Can you envision your world after the pandemic? It’s almost impossible to do because there are so many unknowns, including how to define when it’s “over”. It’s hard to know where we go from here. Listening to Brené Brown’s podcast on Grief and Finding Meaning helped me process my feelings about the losses I’ve experienced and reminded me to refocus on my purpose: I make the world a better place by helping people be the best version of themselves.
FINDING MEANING THROUGH PURPOSE
In Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor Frankl explained that having a clear purpose helps us avoid feeling that we have suffered in vain. I went back to this exercise from my training at Six Seconds, the first and largest organization 100% dedicated to the development of emotional intelligence (EQ):
Step One: Create a Mission Statement
Follow the example answers in red through each step.
First write at least three words to answer each of the following questions:
1. In the world I want to see less (emptiness judgement anger)
2. Instead I want more (caring compassion patience)
3. To make this happen people need to (be healthy consider others’ perspectives understand themselves better)
Go back and circle the one answer to each question that jumps out at you.
Next answer this question:
4. What quality do I want to strengthen in myself so I can help make this happen? (EQ empathy self-awareness)
Finally, create a Mission Statement by putting your answers to those four questions together like this:
I will #4 to help people #3 so the world is more #2 and less #1.
Example Mission Statement: I will tap into my EQ to help people be healthy so the world is more caring and there is less emptiness.
Step Two: Define Your Purpose
Consider why that mission is important to you. What do you want people to say at your funeral?
Example Purpose: I make the world a better place by helping people be the best version of themselves.
To move forward we need to make sense of our experience. Asking these questions can help:
- What have I learned that makes me feel grateful?
- How will I apply what I have learned to fulfill my purpose?
With a clear purpose you can now take action, regain some sense of control and reduce stress. What is one way you will fulfill your purpose in the next week?