Gaining perspective with purpose – an effective way to solve problems

I love a good coffee so, when Laura called and asked me to join her for coffee, I didn’t hesitate to say Yes.

I could tell by her voice that she wanted to talk about something that was bugging her.

And when I got there, I found that was the case.

Laura was an old college friend who often turned to me for a little coaching and perspective.

She had started her own counseling business and was also working in a factory to make ends meet as she grew the business.

When I asked what was troubling her, she told me that she was experiencing a lot of strife and stress in the factory.

Laura told me that she was having a great deal of extra work dumped on her by management and at the same time, she had been overlooked for promotion in favour of those who were doing the bare minimum.

I could see that this was causing a great deal of stress for her so, I decided to help her get some clarity on her purpose by asking a few questions.

Clarify your purpose

Clarify and define your purpose so that you can use it to guide your most critical decisions; eliminating the 80% which does not matter so that you can focus on the 20% that does.


To clarify and define your purpose, check out 'Living Purposefully'.


Living Purposefully Workbook Course Image

Gaining perspective with purpose - questioning

Laura has kindly permitted me to include an abridged version of our conversation to illustrate how your purpose helps you to gain perspective on your problems.

My questions are in bold, followed by Laura's replies.

What is your purpose in life?

It only took her a few minutes to reply with ‘To counsel and support those who have been through emotional difficulties; to help them regain their confidence so that they can pursue the life they desire’.

How does the factory job fit that purpose?

My business does not generate enough profit for me to live on so, the factory job bridges the gap between the amount of money I need to live on and the money my business generates?

So it’s just about the paycheck?

Yes

So, why would you want a promotion?

Laura paused and then laughed. She replied ‘Actually it is ridiculous as I don’t need the extra money and I certainly don’t need the extra responsibility as it distracts from my own business. I guess my ego got in the way.’

Do you have to do the extra work that is being dumped on you?

It is not in my job description so, I guess I could say ‘No’ or just not do it. Then I could see how they respond.

And if management react badly?

I could get another job. It doesn’t matter what the job is as it is only temporary, and I just want the paycheck. I could even take a small pay cut as my business revenue has been growing each month.

So, what are the next steps?

I am going to forget about promotions, stop doing the extra work by sticking strictly to my job description, and I am going to update my CV and start looking around for other work.

The aftermath

By gaining perspective on her purpose, Laura was able to see that she had control over her situation.

A few weeks later, she was in a new job though it is worth noting that when she stopped doing the extra work in the factory, management had not reacted. They had been chancing their arm by dumping it on her.

A year later she was working full time in her counseling business.

These moves were made much easier because she regained her clarity on her purpose and used that purpose to make critical decisions.

The lesson

A great deal of the problems in your life arise because you either do not have a clearly defined purpose or, you are failing to consider your purpose when you make key decisions. A clearly defined purpose allows you to eliminate the 80% which is not important so that you can focus on the 20% which matters most.

Clarify your purpose

Clarify and define your purpose so that you can use it to guide your most critical decisions; eliminating the 80% which does not matter so that you can focus on the 20% that does.


To clarify and define your purpose, check out 'Living Purposefully'.


Living Purposefully Workbook Course Image