A time for past reflections & future projections

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash.com

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash.com

It’s that time of year when the calendar rolls over to a new year and we consider the achievements of the year past, and plan for those ahead. There is always talk of new year’s resolutions and goal setting. This requires you to know where you are headed. To have a purpose and ideas to achieve them. What if you don’t?

 Finding your purpose
Many people talk about ways of finding your purpose. Essentially this involves a number of self-assessment exercises. Some people are interested in this sort of thing. Others don’t want to invest the effort, the time or the money (if you see an advisor) to do this. The self-reflection exercise is a good one though.

Scott Dinsmore helps people find their purpose and passion. His expertise in this area has evolved from personal experience in jobs that impassioned him, and others that didn’t. He has developed an approach suggests three areas for investigation.

  1. Become a self-expert
    What are your strengths? Where do your talents lie? What are the things you do easily and well? All sorts of information can contribute to this. This may include what you know about yourself as well as what you have found out about yourself from psychometric assessments, questionnaires and the use of instruments like Myers Briggs. This may also come from feedback provided by those you have worked with and trusted friends.
  2. Know your decision-making framework
    What do you care about in life? Is it the people like friends and family? Is health paramount? Is achievement and success important. These factors all affect how you make decisions. More than that, it tells us what make meaning for us – tells what our soul is made of.
  3. Reflect on your experiences
    From our life experiences, we learn things about what we love, what we hate, what we’re good at, what we’re terrible at. We need to pay attention to that, assimilate the learning and apply it. It means taking time to reflect. What went well?  What didn’t? What do you want to do again?  What can you apply more in your life?

Going through these exercises and recording the outcomes, perhaps in a journal, helps to give some perspective to your life and purpose. Write regularly, then periodically review your notes. Share them with others who know you well and who may offer different viewpoints for consideration.

Then what?
Once you reach a sense of clarity about your purpose, there is time to reflect on whether you are doing what you want to do work-wise and life-wise. If you purpose and work/life are congruent, you probably wake up each day inspired about what lies ahead. Whether you are doing something big or small, its impact on you will be leading a life that is fulfilling. 

If you are not there yet, perhaps you are on your way. The journey may provide the inspiration.

Reference: Scott Dinsmore: How to find work that you love TEDx Golden Gate Park 2012


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