Somewhere within us, I think we all want to make an impact during our lives. In my case, I’ve imagined since childhood that I would somehow make a difference in the world. Growing up, I volunteered in many roles from a “candy striper” at the local hospital to a camp counselor for the deaf & blind and after university pursued a career as an educator. All very rewarding and provided me an immense feeling of satisfaction. As a bilingual/english as a second language teacher I quickly realized I was not challenged enough and with the support of my father I changed my career to the corporate world. Over 20 years later I am still grateful for his guidance and am still working to make a difference in the world but do it with a lot more intention….or purpose.
Along the way in my career with Johnson & Johnson, I’ve had the privilege to work for many great leaders, but one of them, Rohinish Hooda stands above the rest. He was an amazing leader who asked me, “What is your purpose?” Most likely with a look of disbelief on my face, I did my best to explain that I was still trying to discover my purpose. I’ve been asked a lot of tough questions over the years but none so hard hitting as this one. At the time, I thought it was a more relevant question about my personal life as I had yet to really understand the broader impact I could make when I define my purpose as a part of who I am at my core vs. an element of my personal life or professional life.
I am forever grateful for that day and that question as I’ve come to understand this is one of the most important questions to answer in life. Our purpose is individual and deeply rooted into who we are and should not be left strictly to our personal life. In order to be our most authentic self, we must know the answer to this question.
For me, it took a lot of self-reflection and honesty to discover the answer. It only came easy once I removed the influence of work, society, friends and family…only then was I able to answer the question. What I discovered is my purpose has everything to do with “experiences”. My experiences in numerous work capacities and travel throughout the world have given me insights through which I’m able to help others achieve their goals and dreams. I thrive on opportunities to create and share new experiences for others and myself. Once I had a clear understanding of this, it allowed me to prioritize how I would spend my time in both my personal and professional life.
We spend the majority of our waking hours at work. Why not spend this valuable time focused on what makes us feel the most fulfilled? Do you know your purpose?
This is dedicated to a father, husband, friend and leader who left us too soon but will forever be remembered: Rohinish Hooda
“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For you passions will lead you right into your purpose.” Bishop T.J. Jake
“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.” Gautama Buddha