What On Earth Are You Doing / What Are You Doing On Earth?

Photo: Shelley Wenk

One of the first things I ask my clients to do is to declare what their purpose is. This is both hugely important and not that big a deal.

It’s hugely important because my purpose should be a guiding light for me. It establishes the direction for goal setting and provides a mission statement for everything I do. Every action that I make should be in service to that purpose. If I’m doing something that isn’t in line with my purpose I should consider not doing that. My time spent playing Angry Birds, for instance, has been negatively impacted as I have shifted my focus toward my purpose.

I say that declaring my purpose is no big deal because I have given myself (and my clients) permission to revise it (or change it completely) at any time.

“What? You can just change your life’s purpose at any time? What about consistency and righteousness and perfection and goodness!”

Yes. If I don’t give myself permission to get it wrong and change it I’ll never come up with anything and I gotta have something to start with.

So here’s my purpose from my first post.

To create art, communities and structures that inspire people to create and live their dreams.

Your Turn: What’s your purpose? How about you publicly declare it in the comment section? Don’t worry, you can change it later.


As a parent and husband I really have to include caring for my family in my purpose because it’s tremendously important to me. It’s also very important to me that I take care of my health and fitness.

So here’s a rewrite:

To create art, communities and structures that inspire people to create and live their dreams while taking loving care of myself and my family.

Sounds good!


I have this lingering feeling that purpose doesn’t have a sense of fun or humor that will really work for me and I think I can be pithier. But for now it works.

What’s next?

Comment and sign up for the newsletter at http://thethreesimplesteps.com/blog/

If you want to find out more about one-on-one and group coaching, send me an email at john@thethreesimplesteps.com. It may go with out saying but I promise I will never give anyone your email address.

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