Purpose Simplified – Who Do You Want to be When You Grow Old

Living without purpose is easy; just run around doing stuff as fast as you can.

Turbulence, opportunity, and too much to do are the perfect environment for doing machines. But  human beings require purpose to thrive in today’s world.

Richard Leider and David Shapiro explain the path to unlock purpose with three simple actions. But first, let me share a paragraph in their book that terrifies me.

Fall scene.

Purpose is a verb.

Busy without purpose:

“There is one thing in the world that should not be forgotten. You may forget everything except that one thing, without there being any cause for concern. If you remember everything else, but forget that one thing, you will have accomplished nothing. It would be as if a king sent you to a village on a specific mission. If you went and performed a hundred other tasks, but neglected the task for which you were sent, it would be as though you had done nothing. The human being therefore has come into the world for a specific purpose and aim. If one does not fulfill that purpose, one has done nothing.” Rumi*

How to unlock purpose:

“Unlocking our purpose is typically an iterative process.” Leider/Shapiro

#1. Find out how you want to help

What are your gifts?

What do you love to do?

#2. Find out who you want to help

What pain or injustice or unhappiness have you witnessed that you just can’t live with?

What keeps you up at night?

#3. Find out what energizes you (and what drains you)

What are you willing to sacrifice for?

Leider and Shapiro explain the practices that unlock purpose.

Universal purpose:

The universal purpose of “Grow and Give,” will satisfy all who struggle to unlock their mystical personal purpose.

How might leaders unlock purposeful leadership?

Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Old on Amazon (Released July 13, 2021)

*The Rumi Collection (2,000), translated by Kabir Halminski, in, Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Old.