Have you ever taken a moment to reflect on the alignment between your life purpose and work purpose? We introduce you to Elizabeth Rosenberg, the visionary behind The Good Advice Company, a marketing and communications consultancy.
Today’s topic revolves around the fascinating concept of work purpose versus life purpose through Elizabeth’s insights, and it holds tremendous relevance in the world of leadership. As leaders, many of us excel at our roles but sometimes find ourselves lacking a profound sense of purpose behind our actions. It’s not uncommon to experience a hint of monotony in our jobs, while simultaneously yearning to make a meaningful positive impact on the world.
What’s the difference between life purpose and work purpose?
Purpose forms the very bedrock of your personal brand. Your personal brand is essentially a reflection of how you present yourself to the world. It’s about the impression you leave behind. It means that when you’re not in the room, people know who you are, what you represent, and perhaps even the legacy you’ll leave behind.
Our life purpose is a deeply personal journey that takes different forms for each individual. It’s about finding something that resonates with your very being and brings you unbridled joy. On the other hand, our work purpose serves as the vehicle for actualising our life purpose within our daily professional lives. However, it’s important to acknowledge that work is indeed work, even in a world where generations strive to bring their authentic selves to the workplace. This means we still need awareness of when to express our authentic selves and when to put our heads down and get the job done.
If you find yourself lacking a sense of work purpose, it’s perfectly okay. Start by nurturing your life purpose, the path to joy and fulfillment. Once you’ve discovered what truly matters to you, the challenge becomes weaving that passion into your professional life in a way that’s meaningful and productive.
How do you start connecting the dots?
Elizabeth’s process starts by conducting a reading, providing valuable insights. In step two, a comprehensive data and behavioural analysis takes center stage. This analytical dive into how you work can be a game-changing revelation. Step three involves a story-mining session, where Elizabeth engages the client in an in-depth interview, probing various aspects of their experiences and life journey.
What’s important to understand is that everyone possesses a unique story. Each individual has experienced a defining moment in their life that has significantly impacted how they present themselves to the world. It’s also a common observation that many individuals tend to identify their defining moment during a midlife crisis. This is often when they are in search of the connection between their life and work purpose, striving to integrate these values into their daily existence.
Can my life purpose change if my work purpose stays the same?
Once again, this is an intensely personal and individual journey. If you ever sense that the purpose you’re living doesn’t align with your true self, don’t hesitate to make a change. Follow what feels right for you. While these purposes may seem different, they can be viewed as an interconnected, symbiotic relationship. By keeping them in separate compartments, you risk one of them not bringing happiness or joy, and both may start to feel like difficult tasks.
Finding your purpose shouldn’t be too hard. For some, the path to purpose is already within us; we just need a reminder of how beautifully we live it. Others may need to work on understanding their true purpose. And the journey often starts with personal growth. This could include deep personal work, whether with a therapist, or doctor, or addressing past traumas. This self-discovery shapes how we face challenges, find joy, and live a purposeful life.
Does finding your purpose ensure happiness?
Living one’s true purpose often brings joy. However, we should acknowledge that as humans, individuals experience the natural ebb and flow of life. There are days of great triumph, alongside challenging ones.
Purpose can significantly enhance an individual’s life, fostering happiness and a sense of fulfillment. Nonetheless, it should be recognised as just one component of a multifaceted life. True happiness involves the support of a community, connections with others, physical touch, emotional well-being, spiritual alignment, and mental clarity. Maintaining this holistic balance is an intricate task that demands effort.
Everywhere you are in your journey is exactly where you’re supposed to be. Even if it feels like something is hard, the lesson that you’re learning from it will make you a better person in the end. It was a lesson you were meant to learn. If you think about it, even if you’re in a state of despair for three months, in the grand scheme of things, that’s quite a fleeting moment. Your purpose will evolve as your journey evolves and as your life changes. The foundation doesn’t change, but I think the execution and actualisation of how you live does. – Elizabeth Rosenberg
Confident Leaders Align Their Life and Work Purpose
Aligning your life purpose and work purpose brings deep fulfillment to both your personal and professional life. Remember, your sense of purpose can change as you grow, and that’s perfectly normal. The key is to define your purpose on your own terms and live it genuinely. In doing so, you’ll find the peace and fulfillment you seek. Your purpose, whether in life or work, is a unique and wonderful part of who you are.
Let me know your key takeaway on YouTube or at thecultureofleadership.com.
You can listen to the whole Life Purpose VS. Work Purpose podcast here. At around the 17-minute mark of the podcast, Elizabeth does a live reading for me, and I can’t believe one of the signs I missed.
You can watch it here.