Connect With Purpose to Ignite Your Passion and Accelerate Growth in Business, Leadership and Life.
If you’re on the hunt to find more meaning and purpose in your work, you’re in good company.
The last few years have been disruptive. Notwithstanding the impact of bushfires, COVID-19, lockdowns, and the floods, organisational restructures, redundancies, new hybrid ways of working and advances in technology are threatening life as we know it.
The impact on the workplace is significant - 85% of people are disengaged at work; 95% of HR leaders report burnout is sabotaging the workforce; 69% of C-Suite leaders are seriously considering quitting for a job that better supports their wellbeing; and while 77% of leaders feel like they’re doing a good job at engaging people, only 12% of employees agree.
While an undercurrent of burnout is robbing us of any real sense of satisfaction, the benefits of employee’s creating a meaningful connection with the organisation's purpose has prompted leaders to reconsider their priorities and focus more on employee well-being, resilience and purpose.
Why? People who live their purpose are more productive, healthier, confident, centred, happy and more resilient, and when employees feel their purpose aligned with the organisation, the benefits expand to include stronger employee engagement, greater loyalty, and a willingness to recommend the company to others.
What exactly is the purpose?
Synonymous with motivation, impetus, cause, objective and intention, purpose is the reason for which something is done or created.
In business, we exist to solve a problem for a specific group of customers. The customers we serve and the problem we solve, is the reason why we exist.
The problem of course, is that with advances in technology and new hybrid ways of working, people are increasingly disconnected from having a meaningful connection with the customer and having their attention focussed on the difference, and impact they have on the customer.
The same is true in life. Albeit not easy to discover, our life purpose comes from a passion for something that’s much bigger than self. Unique to our strengths, values and talent, it defines the relationship, and impact, we have on our families, communities, organisations, society and the world.
When you create a meaningful connection with your life’s purpose, you are untethered and, simply put, more resilient to the daily and mundane challenges of life. You are at your best, thriving physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.
Sadly, creating a connection with purpose is not as straightforward as we’d like or think.
Whether you're managing a difficult situation, making tough decisions or dealing with a high degree of uncertainty, small amounts of stress from what we call “operational factors’ are enough to leave you feeling alone, separate and disconnected.
Then there’s relational factors - the challenges we face in our communication with colleagues, family, children and friends.
Is it any wonder there are 127 million listings on google for ‘relationships are hard work’ - the work of committed listening, letting go of control, practising vulnerability, overcoming resistance, being honest in the face of fear and focusing on your own work rather than trying to change your partner, boss or the people you work with, takes something.
The effort can be exhausting, leading many to conclude it’s not worth it - by quietly quitting, resigning or going into avoidance because they no longer have the stamina or commitment to preserve.
Finally, there’s the more complex ‘organisational factors’ - the most challenging obstacles that we experience having very little control over - conflicting work agendas, difficulty with co-workers, challenging structures, a lack of communication, redundancies, negotiating disagreements with superiors, extreme or unrealistic time pressures, not having enough support, the stigma about asking for help and being expected to be strong all the time.
All these, and more, can wear down our ability to cope and increase the likelihood of stress in all areas of life, leaving us with experience of burnout and a fundamental question about “Why am I here? What is the point?”” Why do I bother?” and “Is it all worth it?”
There is good news.
Doing the work to clarify your purpose is a great first step and the most important step when it comes to developing resilience. The ultimate game is to connect with purpose - to effectively navigate the external world and create a meaningful connection with your highest, and truest, expression as a human being.
What’s really exciting is the six-scientifically proven factors that determine our ability to connect with purpose - vision, composure, resourcefulness, good health (nutrition, exercise and sleep) , tenacity and collaboration.
- Vision — Clarity about what you are working towards with measurable goals
- Composure — Meditation and mindfulness practices that reduce stress, regulate emotions and help you stay calm and in control
- Reasoning — Anticipating challenges, resourcefulness and problem-solving skills
- Tenacity — Persistence and strong motivation through realistic optimism
- Collaboration — Strong support networks and connection, communication skills
- Health — Quality sleep, healthy nutrition, regular exercise
It’s one thing to know what to do. Making it happen is a whole new ball game,
One of the benefits of connecting brands, and people with purpose for the past 30 years, is the invaluable lessons learnt from what does and doesn’t work.
To help you thrive and play at your highest level of performance, here’s a few simple practices, pun intended, I’ve called The A-Game - Acknowledgement, Alignment, Accountability and Action Despite Adversity.
As soon as you notice yourself out of alignment, that is to say, your thoughts, feelings and actions are inconsistent with your true purpose, it's a signal that something’s out of whack. We cannot change what we don’t acknowledge, so the practice of acknowledgment is about telling the truth to ourselves about what is and what isn’t working.
How many of you know you automatically think the worst? What about when you wake up - are you jumping out of your skin with positivity and happiness about your day or are disappointed that you didn’t get enough sleep?
A simple practice at the end of each day to write down three things you did well has been proven to reduce stress, improve sleep and our cognitive functioning to access more the creative and strategic part of our brain. Try it out for two weeks and see what you discover. The objective here is to see life as it really is - no better or worse - and to have real power in your ability to connect with the real purpose of life - to be happy, fulfilled and connected with the people around you.
For those who have not done the work to know who you are and what is imported to you, your strengths, values and talents- the foundation and access to your purpose, then get yourself a coach or use some of the many tools online and get cracking to articulate your vision, values, passion and purpose - your own brand identity.
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style." - Maya Angelou
Reframing the challenges we encounter, to be an opportunity rather than an obstacle, is one simple practice of alignment that can be helpful in the process of creating a meaningful connection and, as the wise Maya Angelou once said, “do it with some passion, compassion, humour and style”.
We have no control over what other people say and do, but we do have control of the way we respond. Instead of concerning ourselves with what we think other people should be doing, or not doing, stop and ask yourself, “what's the one thing I can do, to align with my purpose and move forward despite what’s happening around me?”. Obstacles are inevitable.
My favourite practice for accountability is simple. Do one thing every day that is entirely selfish - like those self-care practices of eating good healthy foods, drinking water, going to bed before 10pm, going for a walk, or my favourite, meditation.
There are hundreds of resources to help you meditate. For me, it’s developing myself in the practice of Dadirri - a deep listening and quiet stillness that connects me to country, a place where we quieten the mind, let go and breathe deeply with a knowing that there is nothing to fix, nowhere to get and nowhere else we need to be.
The objective here is to increase your attention on what you can control and the only person or thing you have any control over, is you.
4. Action Despite Adversity
Sounds simple right? But how many of us get stuck for days, weeks or years not taking action on what we want in life. Taking action despite adversity is about taking one small step in the direction of your purpose, no matter what you think or feel. Sometimes the action is to take a break and do nothing.
My favourite practice for action, starts with making a list of all the things you have on your plate - everything you know to do to act with integrity, including the things that your partner, boss or family expect you to do - whether you say so or not. Review the list and remove anything that is “nice to have'' or “not your business” and schedule it in your diary. When it comes time to do it, no questions asked, it’s time to do it - easier said than done, but incredibly powerful when you do. Letting your internal doubt plague you with procrastination is unhelpful. Simply ignore it, and get into action.
WRITTEN BY KYLEE STONE
Resilience Expert | Leadership Transformation Coach