Is Purpose the Ultimate Motivator?

On a cold, dark, rainy morning in the middle of winter what makes you get out of bed? What makes you think yes, I won’t pull the duvet covers over my head. What motivates you to get up and make the most of each day. What is your ultimate motivator?

I’ll be honest, some days it’s the cat. Even in the middle of winter when it’s still dark at 8am, if I am not out of bed to feed her she will gently tap me on the head until I get up, even on a Sunday. But she rarely has to, because I am ahead of her. Cat fed, meditation done, chicken for dinner marinating, and its only 6:30am. I am a morning person, I think the start of the day is often the best bit, and I think being purpose driven pays a part in the energy I have for it too.  

What do we mean by Purpose?

In Daniel Pink’s book Drive, he focusses on 3 key elements of intrinsic motivation that will have the greatest impact at work and in life: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. Pink says that when we can find Purpose in the work we do, we will unlock the highest level of motivational potential. He also says that purpose driven individuals are motivated to tackle even the most complex problems, a valuable ability in these fast paced, changing times.

And we don’t just have to take Pink’s word for it. We have plenty of evidence that the ultimate motivator could be Purpose:

  • For a few years now studies have pointed to the fact that the millennials look for a stronger sense of CSR and Purpose from their employers, often over pay and other rewards.
  • During the pandemic we saw a call for stronger, more purpose driven leadership to help pull teams together that were suddenly distanced and vulnerable.
  • Then there is the great resignation, that has impacted many businesses in the last 18 months. People of all ages are looking for more Purpose and fulfilment in their lives.

We are starting to recognise how Purpose helps to tackle the challenges that the world presents. When we have a Purpose, we bring meaning to our lives. The world is full of ‘noise’ and distractions, when we are purpose driven we can focus on the things that really matter to us. Being purpose driven takes us beyond surviving life to thriving  each and every day.

Finding your Purpose

So Purpose is big, really, really big. It could well be the ultimate motivator. If you don’t know what it is, how do you find your Purpose?

  1. Firstly stop and think, what are you actually doing in the here and now. How’s that going for you? What works, what doesn’t. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, your Purpose may be obvious to you when you stop and think how you live your life.
  2. Then take some time to reflect:
    • What do you feel passionate about?
    • What brings you joy (what you already have and what you would like to bring into your life)?
    • What makes you want to know more, what sparks your curiosity?
  3. Finally ask yourself what you want your story to be at the end of your life? What difference do you want to have made? You could even ask yourself, what would you like people to say about you at your funeral?  Then start to create a personal mission statement for a purpose driven life, it really makes a difference.

It may take some time to work through this, but once you have found your ultimate motivator, make it part of your focus every day. And if you need a reason beyond getting you out of bed, a 2010 study published in Applied Psychology found that individuals with high levels of eudemonic well-being (which involves having a sense of purpose along with a sense of control and a feeling like what you do is worthwhile) tend to live longer too!

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I Have Got This is a way of thinking that no matter what challenges or changes you are going through, you know that you are in control and will find a way to navigate through it and flourish. It is a resilient mindset, empowering you to not only thrive in challenging times but also to consistently strive to be the best version of yourself.

Through our coaching and development programmes, using our 6 cognitive habits, we will help you change your mindset and develop the self-confidence, agility and resilience to embrace change and thrive. Click here to find out more.

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