Having a sense of purpose

‘Purpose is a soft virtue but it’s what gives you steel in your spine’ – Rich Karlgaard

Having a sense of purpose is something that I believe is crucial when we go through the chapters of our life. I’m sure I’ve read that this is what is important for us to be happy too? This is a topic which I have not “got my own head around” yet so bear with me!

When I lived “up North” over 30 years ago, I had the time to have an engaging job, work with my children’s school’s PTA and help coach the youngsters at cricket. Then, owing to my job moving to London for the next 22 years, I was totally immersed in challenging work roles, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but I also missed many key moments in my older children’s growing up. Working in London and across the UK means you have to make some sacrifices. I had a clear sense of purpose but should I have missed those memorable events that you can’t replicate in life?

8 years ago, after being made redundant 3 times in 6 years, I decided to take control of my own destiny and construct a portfolio career where I can focus on things that I want to do and still earn a reasonable income. In the last 8 years I haven’t missed any of the key events of my second family, although I must admit I have not been fully involved with my grandchildren, which I am trying to remedy. I have, however, recently volunteered for roles to support organisations that might need some additional support, which helps you to become part of the local community and is very satisfying. This combination of activities has definitely given me a sense of purpose.

But what happens next when in 3 or 4 years time, I have to “hang up my working boots”, to go travelling with my younger wife Jo whilst I am still fit enough to do so? This in itself is a sense of purpose as there are so many places to see in the world. I enjoy coaching so much I will continue as long as there is a demand for my services. Will this be enough sense of purpose for me? Do you have a real sense of purpose?

Some of us live for when we retire and some of us never want to retire. Many don’t really know as they can’t envisage what pensioners do on those dark wet days in the middle of winter.

My Dad lasted until 95 and although he had a number of dips and troughs, as long as he had a project in mind and was fully engaged, then we knew he was OK. So what are these “ramblings of a madman” this month? Perhaps I am using you as my coach and reflecting and considering where I will get my sense of purpose in 4 years time…

Whenever I speak to retired people they say they don’t know how they found time to work! Maybe these pensioners have a sense of purpose?

Whatever age you are:-

  • As a graduate considering their next role?
  • In your mid thirties/forties in a career which doesn’t give you a sense of purpose?
  • In your fifties and you still need to earn?
  • Getting close to retirement age?

If you ever need a coach to bounce things around to ensure you have an engaging future, please get in touch with neil@nvwsolutions.co.uk and see how you can plan to ensure you have a sense of purpose.

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