When I am talking about purpose, it means I am referring to a lifelong planning, so I do not mean a purpose of 1 year, 2 years, 3 years or 5 years, but finding out a purpose of your own existence. Believe me, if you will start leading a purposeful life than the energy visible is oceanic in nature and force in your life will be more than the forceful force of a volcano.
Most of us are living a life that we have got by chance; we live to fulfill the purpose of our loved ones and try to achieve all those things that they have visualized for us. But, I want you to seriously find out your purpose.
My suggestion for you is to read this chapter in a complete seclusion and observation. The objective of this chapter is to drag you out of the perspective of others and put you into a deep well of self-awareness.
|“A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.”
– Denis Waitley
Why have a Purpose in Life?
A lifelong purpose is a very important factor in the life of an individual or an organization. The only reason that why humans are termed differently with animals is that, they have a purposeful life. It forms the basis of individual or organization’s existence. The reason behind the success of every successful person is the ‘purpose’ of his existence. They are successful because they had a purpose of their life, a focal point about what they wanted to achieve.
Your success depends on how you cultivate your existence i.e. determining objective and purpose of your life.
Furthermore, let’s see why you require a definite purpose of life:
- Add Meaning to Life: A set purpose, adds meaning to your life. Ideals like Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill and Mother Theresa had set an apt purpose in life that leads to decode them as great visionaries. An apt purpose will give your life an in-depth motive and the reason for existence.
- Feeling of Fulfillment: Once you have set or decided your purpose of existence then the feeling of fulfillment you have will be incomparable, as I said earlier it will not be less than the forceful fore of a volcano. This feeling will boost up the confidence and self motivation in your life that will certainly help you achieve what you wished for in the first chapter of this manual.
- Instant Focus to Life: Once you decide the purpose of life then instantly you will feel more focused with positive appeal towards your situations. So, purpose of life makes you more focused and earnest.
- Helps to Understand Priorities: A purposeful life will always have some priorities to follow, so you can determine the work that you have to say no. It is simple to understand that here you at times need to “Quit to Win”.
How Do I Determine My Purpose of Life?
If you ask someone that what is their purpose of life? What is the objective that determines their existence? Probably, they will tell you what is forced upon them by their family, friends, or society to which they belong.
For instance, if, I ask you what is the purpose of your life? Or simply what is your purpose in life? Probably your answer would be somewhat like:
I want to become an engineer, or a doctor, a chartered accountant, a trainer, salesperson, an artist, a photographer and so on. Moreover if I ask the reason behind the same then majority will answer that I want to become so and so because my father wants that his son should grow up as a doctor or engineer or …
My dear friend, remember your objective of reading this manual is to ‘achieve all your goals’ and not to ‘achieve someone else goals’
Do you really think that that achieving someone else goals is the very purpose of your life? No! Because this is not your purpose but rather the purpose of your family, teacher, society or friends that burdened you on what is expected by them.
The purpose of your life should definitely be decided by you only but remember your purpose should come out from your value system. Let’s read below to know the importance of value based purpose and how to judge your value system.
Value based Purpose of life
Setting or identifying a lifetime purpose is not enough but understanding the aptness of the same is equally significant. Make sure that your purpose is based on your value system. It is about integrity, honesty, loyalty and henceforth. Many of us have good amount of money but despite are poor because creating wealth without considering your values is actually of no value. Your objectives should be earning money based on your value system. The moment you quote a price for your values, it loses its worth. It is the most precisions thing of a person with strong value system which even money can’t buy. You ought to value your value system.
“Some values can’t be quantified. Success at any cost isn’t the point. It’s winning the right way that matters….we also must consistently prove through our actions that we stand for the right things.” Well absolutely right. You cannot work upon your values till you don’t stand for them.
To elaborate it further let’s understand by way of illustration – A CEO decided to sell the company’s shares at a price of Rs.50 per share. The deal was final and the paperwork was on its way; somehow during this time period the price of the same shares went up from Rs.50 to Rs.250 per share. The buyer asked CEO to re-negotiate the deal, but CEO replied that deal was finalized and they will stick to that price. The buyer was so impressed by this display of integrity and stand for values that, he purchased all the shares at Rs.250 per share price without any negotiations.
So commitment to your value system is very important. Once committed, should stay committed. People having conflicting value system can’t stay or work together in-home or at workplace.
How to Judge your value system?
According to Mahatma Gandhi, there are seven deadly sins which that help to judge the value system.
- Knowledge without character
- Pleasure without conscience
- Commerce without morality
- Wealth without work
- Science without humanity
- Politics without principle
Religion without sacrifice
Quick Test to Improve Your Value System
According to “Mahatma Gandhi” each of the above behavioral traits reflects lack of values. Therefore, to check the value system two tests were introduced – “mama test” and the “baba test”.
- The Mama test-whatever you are doing whether at home or at work, whether alone or with someone-if question is on your values ask yourself, if my mama were to see me doing this would she be proud of me or would she hang her head in shame? Your values would then be clarified rather quickly. If you passed the mama test and failed all other tests, you have passed. If you failed mama test and passed all other tests you have failed.
- The Baba test– If the mama test doesn’t do it, I have another test called the “Baba test”. Whatever you are doing whether at home or at work, whether alone or with someone-if question is on your values-ask yourself,” if my children were to see me doing what I am doing, would I want them to see it or would I be embarrassed? Again the confusion will get clearer quickly and you will get your answers.
Your Purpose of life should be Ethical
Your choice of purpose should not be in accordance with changing times. Being ethical will determined and answer what is right or what is wrong irrespective of the circumstance or situation. Your ethical standards cannot be situational i.e. if the situation is favorable you follow your principles of ethics and if situation is not favorable you doesn’t. There are people who keep on changing their ethics from situation to situation. People of such kind have ethics of convenience instead of conviction. And believe me it is your conviction that will make you successful in the long run.
Deep Rooted Character gives a strong purpose in life
A deep value and character centered purpose in life goes a long way. Character is a learned behavior. It is the aggregate of individual’s values, beliefs and personality. A good character is the combination of integrity, conviction, loyalty and respect. The benefits of character is about knowing who you are, it is the most precious asset of an individual, it is about trust that reflects individual core value, it is an individual bank balance, it defines an individual stand on what is right and what is wrong.
For instance; a doctor is running a hospital and his purpose in life is to make money. Is that really the purpose? No! Because to make money he will charge unnecessary high fees, he will prescribe costly medicines and make commission; he will do unnecessary operations and so on. Instead the purpose of his life should be to give healthy life to the sick.
So, when you enter into a business with a view point to offer services, business comes so fast that you can’t manage. While on the other hand, when you enter into a business with a view point to make bucks, it doesn’t come. And even if it comes, it won’t stay for long, even if it stays; what is that money worth for, which is without any goodness.
So, let’s have a deeper purpose behind our purpose of life.
Also, your value and ethical purpose come from the way you want the world to remember you, which is discussed as under.
How would you want to be remembered in life?
Your purpose determines the way you want the world to remember you.
Let’s suppose today is your 50th birthday, your office colleagues have arranged a party for you and have invited all key people that matter you the most like your wife, your brothers, your relatives and your friends. Now, what is that you will expect them to speak about you?
- What should your wife say about you?
- What should your brother say about you?
- What should your friends Say about you?
- What should your colleagues say about you?
The answer to the above questions will determine your purpose. Thus, purpose of life comes from within. It lets you know who you are and what you want to achieve. The organizations purpose is to know, what their business is, or what business they are in. The answers to these questions will determine their reason for existence. Purpose originates within individual’s or organization’s core value system that defines elements like integrity, honesty, loyalty and hence forth.
|Story of Alfred Nobel
Alfred Nobel was an inventor of dynamite. He was born on 21st October 1833, in Sweden. Alfreds father owned a factory in Russia, but he went bankrupt after the Crimean Wars. Alfred started to work with nitroglycerin so as to help his father. In 1863 Alfred applied for patents for his work with nitroglycerin. Alfred moved to U.S in 1866 and continued his work with nitroglycerin. In 1867 while working he found that when nitroglycerin was added in an absorbent inert substance like kieselguhr it became safer and more convenient to handle, and this mixture he patented was dynamite. Dynamite was used broadly in mining and construction work internationally. In 1875 Nobel invented gelignite, more stable and powerful than dynamite, and in 1887 patented ballistite, a forerunner of cordite.
In 1888 Alfreds brother Ludvig died and a French newspaper mistakenly published Alfreds obituary. His obituary positioned his invention of dynamite as an act of an awful or evil. The obituary stated, Le marchand de la mort est mort (“The merchant of death is dead”) and went on to say, “Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.
He was shocked after reading his obituary in the newspaper. At that moment, Nobel realized that this is how he is going to be remembered and that, this is not what he wanted to be remembered like. Wanting to change this legacy he moved to Italy. In 1895 Nobel made a will, and set aside his money to establish the Nobel Prizes which would award those who made great discoveries.
So what is your legacy? How would you like the world to remember you? Whether, you will be missed or not? These are few of the questions that you need to ask yourself while setting an ethical and value based purpose of life.