Monday, April 23, 2012

Relating your purpose to your current tasks


Oof, it's been a while since I blogged... Hope you missed me! ;-)
A post by John Stepper triggered me to rejoin the blogosphere. Of course I've been paying attention to the blogposts, reading and commenting on them. But I simply didn't make the time to write a blogpost of my own.

John wrote an interesting blogpost about an internal course he's giving. And the topic of the first course is defining your purpose. That's a very big topic. And it's hard for people to define what their purpose is. John bumped into this issue when running his course.
I recognize this big time! This is what I was struggling with when I started working. I read lots of productivity books and they all said: "Define your goals and purpose. Do what you're passionate about." So, you start to wonder what it is. You see all these smart and successful people around you that seem to have a clear purpose. They can articulate it as if they always knew what there purpose is.
I found (and find) it really hard to define my purpose. I'm much better at it than 10 years ago. Why is it so hard? For one, because lots of the stuff I have to do at work (and home) has nothing to do with my goals and passions. E.g. filling out what I spend time on for my boss is not something I'm passionate about. In the second place, I also think defining your purpose is something you know inside but is hard to make explicit. Like we learned in knowledge management: There are some things we just know, but find hard to share and/or write down. Sometimes we can talk about them. But often we just know.

So, what helped me define my purpose? Strangely, the road to my purpose was to get things done. I bumped into the book Getting things done by David Allen. I think this book/method connects my goals/purpose to what I have to do right now and vice versa. My experience is if you can't connect what you have to do now to what your long-term goals are, you'll simply frustrate yourself. But what you can do is get things done (out of the way) to be able to focus on your purpose and passions more.

I'm curious if others have the same experience!


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