“Every being is intended to be on earth for a certain purpose.” — Sa’di, 12th Century Persian poet
Simon Sinek in his Ted Talk describes the theory of the Golden Circle. The Outer Ring contains something everybody can answer: WHAT do you do? The middle ring, most people can have a stab at: HOW do you do what you do? But the Inner Circle few people take the time to consider, let alone have clarity on: WHY do you do what you do?
It took me years to work out my ‘WHY’ but I know it now. I am a Coach and I am driven by the belief that through the coaching process I can help people change themselves and their lives for the better. I am able to give people a set of tools that helps them build fulfilling and meaningful lives by tapping into their own passions and talents, their ability to think creatively and their primal need to have a sense of purpose.
But how did I get to the point where I’d found my ‘why’? I had always been artistic so I made sculptures and videos, but I’d struggled to come up with ideas that were driven by a singular ‘purpose’. Then I got a job for QTV and Channel 4 making the BAFTA-winning 5 part documentary series DEATH on people with terminal illness. We filmed 12 people over a period of 3 years and it was an extraordinary journey. What we realised was that when people are dying they become very focused on what is important to them and how they want to spent the time they have left.
I also realised that I didn’t want to wait until I was dying, to work out what was important to me. I wanted to find out what would give my life purpose now. When the TV series went out, something amazing happened. One of the people we’d filmed, who had chronic Chrone’s Disease, received enough unsolicited financial donations from the viewing public, that she could pay for the treatments she needed (and didn’t have access to via postcode lottery) to allow her a longer and pain-free life. The indirect effect of the film impacting on someone’s quality of life decided my Purpose. I would use my Passion for creativity to make a positive difference in people’s lives.
But films take a long time to make and I wanted to do something I could do everyday. I knew Creativity isn’t just tied to being Artistic. Creativity is about how we approach life, problem solving, using our imaginations, about communicating about how we think and feel. So how could I use Creativity or rather Creative Thinking, and give it Purpose? It was the early days of Life Coaching as an industry but I knew that by combining creative thinking skills and coaching I could help people lead better lives.
Since then, I have continued to make films about inspirational people who overcome the odds, and I have a successful life coaching practice with clients who are courageous enough to take the necessary steps towards a positive future. Everybody has the potential to think creatively and through the process of coaching I help shift them from feeling stuck into building and sustaining good lives.
Everyone thrives when they live with Passion and Purpose. Knowing who you are inside and what MOTIVATES you, helps you find your Purpose. If you find yourself singing U2’s song, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” then why not get yourself a Coach and take the first steps to a more meaningful life.
10 Coaching Tips on Finding your Purpose
- What are the things that make you smile?
- What would make you leap out of bed in the morning?
- Are you ever ‘pulled’ towards something and you’re not sure why? Trust your instincts and follow the trail.
- What Cause has made your throat tighten with emotion? Could you have a leaning towards helping them in some way?
- Is there a theme in the books you read, in the films you watch? Maybe you are attracted to something that could inform a new direction?
- Is there something that you lose yourself in, lose track of time, could do all day and never be bored or tired of it? Why not incorporate it into other areas of your life.
- You believe yourself to be ‘successful’ but actually feel hollow? Could you give some time to your community in someway that would give your life more meaning?
- Tie your hobbies, gifts and talents with something that has significance to others. Being appreciated boosts our self-esteem and sense of self-worth.
- What were your dreams when you were a child? Could you revisit some of those ideas, see if they still resonate with you
- List your values and see how you might better align your daily activities with these values.