What Is Your Purpose? Three Timeless Pillars to Guide Your Future

This is a guest blog by Gina Covarrubias

Whether you are a student, professional, forcibly unemployed, or just taking a break, I have great news: each can be approached the same way! Apply these three pillars anytime to maximize your life purpose and guide your future.

Pillar 1: Service

Service is about directing your efforts toward a cause bigger than yourself. It includes carving out time and energy for the sake of serving an external purpose.

It can mean serving your team or organization in the workplace. Maybe it involves supporting your neighbors, your environment, or your country. Applying a service approach to your surroundings is one way to share your unique gifts with the world.

For example, try to answer:

  • What are some new contributions I can make to this cause?
  • How might I better serve individuals around me, even the difficult ones?
  • What is one selfless thing I can accomplish today?

And remember, employment is not required to serve the world. Take a look around. You can find creative ways to serve, whether it’s serving humanity, the planet, or your employer.

Your Purpose

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” ~ Muhammad Ali

Try it today! Bring a service attitude to your circumstances — the results may be priceless!

Pillar 2: Development

Development is about elevating yourself to reach the next best version of you. It includes taking steps to improve your physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing.

Did you ever realize that it’s possible to become too comfortable? That’s right. As a species, we generally like comfort. It can feel warm and fuzzy, or secure and stable.

However, too much comfort can lead to stagnation. Self-awareness can help you recognize when it’s time to get out of your comfort zone. Learning new things, failing and trying again can feel very uncomfortable. But that’s the process which leads to growth. Since it is a human duty to evolve our species, learning to get comfortable with discomfort is an essential self-development skill!

There are so many ways to do this! For example, try

  • A new language, a foreign dance, or an exotic dish
  • A tough course, art class, or music lesson
  • An intimidating activity such as a sport, standup comedy, or public speaking

Trying a new or scary activity can prompt an incredible journey of self-discovery.

For you daredevils: even scarier is failing on purpose! I dare you to try it — purposely attempt something that will end in failure. You will find that it isn’t as bad as you think and failing gets easier over time!

Your Purpose

“You can choose courage or you can choose comfort, but you can’t have both.” ~ Brene Brown

The feeling of discomfort is a small price to pay for the intrinsic benefits of self-development.

Pillar 3: Legacy

Legacy is about improving the world around you. Legacy involves the skill of leaving things in a better position than you found them.

It involves elevating the people around you. It might mean that you improved your job, your team, or your organization. And leaving your legacy does not have to be complex. It can be as simple as planting a tree. Picking up trash. Sponsoring a child.

Other ways you can leave a legacy:

  • Volunteer at a church, shelter, or community program
  • Lead by example — be the first to display an electric, contagious attitude
  • Transfer wisdom to others via mentoring, advising, or coaching

Legacy also involves offering genuine gratitude to others. Simple statements such as “thank you” or “you were very helpful” can be transformational to someone who is having a bad day.

Your Purpose

“People may not always remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” ~ Anonymous

How will others describe the way you made them feel?

Despite your current or future purpose, these timeless pillars will help guide you through a world full of uncertainty.

For specific examples of how to apply these pillars to your career, I invite you to view my replay of “Career Purpose: When Work Isn’t Working for You.”

About the Author Gina Covarrubias

Deliberate DoingCertified Life Coach, B.S. Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering (Purdue University), M.S. Mechanical Engineering (University of Utah).

Gina is the founder of Deliberate Doing, an exclusive STEM coaching service dedicated to helping engineers fix their careers. She solves the common STEM problem: “What should I be doing with my life?” As a former engineer, she identifies with the technical expert who doubts their personal or professional existence.

Gina’s distinctive background blends life coaching expertise with 12+ years engineering/technology experience in the government, academic and corporate environments, all within the aerospace sector.

We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on what your purpose is and how you found your purpose. 

Please leave your comments, feedback or questions in the section below.

  • If you enjoyed this post, please consider downloading our free list of 33 Productivity Routines of Top Engineering Executives. Click the button below to download.

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To your success,

Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success

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