Our purpose is an active expression of the deepest dimension within us—where we have a profound sense of who we are and why we’re here.
~Richard J. Leider, The Power of Purpose, p vii

I’ve been immersed in purpose lately. It’s been a discussion topic in my Keys to Change community.  I’ve been blogging about it, talking about it during my Purpose Clarity certification training and now with Purpose Clarity Intensive clients.

These experiences made me realize I wanted to think more about how purpose relates to other important aspects of being fully human. I drew a diagram to explore the relationships among some of these things. I began with the idea of a circle. The circle encloses, includes and connects. It has a blurry, soft edge to indicates it’s permeability.

Things can get in, as suggested by the arrows touching that permeable border. Our sense of purpose can be influenced by outside forces and others’ expectations. This in fact is one of the things that can confound us as we search for our own sense of purpose. Are we living out our own purpose, or someone else’s?

Within this border are some inter-related ideas. They influence one another and represent different aspects of a larger whole. Each of these requires the others. They include purpose, spirituality, gladness, hope, world view, identity, reflection, self-awareness, meaning, beliefs and values. These things are the context. They are the Why of what we do. Within that context of Why lies the What – our goal. We organize our actions and decisions toward those goals.

Bright, star-like rays travel from the center of the circle out through the circle’s border to those external forces. These rays indicate that living according to our purpose influences our internal reality. It lights us up, energizes us, and makes us whole and well. Living and acting according to our purpose influences the external reality as well, and has the power to shift at least some part of it.

Through our actions and interactions we have what one client calls “an exponential impact” in the world. We influence one person, that person influences others, they influence still others, and so on.

I’m still thinking about all this. There are some things that I might want to add to this diagram. There’s more to say about the words within it. But I feel good about this start.

I’d love to know your responses. Comment here, or join my Facebook group. I’d love to see you there.