Why do we do what we do?

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Signs of a slow, quiet economic revolution are starting to reveal themselves. A new model seems to be taking shape. There is a search for more innovative ways of solving problems that respond more profoundly to the question: are the choices we are making relevant?

Though slowly, the changes continue to flourish and are taking place in all social, economic and environmental spheres. Here, I must cite the growth of the sharing economy and P2P businesses. Additionally, we are witnessing a generation that is increasingly moving from jobs at large corporations to more meaningful careers. Local and artisan markets are growing. New startups with social impact are created. Resumes are passé and instead we seek to write meaningful biographies. These changes reflect a more latent desire in society to build something bigger than itself.

This was coined the Purpose Economy by Aaron Hurst in the book “The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World”. According to him, this new economic order is based on creating value for oneself, for people and society, with the goal of achieving personal growth, meaningful relationships and social impact. This is a radical break that reconfigures the market with a win-win mindset.

Our purpose is the direction to go, and especially the energy to walk this path. Purpose is intimate, subjective, but as a guide solves the problems of everyday life with inspiration so issues can really be resolved and not postponed.

In the book, the author defines three types of purposes that support this main proposal.

1. Personal purpose: Once having reached basic levels of comfort, happiness needs to appear. According to studies, volunteering is an activity that provides a greater sense of wellbeing. Meanwhile, our work, which occupies 50% of our time, should be focused on our personal goals.

2. Social purpose: It has demonstrated that companies that invest human capital serve as successful business models. The traditional hierarchical leadership style must be more horizontal, so that leaders recognize the needs of their employees and care about them.

3. Corporate purpose: Taking as an example the diffusion of innovations by Everett Rogers (1962), in which different actors are responsible for the spread of whatever is new.

Of course, the search for greater purpose has always existed, but in this new context of fewer major conflicts in the West and some macroeconomic normalcy, a new dimension is guiding businesses and careers. There is more questioning about our role in transforming and solving problems. Even in our own backyard. An equation starts to be calculated and some sums are fundamental in this new math: Profit + consciousness, spirituality and competition + efficiency + wellness.

But where we want to go? Often we ask ourselves, what is our purpose? — when it is right before our very eyes. Our purpose is the direction to go, and especially the energy to walk this path. Purpose is intimate, subjective, but as a guide solves the problems of everyday life with inspiration so issues can really be resolved and not postponed.

With a purpose, you really will deliver something different to the market. The difference is in delivering not just something that the market wants.

With a purpose, you really will deliver something different to the market. The difference is in delivering not just something that the market wants. Purpose is an intangible value that shows the credibility of a company. Marketing can help build a brand, but your company can only endure and cope with the fluctuations of the market if it is authentic.

Finding the path of our purpose and sticking to it is painful. So, I raise the question again: why are you doing what you do? Does it make sense to you? Take a few minutes and try to write, draw, or express this.

By: Higor Lambach

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