Yogi Berra said it well:
“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”
I would say:
“if you don’t know what you want out of your life, you might wind up unfulfilled.”
A few years ago I spoke at a Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) event. I began by asking the lawyers who attended: “How many of you are totally satisfied with your career and life?” Only a few raised their hand. I actually thought that was a good thing. Anyone who is totally satisfied is not growing as a person.
I shared with the group my thoughts on finding your “major definite purpose.” I got the idea originally from Napoleon Hill. Two years ago I posted a blog titled: Definiteness of Purpose with a links to Napoleon Hill materials.
For me major definite purpose is the intersection of your passion, talent and clients’ needs. Years ago I decided that my major definite purpose was to help transportation construction contractors successfully build the nation’s highway, bridge, rail and airport projects. You can see that my purpose was not about me. Instead it was about my clients. Making that change in focus from me to clients gave more meaning to each matter I handled.
Instead of calling it major definite purpose, Stephen Covey talks about finding your voice. He shares a way to find it in The 4 Steps to Finding Your Voice. If you are having any challenges finding what you are meant to do and become, answer these four questions from Covey’s blog post.
- What are you good at? That’s your mind.
- What do you love doing? That’s your heart.
- What need can you serve? That’s the body.
- What is life asking of you? What gives your life meaning and purpose? What do you feel like you should be doing? In short, what is your conscience directing you to do? That is your spirit.
Remember back to that day you decided you wanted to be a lawyer. There had to be something that drove you towards our profession. (Hopefully, it wasn’t because you and your parents couldn’t think of anything else to do with your political science degree.) Rekindle that sense of purpose.