What is Your Greater Purpose?
As most of you know, Learning Rebels hosts a reading group called #RebelliousReaders. Right now, we are winding down from reading “Work Out Loud” by John Stepper. In my last email to the group, I specifically recall chapter 17, “Your Greater Purpose”.
Abraham Lincoln Rocks the Quote
The opening quote is perfect. “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” ~ Good old Abe Lincoln. As John says, this is the shortest chapter in the book and for me it is a critical chapter. For many people the concept of “working out loud”, is great in theory, but how do I start? Procrastination is the stuff of evil (as discussed here). I love that in this chapter he is giving us a chance to step back and think about the “Why”.
In this case, I’m taking my own medicine and posting my “Greater Purpose Letter” here. Yep, for the world to see. I mean we can’t just talk the talk, right? So, I’m asking all to you work on your journey with me.
A Letter to Yourself
In case you haven’t read the book, here are the general instructions: Choose a date and time from the future. Could be months, could be years. Up to you. Image what is happening during this time in your life if things had gone well, how do you feel? What have you accomplished? Are you fulfilled? As John says, there is no “right” way to write such a letter. There is no perfect structure, no perfect set amount of words or needed length. Just write from the heart. “For it to be real, for it to be useful, you need to engage your emotions”.
In this chapter, John shares his own letter. I particularly like how he has his broken down. I’ve used the same format below. So take 30 minutes tonight. Just 30 minutes, maybe it’s before you leave the office, or before you go to bed, after you’ve watched Big Bang Theory and the dogs and kids are down for the count.
Start a Fire!
Your job if you wish to accept it: Share your work – Yes, share – it is working out loud. We all can benefit. Besides, I figure if John Stepper can do it, so can we.
- Share your own letter the comment section of this blog post. It would be wonderful to see the fire spread, letting us all discover our greater purpose together. Each letter feeding into another and perhaps providing needed support.
- Other– Want to share your work but not with your name attached? Simply email me, email@example.com, in the subject line write “Finding My Great Purpose” and attach your letter. I’ll copy and paste it into the blog comments without your name.
- Revised Added other (03.04.2016) – I just stumbled upon this wonderful post about “A Plan to Stop Sucking and Kicking Ass” (David Delp of PilotFire.com) what’s not to love about that? I would encourage you to visit this page and watch the video. Try the mind mapping exercise, then come back and share your results.
So, off with you. Maybe you feel compelled to stop everything right now, and not look at your email, letting calls go to voicemail…that would be what a Rebel would do. But then again, a Rebel would also like to have a frosty adult beverage while thinking…so maybe wait. Whichever your choice, get to it.
Remember back in 2016, when you decided to write this post about your goals? Well, time to check in. Here is what you decided was important for you in order to find inner peace and success:
My dreams/goals for the future of me.
I would like to write more beyond my blog and newsletter. Specifically with the purpose of helping other learning practitioners find their best selves. I truly want to help the industry move forward.
I’d love to work with other Learning Rebels on projects. Let’s co-produce! Let’s produce quality and helpful knowledge bits that upskill, and increase knowledge.
I’d like to more involved in coaching women in the workplace, help them when they are first starting out. When women win, we all win.
Well, there is wanting to be able to lay around a tropical island relaxing after my multitude of paid speaking gigs. Speaking, sharing and connecting with people from all over…and make a living doing so.
How will I know I met those goals?
I will have authored books and articles of notable content (which sell). I will be paid to speak about the content. I will be making a living from that content. I will have developed partnerships to carry that content forward.
How will it feel if I don’t try and if I do?
If I don’t pursue my dreams/goals I’ll be living in a hamster wheel. Always thinking “what-if”. Thinking, shoulda, coulda, woulda… binge watching “How to Get Away with Murder” and “John Oliver” while buried in an ocean of Cheez-its and Cheetos. I will become frustrated as my life seems to pass me by, without making a contribution to those around me. I will have to work until I am six-feet under (another good show) because my savings will not sustain me.
If I do pursue my dreams/goals, I will live a happier life. I will be a better partner, friend, mother, writer and entrepreneur. I will have a sense of happiness that leads to having a more fulfilled life with a livelihood to support it. Because I will have this peace of mind and happiness; this will allow me to create more, be more connected to a network that is increasingly important to me, therefore providing more value to my industry of choice. Ultimately, allowing me to have more freedom to help women who are in need of help and coaching. When women win, we all win. (Yes, I am writing this while laying around on a tropical beach…frosty adult beverage in hand!)
So me? How did we do? Are you buried under a cloud of Cheeto dust? Or are you happily working virtually with other Learning Rebels, saving the world, while drinking sangria on the beach? I hope that we’re saving the world!
Cheers to you!
I had certainly thought about my dreams and goals. I had spoken about those same dreams and goals to other people. But it feels so much more powerful when you see them, written, in front of you. Certainly more powerful knowing that in a few moments, I will be clicking the “publish” button. Okay, now I’m afraid. I can actually feel my heart beating in my chest. This is a true “work out loud” moment. I’m working through my dreams and goals with all of you. It takes a village, right?
There is a moment in everyone’s life where the need to settle down and review the purpose of one’s life. To do so with an open audience puts it all in a different light. Let’s help each other grow stronger. Develop our knowledge. Take Learning Rebel curiosity to a new level. (To help out here are a few notes and a worksheet to help you stop procrastinating this important exercise.
Will you accept my challenge?
As a reminder:
Your job if you wish to accept it – Share your greater purpose.
- Share your own letter the comment section of this blog post. Let’s start a fire.
- Remember – If you want to share your work but not with your name attached, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org, and in the subject line write “Finding My Great Purpose” then attach your letter. I’ll copy it into the blog comments without your name.
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