Each of us needs a purpose in life that is higher than ourselves. It is natural for us to be self-centred, to believe that what directly affects us is the most important thing in the world. Yet, the funny thing is that there is nothing more powerful in the world to move us individually and collectively than selflessness – you will find that putting others before yourself will be the secret to your success.
This quest to achieve a social purpose does not mean that you should allow yourself and your good intentions to be exploited by others. Nor does it mean that you should neglect your own wellness for the sake of others – you can’t be much use to others in the long run if you don’t look after yourself! As you find a social purpose that feels right to you, you will find that this can motivate you beyond self-interest. You will be working towards and achieving that fundamentally important thing that sits well with your values and that also brings value to you and those around you.
To build values and create value, you will need to work out what is important to you and your community. Think about this in terms of the values (ideas and beliefs about what is good and right) and value (necessary and desirable things that you can give and receive that will improve the lives of others). Both of these can tell you much about how you might share opportunities, resources, accomplishments, and hardships as you create community together on The Pathway to Excellence.
What is most important is how you can direct your own character and competency to help others. You will find that this can become the driving force behind how you develop and apply the civic character of belonging, the performance character of achieving your potential, and the moral character of doing what is good and right towards something that the world really needs. In this way, you can connect “My Purpose” to “My People” and “My Place”. You should also think about the impact this will have on “My Planet” so that you gain an even wider understanding of what really motivates you beyond yourself.
"I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."
Etienne de Grellet
How can you prepare for a world that increasingly demands you to use creativity to solve problems? Apathy is not the answer. Neither are rigidity of mind, unwillingness to change, and resistance for its own sake. They will stop you from becoming the best version of yourself. They will hold you back from realising your ideas and community. While preserving your heritage is important, you must separate between honourable traditions that need to endure and those habits that can be reinterpreted and reinvented to meet current and future needs.
As you move forward with your social purpose, therefore, keep your eyes open for opportunities that others may have overlooked and be willing to take risks. Stick with your mission until you are successful or until it is no longer of value any more. While it is still worthwhile, remember that the sudden appearance of a roadblock will leave you with no choice but to create a Plan B. When things get tough and you are making a decision, remember to pause, regroup, and try again. And again and again, if need be.
As you explore your social purpose, you will also benefit from learning about:
You can investigate these next on The Pathway to Excellence.
Your commitment to your journey on The Pathway to Excellence, inspired by your social purpose, can become the most significant reason for who you are and who you might become. Armed with a purpose for your humanity, values and value for your community, and an inside-out process of growth, you can give yourself the best chance of an exciting adventure and a happy future for you and all those around you.