Your Real Work

I once coached a man named Neil who said, "For 23 years, I went to work without a purpose. I had a reason, which was money. But a reason is not the same thing as a purpose." Neil had worked for a bank his entire adult life and, although he had gotten many promotions and pay raises, he still felt unfulfilled. He came to see me to find his purpose. We talked about the difference between busyness and purpose. We began by acknowledging there is a world of difference between having a job and having a purpose.

The purpose of your life is not to be as busy as possible. Indeed, one of the biggest blocks to discovering your purpose is chronic busyness. Being busy can be purposeful and productive, but when you are permanently busy, it is a sure sign that your busyness conceals a lack of clarity, a fear of inadequacy, feelings of unworthiness and a lack of faith in your soul's ability to help you live your purpose.

Exercise 5: In my coaching sessions, I help my clients to create their own unique business cards. Instead of writing your job title on this card, you get to write your purpose. I recommend you use a maximum of three words to name your purpose. For example, a hairdresser I once coached wrote, "Self-Esteem Consultant." "The purpose of my work is to help people feel good about themselves," he said. You can also add a motto, an affirmation, a symbol, a mission statement or anything else. The idea is to identify your real work.

Choosing your purpose