
How did this manifest in my working life?
I could not bring myself to do more than the minimum. I focused on giving my existing clients excellent service, however development projects ceased. I simply couldn’t be bothered. Losing one’s sense of purpose is a crippling experience.
Looking back, triggers like a stressful house move and the looming second lockdown played a part in this; I was also exhausted and running on empty. Does any of this sound familiar?
My first instinct was to fight this feeling. I spent weeks trying to jolly myself out of it. If anything, this made it worse. The saying that what you resist, persists, was true in my case.
It only started to get better when I allowed myself to ask those scary questions. Was I on the right path? Am I really doing what I want to do? The truth is, for a while, I did not have an answer.
So - what did I do?
Over a period of weeks, I meditated, read self–help books (and have implemented some of what I learned), wrote and most importantly took a break. I watched the news less as I began to appreciate the soul sapping influence that it was having on me. I made important decisions relating to my general health and wellbeing. I have emerged from that process with a renewed sense of purpose and vigour.
The work that I do helps individuals and teams to live better lives. I can make a difference.
I have my purpose back.
I have also given thought as to how I regularly give myself time and space to top up my sense of purpose from time to time; this is an area that does benefit from regular positive reinforcement.
My process of renewal and repurposing may not work for you. If not, find your own. The importance is that you do have purpose.
During the safety briefing on a flight, the cabin crew instruct you to “put your oxygen mask on first” before helping others. Why is this important? Because if you run out of oxygen yourself, you cannot help anyone else with their oxygen mask.
In 2020, we were all told to wear a mask.
Well, here’s another one! A sense of purpose is like an oxygen mask.
We are going to need it.
Thank you for reading this! I hope you have found it helpful. Please get in touch on 07944 478 348 if you would like any other information.
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