About the Author:
Sherry Lowry is a Austin-based
business coach who works nationally and internationally with executives, manages,
business owners other coaches,
psychologists and therapists. She brings experience to her clients as a
founder and developer of 7 businesses, including one non-profit organization,
as a consultant and trainer, and professional mentor. Co-leading group
telecalls (via regular telephone connection) and telegroup series is a
speciality....with other field experts on corporate marketing, using public
speaking as a marketing took, marketing with heart, and offers with Diane
Menendez special teleclasses for mental health professionals transitioning as
coaches. In 1996, Sherry founded and continues to host The Coaches’ Showcase,
a free theme-based telegroup exchange with some of the industry’s most
experienced coaches. Also useful is her online collection of The Lowry Notes -
free to the public at her WWW site. She holds two traditional graduate degrees
and has completed the Coach University curriculum. She is on the Board of
International Coach Federation and is a member of Professional Coaches’ and
Mentor’s Association and Texas Executive Women.
Sherry Lowry, MCC
Austin, Texas USA,
The Power of Purpose
"Live from a Deep Place."
In The SeamLess Life #7,
we outlined the 7 facets of what we called The Declaration of Y.O.U., the essential
steppingstones for living from a "Deep Place." It's not easy to find our
Deep Place when our lives are cluttered and busy. What it requires is
being still and quiet, focusing on beginning the work that we describe
below. And making a commitment to yourself--putting
yourself at the top of your to-do list. There are no slogans, no easy
short-cuts. You are getting to know yourself fully. It brings you to
the willingness to live close to your heart as well as through your
Finding your Deep Place, we believe, begins with discovering your
Lively Vision and your Purpose.
Knowing both gives you incredible power to choose and to act.
That's what it did for
a young man from Canada. Terry was an athlete who was stricken with
cancer, lost one of his legs, and was naturally
depressed about his situation. He had lost his sense of a viable future.
Some months into his recovery, after being fitted with a wooden leg,
Terry did the serious work of reconsidering who he was. He discovered a
Lively Vision: that people in his area
would care enough about cancer to contribute money to find a cure for
bone cancer. Then, he found his own personal Purpose.
He would be the carrier of the message that if communities contributed, a cure could be
found. Shortly thereafter, his Missionsurfaced:
He would run across Canada, from coast to coast, bearing personal
witness to the strength of the human spirit and the need for a cure.
Terry's run across Canada was filmed and made visible to many people.
Your work may be known only to you. It doesn't matter how public your
Vision, Purpose and Mission are. What is important is that you
clearly articulate them, commit yourself, and use them to create
meaningful work and a satisfying life. You know how to live, work, and
be "on purpose."
You are Purpose-full.
DISCOVER YOUR LIVELY VISION
Your Vision is a statement of the world in which you
want to live. You don't need to consider the whole planet unless you
want to. Just your personal world of friends, community, work
colleagues. The world that touches you in some way every day.
About the Author:
Diane Menendez, Ph.D., is a business and personal success coach. She has been
coaching since 1983 when she began the High Performance Coaching process as an
internal staff coach at AT&T. Since 1988 she has coached more than 250
business executives in Fortune 100 companies and has provided leadership for
company-wide efforts in executive and leadership development. Menendez’s
special niche in executive coaching is providing support to leaders of rapidly
changing industries who are committed to transforming their personal
leadership styles. She has successfully also transferred her skills to work
with entrepreneurs, other business owners, family owned business leadership,
and non-profit executives and their organizations. She created Results-Focused
Leadership Development, an intensive, creative and empowering process that
influences and inspires client to fully develop their leadership potential
while supporting their company’s mission and goals. Her passions are inspiring
the success of family business members, entrepreneurs and therapists and other
professionals in transition. Her www domain name, HeartDance.com, is an
expression of her belief that, "Our work can bring us joy as well as financial
rewards." Yes, that’s what she means -- real joy, enough to make your heart
Contact info: HeartDance, Cincinnati, Ohio USA
DISCOVER YOUR PURPOSE
- List the Top Ten things you love to do, or have always done and loved.
Name several things that you have consistently made part of your life,
no matter what the circumstances. Your networking with like-minded
people, your spirituality, your creativity at work. Or, your heart-felt
communications. Your ability to take action under pressure.
- Now, identify the environment that supports your list.
List the qualities of people you want and need to be around
to accomplish your Top Ten. Draw a series of concentric circles on a
blank piece of paper, and put "ME" in the center circles. Each circle
represents a group of people who is important to you. Put those closest
to you, who affect you most, in the circle next to you. Then, continue
to draw your circles outward: for family, friends, work colleagues,
professional groups, community. In each circle, list a few words that
describe the qualities this group must have to support you in just the
way you need and want.
Identify the other resources that are essential to you:
peacefulness, a natural environment, other creative people. Ask
yourself, "What are the essential supporting features of the world I want
to live in so that I can be at my best?"
- Using the phrases you've generated in #2, write a 1-2 sentence
stating your Lively Vision of the world you want to live in.
This is the path of least resistance for you, the one you
flourish in and want to create for yourself through
purpose-full action. In one sentence you crystallize
what is essential. For example, "My vision is all people of the world
will be able to live their life at choice--in the way that matters to
them." This vision says that choice is what is
essential for the writer.
Your Purpose serves you in many ways. It is your compelling reason to
be. It gives meaning to your work and your life. It guides your
choices. You may refer to your purpose by other names. Some people
describe it as their "calling." Whatever its name, it profoundly shapes
the direction of your life. As Frederic Hudson says, "Your values, deep
energy, and passionate destinations are all wrapped up into one profound
sense of purpose, pulling you ahead into more of yourself, through the
chapters of your life."
Do the following to begin to put words to your Purpose:
- Ask yourself, "What is my part in creating the world of my Lively Vision?"
Brainstorm the things you want to do, are personally drawn to do, which
create the world in which you want to live. Include the qualities and
characteristics which you must show to have your purpose create your
vision. Must you be a partner? A leader? With whom do you partner or lead?
What qualities define the way in which you will do what you do? Spirit?
Courage? Respect? Wisdom?
- Explore 5-10 experiences in the past 5 years when you felt you
were living and being "on purpose."
Your purpose statement is unique to you. In fact, you have been
living out your purpose in some way, even if you are not conscious of it.
That means you can plumb your past to find your purpose.
For each of the 5-10 experiences you list, write a paragraph about each
of these experiences. Write down what you did, where you were, what the
outcome was, how you felt. And, the paragraph should answer the
questions, "What was essential to my sense of being 'on purpose?'" " What
about this experience was richly satisfying?" "What was of value
here for me?"
Once you've written your paragraphs, underline the key words from each
experience. Put all of the underlined words on a separate page. Examine
them and find the commonalities, the themes among them. These are the
phrases you will use to build your statement of purpose.
- Draft a 2-4 sentence statement of your purpose.
Every person has a unique purpose. So no one else's statement can fit
you. How does a purpose statement sound? Here are a couple of
"My purpose is to support and partner personally and
professionally with leaders who want to create organizations where the human spirit
"My purpose is to workgenerously and to live in service; to
manifest love through connecting and caring for self and others. To support the
development of inner wisdom and inner peace in myself, my colleagues, my clients,
and my community.
"My purpose is to build and lead businesses which model the
best practices in our industry, are profitable financially and viable
long-term, and which offer dedicated workers meaningful work and sustained
Draft a version of your purpose. Don't expect yourself to get it just
right in one hour. Let your draft incubate for several days. Getting it
85% right is enough for now. Read it to others and get feedback.
- Test Your Purpose.
A good purpose statement pulls you toward it. It
engenders energy--like the wind in your sails. You know where you are
headed when your purpose is clear. Does your statement help to clarify
for you what you'll do in your work, in your life?
Here are some clues that you've connected with your purpose:
- you feel the connection with the purpose you've described,
- you have a desire to fulfill it,
- you feel deep pleasure when you act in concert with it,
- your interests naturally gravitate toward fulfilling it.
- Use Written Resources to help you.
Sometimes it helps to read about how others have discovered and lived
their purpose. Here are several of our favorite resources.
Laurie Beth Jones, The Path.
Barbara Braham, Finding Your Purpose.
Stephen Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. (Covey focuses on principles but the intent is the same.)
You may never run across Canada to fulfill your purpose, or get in the
news, like Terry Fox. But knowing and living your purpose is a means to
meaningful work and a fulfilling life.
Contact us if you have questions or need assistance in creating your
purpose. Our purpose is to partner with people just like you!
E-Mail us with questions or suggestions.
Sherry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diane and Sherry's book, Discovering Your Best Self Through the Art of Coaching, can be ordered at http://www.sherrylowry.com/book.htm.
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