Living Our Purpose Margot Andersen “Too often, we decide to follow a path that is not really our own, one that others have set for us. We forget that whichever way we go, the price is the same: in both cases, we will pass through both difficult and happy moments. But when we are living our purpose, the difficulties we encounter make sense.” – Paulo Coelho “Too often we decide to follow a path that is not really our own”... Oh my, how many of us have learnt that lesson the hard way! As we enter this wonderful time of the year that affords so many of us the opportunity to hit the pause button; to stop, relax and spend some well-earned time with our loved ones, it is also a golden chance to ask ourselves ‘Am I doing what makes me happy?’ We are all driven by the need to make a contribution and to know that contribution offers value and meaning to others. To do this in an ongoing capacity we need to ensure two things: we are aligned firstly with our own purpose and secondly, that of the environment we work in. If that alignment is not there we will simply reach a point where we run out of fuel. Take a moment to consider how you are feeling about the way 2014 ended and how well positioned you are to take on 2015. We all know that brilliant feeling of operating in ‘our zone’ – we seem to be able to run faster, operate with more clarity and conviction, anticipate situations with ease, produce greater results and ultimately feel confident, prosperous and fulfilled in what we do. Bingo! Conversely, when we aren’t operating in our zone, we feel ‘stuck’, unable to deliver the results we want to, uninspired, disempowered, drained of energy, lacking in confidence and left with more questions than answers: Is this it? Is it worth it? Where is this taking me? Can I really do this all over again for another year? Blah! Regardless of whether or not we are in the ‘Bingo’ camp or the ‘Blah’ camp, we need to take the time to ensure that we are well positioned in 2015 to maximize our capabilities and opportunities. The New Year brings us a fresh clean canvas and with it the opportunity to write, draw, build and create what we want. So before the busyness of life, work and another year take hold, I encourage you to create the time to do the following five things: 1. Stop and Evaluate It’s time to be honest and to own your own story. You are the painter, the writer and the candlestick maker! All too often I meet people who are unable to articulate what they are really interested in and want from their careers. It’s not enough to know what you don’t want. Career fulfillment is not something you discover, it is something you create. AND you can’t create it if you don’t know what it is.