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Is Purpose A Scary Word?

Updated: Jun 12

When someone talks about leading a purpose-driven life or doing purpose-driven work, what do you imagine?

Do you think of a leading surgeon, pioneering new and life-saving techniques? Or maybe an environmentalist, lobbying authorities to prevent the destruction of forests? In the light of that, do you find the thought of defining your own purpose rather scary?

Michelle Rogers, Thinkingspace coaching

Is it less daunting if we talk about our impact or doing meaningful work? One person springs immediately to my mind: a bus driver called Mike Whitaker on my Park and Ride bus into Bath.

What’s the purpose of a bus driver? To convey passengers from A to B in a safe and timely manner, I guess. Mike was so much more than that: he took an interest in every single passenger on that bus, way beyond a superficial courtesy. Mike’s work had meaning and impact and purpose: each passenger’s day was improved by their brief encounter with him.  Mike understood his personal values and combined them with his skills and experience to create his purpose-driven role.

The Gallup State of the Global Workplace 2023 report showed that in Europe, only 13% of employees felt engaged with their work: 13%! That means 87% didn’t feel that their work was meaningful.

Studies show that a feeling of purpose is a key component of happiness, whether that’s at home or at work, so it’s reasonable to assume that 87% of us could be a great deal happier.

Purpose gives us focus, it connects us and it provides us a sturdy foundation on which we build our days.

Over the past 15 years as a coach, I have worked with many people who were seeking to discover what it would mean to them to live and work with purpose. Each one of these clients was already talented, experienced and had a unique set of skills and approach to life. Helping them unpack all of that and craft their own purpose-driven work or make changes in their lives to live more meaningfully has been an enormous privilege. I would say it’s my purpose.

What’s your purpose?

Michelle Rogers is an accredited coach and the founder of Thinking Space Coaching. She has over fifteen years' experience working with individuals and businesses who are looking to create positive change and look towards the future with purpose.


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