I want to invite you to a different kind of episode today: a thinking-out-loud session on seeing the world differently when looking at it through the lens of purpose. Please join the conversation! I’ll share more about how you can provide your feedback at the end of this episode.
One of my favorite quotes is from Anaïs Nin: “We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are.” So I’m inviting you to look at life, the world, and your journey through the lens of purpose.
What looks different through the lens of purpose?
It’s easy to see life as a blurred series of events. Many of our moments are similar. But at the same time, each moment is unique.
Through the lens of purpose, you realize that there may be something incredibly unique about this moment, and you may cross paths with a person who may desperately need even the smallest act of kindness, a word of encouragement, or even just recognition that they exist and that they matter, right now, in this moment. The lens of purpose allows us to see that now matters, and no kind word or deed
There are no little people: everybody matters.
- Always seek to engage your server (or anyone with a nametag) by name — and watch what happens when you do. That’s an opportunity to elevate and lift others.
- If you’re in a leadership position, give people a seat at the table, especially those who have been excluded from the conversation.
- In creating humans-first workplaces, remember that your boss is human, too.
Purpose helps us recognize that all people have value, and they’re all in need of our love, kindness, and respect.
There are parts of our jobs that are repetitive and mundane at times, but purpose allows you to discover the magnificence in the mundane, the bigger quest to your menial tasks.
Helen Keller said: “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” Love and compassion elevate even the most mundane acts of service.
The traditional view of leadership is based on perks, privilege, and power. Now, how does the lens of purpose invite you and me to see leadership differently? It allows us to see leadership as a responsibility to use power: to serve, elevate, and develop others, rather than for self-advancement, self-aggrandizement, or personal enrichment. It allows us to use leadership as a platform for serving.
How do you define success? In many places it’s fame, fortune, travel, and fun. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of those, but is that the ultimate definition of success? Or does success give way to significance? Success is all about you, but significance benefits others beyond you.
Mother Teresa gave my friend a plaque with three words: Faithfulness, not success. As a person of faith, I believe I’m called to live a life faithful to the principles and practices Christ taught.
I’m not saying you have to define success the way I do; what I’m suggesting is that you find your own definition of success that’s consistent with your values and priorities. How do you define it?
I grew up with the understanding that failure was final. It’s not.
Failure is an assessment about an outcome — that’s all it is. It’s feedback about a hypothesis. In fact, we shouldn’t even say you failed. It just didn’t work. And taking the real scientific approach means going ahead trying something else.
Through the lens of purpose, we see that failure is not the flip side of success. It’s part of the journeyto success.
Adversity and Suffering
When you’re suffering through difficulties and challenges, this is the area where purpose is most potent. It helps us gain a fresh perspective when we believe there is purpose and meaning even in suffering and adversity. There are things we learn by going through difficult seasons of life and enduring trials and difficulties that we don’t learn any other way.
And when you get to the other side of adversity and suffering, you have a degree of moral authority that you didn’t have before. You’re able to comfort others with the comfort you received when you went through something, which allows you to have empathy on a whole other level.
Join the conversation
Would you add to this list? What would you see differently? Join me in the Higher Purpose Community or on Twitter, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or pick up the phone and call me at (678) 744-5111.
Phone: (678) 744 5111