Create a strong sense of purpose in your business
Blend It With Your Identity And You’ve Got A Good Thing Going On
On a walk Sunday, I was listening to a music mix and on came the optimistic, powerful sound of The Pretenders performing Sense of Purpose from 1990 which I may not have heard since, well, 1990. There I was, striding along, and it felt like an anthem feeding my energy, tempting my inspiration and stirring up thoughts of what’s to come. It was one of those classic moments in life when everything is in sync and simple, clear. Chrissie Hynde knows of what she speaks.
…I’m potent, baby, I’m potent
Dangerous to the naked eye…
…Give me a sense of purpose
A real sense of purpose now
Give me a sense of purpose
A real sense of purpose now…
Pretenders A Sense of Purpose
Yesterday, on another walk gazing down at our beautiful coastline, I noticed the incredible light the morning had to offer. In the same way that the sun shines light and is reflected on the ocean, our sense of purpose will shine and reflect in the work that we do and the way we live our lives.
Entering into Thanksgiving and taking this time to consider what we’re grateful for can build a sense of purpose in each of us. We tend to take stock of what matters to us and look at what hasn’t proven to have lasting importance. We can see where we’ve come from and where we’d like to go. Gratitude has a way of doing that.
This is a perfect time and a perfect opportunity to transpose these ideas onto your work, for small businesses to apply them with clear intent as they traverse forward with their mission. Our strategies for brand building, promoting our brand and having a crystalized and binding sense of purpose are about as important as it gets. For the business owner or for anyone invested in the company where they work (I might add: hopefully). You may notice that when you have a strong North Star guiding your sense of purpose everything you do is imbibed with an extra dose of energy and sparkle. Your inspiration comes more easily. You know what you’re about. Your feet lift a tiny bit off the ground and you prance into each day. Purposefully.
Telos comes from the Greek and is an end or purpose. “It is the root of the term “teleology” which is the study of purposiveness or the study of objects with a view to their aims, purposes, or intentions.” Jung’s belief was that human beings are conditioned not just by their history but also by their aims and aspirations (teleology).
“Life is teleology par excellence; it is the intrinsic striving towards a goal, and the living organism is a system of directed aims which seek to fulfill themselves.” C.G. Jung (CW 8, par. 798)
“Teleology is used to refer to psyche’s purposiveness, the end or telos towards which a process in the present is aimed…. Teleology looks towards what lies ahead of, in front of, the present…“ “… teleology is a word about time, specifically, about the futural sense of time. … It is a non-causal perspective that expresses a future dimension of the subject that operates in the present. This idea of the future operating in the present is the key to the meaning of teleology……present is actual, and the past retains elements of actuality through memory, artifacts, archives, and the like. But the future exists only in an act of imagining possibilities.” Alan M. Jones, Ph.D., C.S.W.
Purpose and Identity
Thinking about purposefulness immediately transports me to identity. They are so intrinsically interwoven I consider them as a pair going hand in hand. I am always harping on identity. Identifying your identity. Questioning your identity. Developing your identity. Believing in your identity. Communicating your identity. Well here it is again. Blend your identity with your sense of purpose.
Pause and Get Clarity
There’s a lot to do in life. We are constantly juggling and rushing. We start out with an idea. There’s something we need or something we’ve decided to put our mind to. Sometimes, that something is a big, giant project like following our dream or say… starting a business, a marriage, entering into parenthood. Sometimes there’s a readjustment needed to something we are already involved with, or there’s a catalyst that causes us to take a look at what we’re up to, where we are going. Perhaps that moment arrives when you find yourself being the architect of your company culture but you’re not quite sure what that ought to be. Or maybe you’re redesigning your website, re-framing your blogging intentions or figuring out how to engage and who you will be on your social media networks.
Question where you are going. Stop and ask: What are we after here, what are we doing?
Stay On Course
How do we stay on course while uncovering our sense of purpose? What’s the plan? What motivates it? How do we remain true to our purpose once we’ve defined it? These are questions that can be asked productively every single day. We hope to make the right choices, be doggedly clear and intentful in our actions and messaging. The first step starts with examining what our sense of purpose is and not overloading it with too many tributaries and sideline desires. Of course, there will be temptations to not think things through, to take shortcuts or lose track. That’s not only natural but unavoidable in many scenarios. But do work to keep a vision of your sense of purpose always in the forefront.
Full circle back around to gratitude and steering my own ship
There’s a family story about me that comes to mind and seems to fit. When I was 5 or 6 there was a huge blizzard and the village where we lived was hunkered down. My family was watching TV for school closures while I quietly made myself some breakfast, got dressed, bundled up and headed out into the storm to walk to school. A girl on a mission driven forward by howling, snowy winds and my own childhood sense of purpose and identity of persistence. Of course, there was no school that day and somehow, I got safely back home. But I can learn about myself through that memory.
Google Plus has proven to be Purpose Destination for me. The place where I learn more deeply about my own sense of purpose. As a social media layer/network it is a place where we’re collectively exploring our sense of purpose and sharing whatever we can to help foster that in others. It being almost Thanksgiving, I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and express my gratitude and admiration for these people who all have a very strong sense of purpose and are helping me with mine.
People with a strong clear purpose
David Amerland for authenticity, search and business strategy and patiently teaching us, Mark Traphagen for Authorship and fostering our knowledge, also for the teacher he is, John Kellden for deep exploration and discovery, Martin Shervington for bringing his extensive marketing and communication chops to Plussing Our Lives, Stephan Hovnanian for guiding users with G+, Profiles and Hovercards, Mike Allton for social media management and blog coaching, Michael Bennett’s with his heroic educational Google Drive curation and inspiring photographs, Jesse Wojdylo for keeping in step with his diverse interests and building a huge following, Demian Farnworth for exploring his true self and encouraging us to through the written word and setting the bar high, Susanne Ramharter for keeping us connected to culture through visual art, Les Dossey for teaching us to not be afraid to confront our shadows for growth and change, Bruce Marko for his uncanny ability to share his inner thoughts so succinctly, Christine DeGraff for stepping up as the glue for relationships, Peg Fitzpatrick for her boundlessly high spirits and energy for social media, Jaana Nyström whose sense of adventure and good humor is so clearly illustrated in her marvelous cover photo being held up in the trunk of an elephant, Troy Mclaughlin who says “Be You as no one else can do it better” for funneling his generosity to the Art of Giving, Dustin Stout for consistently brilliant visual messages that pack smart ideas and some good kicks in the pants, Sean Murray for his knack at reeling us back in to the beauty of connecting just in case we may have lost track, Marilyn Moore for brilliantly distilling big information and re-framing it in a fresh way.
I think you get the picture.
Now lest I give the impression of being starry eyed and naïve, or overly dreamy and optimistic let’s just say that I can lean in that direction when I know where I’m going and why. Consider this a pep talk for straightening your proverbial tie knot and pulling your skirt down towards your knees. Wake up and give it some thought.
What’s good right now and what’s not? How would you like to strengthen your sense of purpose?
At my church a couple of months ago they had Saturday fun surf day and we welcomed our entire personnel to fulfill at the beach. Workers value belonging to something excellent like this, and it permits everyone to form close relationships.