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Purpose is a kaleidoscope

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

I am a coach. But .. I have a bit of an alternative view on 'purpose'.

Yes, I believe that you can do a hell of a lot better than you are doing today.

I believe that you are holding yourself back from achieving the (working) life you want.

I believe that you have tied yourself into the mortgages, car loans and debts that society is so keen to get you wound up in. So much so that you don't see a way out of all the obligations you feel you're stuck in.

I believe you are scared. Not just of what can go wrong, but of achieving success.

Which is one of the reasons I became a coach. To help you see that you don't have to stay stuck. That you can get out of all of this. If only you weren't scared. If only you knew what you wanted to do. If only you could make a good plan that gets you from where you are now to where you want to go.

But anyway. Not what this blog is going to be about. Focus!

What this blog really is about is purpose.

I believe 'purpose' is completely overrated.

I think that people go after purpose as this elusive thing. That you have to chase. Or 'find'. Because, you know, you haven't got enough to do, with keeping your household running, cooking everyone dinners, home schooling your kids, walking the dog, keeping relatively fit (even though your upper and lower back are killing you from working at the kitchen table) and - oh, yeah, working.

Now you've got to look for your purpose on top of all that!

You can barely remember where you've left your car keys! Let alone having to look for your purpose.

And that's what the problem is. Purpose is being painted as this elusive thing. That earth-shattering 'aha' moment. Your complete revelation. Your epiphany. That - when you see it - is going to make everything clear. Is going to inform all your decisions. And is going to make life so much easier and much (much!) more meaningful.

And that's where I think it is all wrong.

Because purpose is not like that.

You can't just 'find' purpose. 

Because, crucially, I believe purpose is not one thing.

I believe purpose is a lot of little things.

Purpose is a kaleidoscope. 

In my case purpose is art, and reading, and learning, and feminism, and women, and working, and listening, and talking, and supporting people through change (or rather, helping people to embrace changes and make change into an opportunity). That's what my purpose is.

In other words I help women create a career they love. So that they can be free, and feel fulfilled, and be happy. And do their best work, and show everyone what they can do, and get given the leadership roles they deserve. So that we can finally - finally! - shatter the glass ceiling and bring female leadership to companies and countries and the world that needs it. There, I said it.

And I haven't plucked it out of the air either. I haven't sat down and waited for it to arrive. No, it was much easier than that.

Because finding your purpose is just looking at who you already are. What you're already doing. What you love doing. What you would always do, even if no one was looking. Or it is what winds you up, what makes you angry, what makes you mad. It is what wrong needs to be righted.

It is as easy as that. And because it is a kaleidoscope it is also forever changing. Because you change. You learn new things. You look at the world differently. You get curious about something. You want to know more about a certain thing. You learn new skills, meet new people, get new opportunities, that take you into a different direction.

And just like that the kaleidoscope changes. You've got a different picture. A different perspective. A - slightly - new direction.

What I'm saying is: do not wait for your purpose to arrive. Because it won't. 

Do not go looking for your purpose. You do not 'find' your purpose. Somewhere 'out there'. Between your car keys and your pile of ironing.

Your purpose is already here. It has already found you. 

That's what I think of purpose.


Tineke Tammes is an ICF credentialed Career Coach, who supports professional women in making successful transitions to careers of Freedom, Flexibility and Fulfilment! Besides that she is also a lifelong feminist, part-time portrait artist, never-only-read-one-book-at-any-time reader, and obsessive doodler. Oh, and she knows a bit about change management too.

Join her now in Pick 'n Mix - the FREE community for creative, multi-passionate women or sign up to the newsletter.

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