What’s your purpose, your mission or your vision? What is it that guides the actions you choose to take and the direction you move towards everyday?
I greatly admire the work of American author and speaker Simon Sinek. Reading (several times) his seminal work “Start With Why” has been a game-changer for me in beginning to understand the answers to the questions above. A few months ago, I watched a YouTube in which he began by saying:
“My name is Simon Sinek and I have a clear vision of what I want to build in the world.”
He then went on to explain the short but very focused vision of what he wants to achieve with his life.
What a powerful statement and touchstone for life. To have a clear understanding of what it is that you were put on this earth to do. A lens through which to view the world and make important decisions about what to say yes to and what to decline. And there is a key word in the statement too: BUILD. To think about building and creating is to recognise that we are born to shape the world around us in a better way. How incredibly enabling and empowering!
Yet on reflection at the time, I honestly couldn’t say the same thing. For how many more of us is that also true? Both as individuals and in the organisations we’re part of and that we work for?
Since then I have been spending time working on and trying to refine a similar statement for myself. I’m not sure that I am quite there yet, but the journey is certainly interesting. It’s helping me to understand how to be most effective where I am now and to focus my energy on the direction that I’m heading.
As a Christian, I am guided by my faith and as such I’m certain that each of us has been created for a unique purpose. I believe that none of this, the world we live in, has come into being by accident and that we all have a part to play in the way it works out. Our journey through life is about finding out what that purpose is. Then having found our purpose, living it out to make the world better. Sounds a bit lofty? Maybe, but as Nelson Mandela said:
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
I agree entirely and that, right there, describes the life that I want to live. A life that I can look back on in years to come knowing that I did all that I was created to do.
So let’s aim high. Let’s do the work to uncover the life that we are capable of living, whatever our circumstances. So that we can each say with confidence:
“I have a clear vision of what I want to build with my life…”.