Advice From a CEO: How to Find Your Purpose

by | Sep 14, 2021 | Podcast

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What is your purpose? How do you find meaning in what you do so that you can make a lasting impact? How do you find your purpose?

In this episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, I talk about how to go about finding your personal purpose. To develop purpose, combine being of service to others, trying new things, stretching yourself around your strengths and weaknesses, and being good at what you do.

Aligning your work with personal purpose is an integral part of being fulfilled at work. I’m sure you’ve heard, “do what you love; turn your passion into your work!” Despite its feel-good intent, it’s not great counsel. “Passion is not something you follow,” says Cal Newport, author of “So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Search for Work You Love.” “Passion is something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable to the world.”

Most highly skilled people are that way because they worked hard at becoming their very best. In the episode, I talk about Michael Jordan, believed to be the best basketball player of all time. Remarkably, he was uninterested in sports as an adolescent. Considered too short by his coaches, he didn’t make the 9th-grade basketball team. But as he put in the work, it became his passion, and he overcame all obstacles. And once he realized that it took a team, he became a legend when he started serving the team rather than himself.

While most of us will never be the Michael Jordan of our professions, we can learn from his dedication to hard work, practicing, building upon his strengths, even making weaknesses strengths, and ultimately serving his team and fans. It’s rewarding to be great at something, and since you spend 8+ hours a day at work, you must find purpose in your work. If you do, it might just turn into your passion. Listen in to hear my tips on how to find your purpose.

Question of the Episode

The question of the episode comes from my mother, who, after reading my recent article in Forbes about overcoming addiction, asked me, “Aren’t you worried about what people think, especially your employees?”

I gave her a resounding, “NO!” There is so much stigma around addiction, mental health issues, insecurity issues that people hide what’s going on inside. The only way to break this taboo is to speak openly about who we are. Radical transparency is incredibly powerful, and impactful leaders aren’t afraid to be vulnerable and share their stories. Listen in to hear more.

You can read the Forbes article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/melodywilding/2021/08/31/what-a-drug-overdose-taught-this-ceo-about-leadership/?sh=536a1fe1db62

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Viktor Frankel quotes “It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life and think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life—daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but right action and right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Like this? Check out my blog on why honesty is always the best policy.

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