Picture this…an 18,000 square foot monstrosity of a home, hidden closets and hallways to no where, lights off, and an intense game of “Sardines” going on. In case you don’t know, Sardines is a variation of hide and seek. One person hides, and if you find them, you hide with them. This continues until the last “seeker” finds everyone hiding together. This makes it even spookier. You’re running through the halls with a group, and you turn around to find someone is missing. Not a sound, just another person gone. This was just one of the crazy things that went on at our retreat this weekend!
We had an indoor snowball fight to get to know each other better. We carried empty cans with a piece of spaghetti strung between two people’s mouths. We tried to wiggle an Oreo down our face and into our mouths without hands. A lone husband was doing cannonballs into the pool, under a disco/strobe light at 1 am… it was the place to be!We had a great time being silly, but we also had some amazing learning sessions that helped us set personal goals, and goals to help serve you better. The weekend was dubbed “Total Care University”. We started with Freshman Orientation on Thursday night. Most freshman are struggling to figure out just who they are and what they want to do with their lives. So I led my team through exercises to help them find their purpose.
I’d like to share some of those ideas with you too.
Have you ever asked yourself “Why am I here?”… “What’s my purpose?… “Am I doing any good?” If you have, you’re not alone. I found a great definition of purpose:
“Purpose is what compels us to take a stand, to act with such conviction that we may surprise ourselves, and ultimately, it is what fulfills us.”
PURPOSE is what connects us to the world – it’s our WHY. But what we do with that purpose is our VISION – our WHAT.
Most people tend to treat purpose as a thing – something you need to get. Rather, it is something you have and need to rediscover. Huh? Think about yourself as a child. You loved doing certain things. They made you feel passionate and alive. You got up in the morning excited to face your day. Until someone told you that the things that mattered to you, don’t really matter. Maybe it was art – until someone told you that you weren’t very good. Perhaps it was teaching, until someone said you could make more money in other professions. That thing you loved is a clue to your purpose.
So how do you rediscover this purpose? If you look at your life, you will see common threads. We each have a song we sing. The key may change, it may speed up or slow down, but it’s the same song. When I did this exercise for the first time, I realized that my common thread was to create. I love to garden, to cook, to sew. I love to write and come up with new ideas and teach other people. I love to rebuild someone’s smile and improve their life. I love to create – and I hadn’t realized it.
So here’s some questions I want you to ask yourself.
**( Don’t do this until you have a few minute to reflect on what you find.)
- What have you always loved?
- What have you always known?
- What has always come naturally to you?
- What have you always cared about?
- What do you keep coming back to?
- What always seems to motivate you?
- What would be really important no matter how the world changes?
Next, list some things you’ve always liked to do, then answer, “What does that do for me?” for each activity on your list.
Take all of these answers and look for that common thread. What comes up over and over again? This is a clue about your purpose.
When the team did this exercise, it was interesting to see the answers. Naturally in health care, we had 4 team members whose purpose was caring for and helping others. A few others loved being with lots of people and helping them have a great time. One team member wanted to help everyone feel loved and accepted, another wanted to help everyone feel joy and freedom. It was eye opening for all of them to realize that they were fulfilling their purpose every day, and that the better care we take of all of you, the better we feel inside because we are living our purposes. Very cool!
We used this information and created a symbol to represent our purpose, then painted this symbol on t-shirts to help us remember. It was an amazing exercise in self-discovery.
Next week I’ll share the next step – how to build a compelling future. So I challenge you to complete this exercise this week, then create a symbol and find a way to record it. Write it on a post-it note and stick it on your mirror – what ever will help you bring that purpose to the forefront in your life again. You’ll be prepared to then apply that Purpose to your vision for the next five years. Might as well make the next five the best ever!
Good luck and I can’t wait to hear about all your discoveries this week!
Dr. Michelle Jorgensen
-Team Building Games
-Minute to Win It Games with spouses
-Cooking Dinner as a team all hooked together