“Whether you’re a leader doing the hard work of articulating a purpose for your organization, or you’re an individual ready to live a more directed life,” says Keith Yamashita. “The first step in living your purpose is distilling it.”
Once you find your purpose, it acts as a comfort and a compass for every decision—big and small—that you make about how to spend your time.
Kicking off our brand-new 99U book Make Your Mark with a bang, Yamashita dives right into the key questions you should be asking to uncover your purpose.
- How will the world be better off thanks to you having been on this earth?
- What are your unique gifts and superpowers?
- Who have you been when you’ve been at your best?
- Who must you fearlessly become?
At the intersection of these four questions lies your personal purpose. The questions are deceptively simple, and you might be tempted to rush through them. To really do the task justice—and to do yourself justice—you have to peel away the layers of your self-conception. You have to get beyond that image you’ve made for yourself that you so strongly defend. And you have to get at what is actually true. The tension among your answers reveals as much as the commonalities. Lean into it. This process may take days. It may obsess your thinking for weeks. For some, it takes years to unfold. There is no magical timeline. Move at your own pace.
You can find Keith’s complete essay—and 20 more insights from creative leaders—in our new book on building a creative business with impact: Make Your Mark.
Bonus: Use promo code “MAKEURMARK” to get 20% off pre-orders through Nov 17th, 2014.