TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #1
NAILING YOUR PURPOSE
At Actually, we believe that there are three things you need in order to actually change the world: the right mindset; the right skills and the right support. Actually exists to support you in all three of these areas and in this new blog series ‘Top Tips for Changemakers’ I’ll be sharing practical tips to help you to become the changemaker I know you can be!
Today’s subject: nailing your PURPOSE.
Your PURPOSE is what inspires you to get out of bed on those days when you’d much rather just snuggle down under the duvet and ignore the world. It’s the reason you don’t spend every evening in a haze of Doritos and Netflix* but instead go to that networking event or show up on your social media channels. Having a clear sense of your PURPOSE is a buffer against the ill wind that tries to blow you off course.
At Actually we believe that your PURPOSE breaks down into two parts: your vision and your mission.
Your vision is tied to your legacy. It’s the change you want to create, the difference you want to make in the world. It’s the world as you envisage it: better, safer, wiser, richer, greener… When I am working with my clients I suggest that they start with where they are, with what they are doing now and then move 100 years into the future and imagine the world as it will be then. Imagine the world as it will be when the things that you are working on have borne fruit; when everyone you have touched with your message and your work has gone on to touch the lives of countless others. What does the world look like then? To help you get to grips with your vision, I’ve created the Actually VisionQuest – a downloadable audio file including a visualisation exercise.
Your mission is what you can do in this iteration of your enterprise, charity or campaign.
If you already have an enterprise that’s up and running, considering your mission is a ‘check-in’. You’re asking yourself ‘Am I on the right track to make the biggest contribution possible to that grand vision?’
If you’ve not yet started your enterprise or organisation, congratulations! You get to create your mission from scratch exactly how you want and need it to be.
Either way, take a look at your skills, your knowledge, your experience and your expertise. Explore your passions, the things that you would do even if you weren’t being paid. And then ask yourself, how do I bring this all together to make the biggest contribution I can make to my vision.
Let me share an example to show you what I mean. This is my PURPOSE:
Vision: Imagine a world in which everyone knows with absolute certainty that change is possible; that they can make a difference, that their voice counts, that they can have an impact.
Mission: Contributing to the creation of that world is the reason I established Actually. We are on a mission to equip changemakers with the right mindset, communication skills and support to change the world or promote their world-changing enterprise.
Here are four things to bear in mind when considering your PURPOSE:
1. Don’t get bogged down in semantics. It doesn’t matter what you call it – PURPOSE, vision, mission, aims, objectives, legacy, dharma. I don’t care and nor should you. Just get clear on where you’re going and make it INSPIRING!
2. You don’t have to start with vision. You can develop your mission based on your skills set and passions and then work up to your vision from there. So if you do your analysis and work out that your mission is to make chocolate then imagine a world in which your chocolate and the inspiration behind it has spread around the globe…and maybe your vision is a world in which everyone recognises that a little something sweet does you good.
3. Don’t wait to clarify your PURPOSE to get started. I know too many people paralysed into inaction or indecision or staying in jobs that make them miserable because ‘I don’t know what my PURPOSE is yet.’ Maybe your PURPOSE is to support somebody else’s PURPOSE. Maybe your PURPOSE will show up after you make the leap, not before. Maybe if you take one step away from being unfulfilled and towards your passions, your PURPOSE will become clearer. Don’t wait.
4. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I believe that your PURPOSE evolves. Your vision changes. Your mission mutates. In the six months since I began working on Actually, my vision has become clearer and my mission has moved on from a pure focus on communications training and advice to one based on the three pillars of mindset, skills and support. I knew when I started that this would happen. That I hadn’t actually nailed it. That things would change as I walked the path. And I was OK with that. Be OK with it. Perfect is the enemy of momentum.
I hope this helps. Let me know. I’d love you to share your vision in our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/changingtheworldactually/ Who knows, there maybe someone in our community whose PURPOSE is to support your PURPOSE!
Let’s ACTUALLY change the world!
*The author has nothing against Doritos or Netflix and has been known to indulge in both at times. Other corn based snacks and streaming services are available.
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We believe in the power of collaboration so we are also building a community of changemakers who we hope will be inspired by our work and also by one another.