“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 an artist, a filmmaker and a coach, and I am driven by wanting all of these creative processes to somehow make a positive difference. Everyone deserves the chance to 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 many struggle with trying to work out what that purpose is, and often don’t even try to find out.
When I got a job for QTV and Channel 4 making the 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 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. “Creativity that Matters”, be that Brave New Girl drawings, paintings to create quiet meditative places in public spaces, films about inspiring people or coaching people to help them find their own mojo.
Why are we here? It’s the Big Question. Eat, drink and be merry or is there something more. Maybe there is a bigger force moving us round like pawns or sitting back and observing us with wry humour, or maybe not. One thing is certain though; without our own sense of purpose we humans function below par.
According to Daniel H Pink in his book Drive, in 1962 Clare Boothe Luce, one of the first women to serve in Congress, was worried that President Kennedy didn’t have a clear purpose. People couldn’t understand what exactly he was in office to accomplish. She told him that a man has one sentence. Abraham Lincoln preserved the union and freed slaves. Franklin Roosevelt lifted America out of the great depression and helped win a war.
Each of us has a sentence that can define our direction and choices. I call it a mission statement. We look at our core values and from them we can carve out our purpose. Having our ‘sentence’ makes getting up in the morning a lot easier. And at the end of the day we can look back and see if we have taken the right steps through small tasks to move us forward under our headline banner.
“One cannot lead a life that is truly excellent without feeling that one belongs to something greater and more permanent than oneself” Mihaly Csikszenthmihali
Need help finding your life purpose? Work with me, and together we can start to create a vision for you. Email me for a half hour free consultation to find out more.
Brave New Girl drawings to be published in a book of illustrations by Orion Books in 2016.