At a workshop presented by Christie Clinic Foundation last week, the topic was “Live Your Life on Purpose.”
Life on Purpose is the sub-line of Your BEST ThirdThird. Since this workshop was focused on what I focus on, I thought I might learn something. I went because it was sponsored by people I respect. AND because I am invested in the topic.
From the workshop, I came out with three great questions worth pondering. They are challenging, but one way to be sure that you are designing a life that will eventually lead you to the BEST ThirdThird possible, is to challenge your thoughts.
Here you go… Good questions for defining your Life on Purpose:
Question One: What problem would you want to solve?
A participant suggested this as an alternative to asking a child what they want to be when they grow up. But what a great pondering for adults.
Hunger? Abuse? Educational opportunities? Neighborhood connections? Fear of change? Shedding Shame? Addiction to…? Sports for kids? Running?
That list is off the top of my head, thinking of possible answers of friends I know. For a life on purpose, zeroing in on a problem you’d like to solve is a valuable exercise.
It can also be a great conversation starter!
Question Two: What are three key moments in your life?
And what lessons did you learn from them?
I like this because it keeps changing for me. On the day, with a short period of time, I came up with … changing careers at age 54 that resulted in me realizing in a new way that I am intellectually capable of a lot more than I had always thought. There was time for only one to be shared.
I keep thinking, though, about that question and now have three key momentes that are significant in what I am doing and where I am going right now.
- The day I, usually the “worker bee,” organized and led a group of 45 people to build a low-ropes team building course at our Retreat and Training Center. I had the knowledge and the vision of the end result so was moving between projects and giving encouragement and direction. At the end of the day, I realized that I had MANAGED and LED that day to great results. A Leader was born!
- The week spent in Honduras on a mission trip with my daughter. She was 15, too young to go alone, so I agreed to be a chaperone. I was concerned most about being away from home for 12 days. What if I got tired of what we were doing and wanted to return home? At the end of the trip, I was struck by the changes in the team members. We were each changed by the experience of being with people who had so much less than we did….and seemed so much more content. I was hooked on providing opportunities for North Americans to get outside their comfort zones by joining work teams into developing countries. I was changed by the people I met and places around the world I visited over the next 10 years as a volunteer trip leader with churches and Habitat for Humanity.
A concrete and on-going result is our not-for-profit in Mexico and my pet project, The Chicken Project.
- A long time ago and truly significant, I received a letter from woman I respected, encouraging me to “Write.” I told her I didn’t have time. Five young children, one with a disability, home schooling, a husband with a job that needed my support. Writing for publication did not fit on my list of to-do’s.
“Then, keep a journal of lessons you are learning so that when you DO have the time, you will remember accurately.” That letter, that exhortation, has stayed with me now for 36 years and I am finally doing it, right here, right now. My journals are one of my most valued possessions. The chronicle of risks taken, lessons learned, the proof that “this too shall pass” and other situations will come along.
Question Three: State your personal mission in 2 words.
This came from discussion at our table, from a woman who had been challenged to state her mission in two words. At our table of four, we came up with “Encourage others,” “Give Care,” “Special Needs Children,” and mine…… “Inspire Change.”
I offer a Life on Purpose workshop that involves writing a personal mission statement. I have worked with hundreds of people with this topic as focus. Distilling it down to 2 words is a good challenge.
I like my longer statement that encompasses how and for whom, but for decision making situations, for considering options for my time, for an instant reminder, two words work.
Inspire Change. Yep, that’s me.
I’d love to know some of your reflections and reactions to some of these questions!