PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES™
One of the most challenging and important questions we can ask ourselves is, “What is my purpose?” As Henry David Thoreau addresses in Walden, many people fish all their lives without ever realizing it isn’t fish that they’re after. How do we know what we’re really “after”? We have all had moments of knowing our purpose—that experience of satisfaction and clarity associated with knowing why we’re doing what we’re doing. We’ve also all had moments of thinking that we’re lost, frustrated, or have lost sight of why we’re doing what we do. The PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES program is designed to help you identify and articulate your purpose, to create objectives consistent with that purpose, and to develop a plan for meeting those objectives.
We define purpose as something ongoing and never ending; it is endless or infinite—for example, “to make the world a better place.” No matter how much you do to achieve this purpose, there is always more you can do. While most of us would like to make the world a better place, we each have specific expressions of that purpose. By examining various events in your life, both satisfying and unsatisfying, and exploring your aspirations, we will help you hone and clarify your unique purpose into a concise statement.
In the second part of the program, we will help you develop a list of objectives that are consistent with your stated purpose, as well as identify any objectives that may be obstacles to your purpose. We define objectives (or goals) as being measurable and having a finite outcome; an objective is the destination of a journey, the end toward which your effort is directed. For instance, if your goal is to meet with ten prospective clients by a certain date, you have a clear plan and deadline, and you will definitively know whether you have achieved your goal.
Meeting objectives and producing the results that are expressions of your purpose creates satisfaction. One of the most important distinctions necessary to determine whether your objectives are consistent with your purpose is to differentiate between gratification and satisfaction. We define gratification as short-term happiness, whereas we assert that satisfaction never wears off. One of the best ways to assess whether something is gratifying or whether it is satisfying is to look back on it after the initial thrill has worn off and see if you are still satisfied. For example, if you buy a specific car that you have strongly wanted, your pleasure with the car will quickly wear off if buying it was not consistent with your purpose. Soon, you’ll likely start wanting a faster, shinier, or better car or whatever that next thing is—thus creating an endless cycle, whereby you’re never truly satisfied. That initial short-term pleasure is what we call gratification. Once you recognize the distinction between what gratifies you and what satisfies you, you will have a much greater ability to establish objectives that are in line with your purpose.
As you produce results that are consistent with your purpose, you will increasingly find yourself in that state of profound satisfaction that we’ve all experienced at times. Imagine what would be possible if your actions were consistently directed toward the fulfillment of your purpose and if you always knew what you were truly “fishing” for.
The PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES program is delivered both one-to-one and in small groups over a period of ten sessions. Frequently, this program is followed by participation in one of our ongoing consulting groups, which are designed to continually increase your awareness and attentiveness to your purpose as your objectives evolve over time.