Saturday, 22 August 2015 00:00

“Back to School” with Purpose this September

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Back To School

Photo credit: Blue Square Thing / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA 

As memories of summer fun fade and life starts to get very busy, I have noticed that most of us are no longer just working 9 to 5pm. Rather, we are juggling various roles (full-time or part-time) and so essentially, we’re running our own business – the business of building our very own personal brand. I have come to understand I am my own biggest advocate and that the key to creating a powerful personal brand is not the job or career, but the goal that I pursue.

I have always been a person to set myself goals but recently, I have realised that whilst that’s good, the time has come for me to have a focus in order to achieve a work-life balance.

The following words written in a letter by George Bernard Shaw have been lingering in my thoughts:

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognised by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

Shaw’s words have helped me to articulate my own “mighty” purpose which is to change the perception of Africa by amplifying brand Africa though positive and complete stories that informs, educates and inspires readers. The following is my interpretation of the four points that he makes regard with regards t finding the true joy of life:

 Be “used for a purpose recognised by yourself as a mighty one” – There is a purpose to our lives. We should recognise our purpose and live our lives with this “mighty” purpose in mind.

  1. Be “thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap” – We should live our life productively! However, that does not mean that we must be busy, busy, busy all day and collapse with exhaustion at night time as this will be detrimental to your well-being and lead to burnout. Whilst burnout is often the result of exhaustion, a clash of one’s purpose and the demands of our daily work and life can be equally burdensome. So let there be no misunderstanding, our main goal should be to live a purposeful life.
  2. Be “a force of Nature” – We should strive to be a force of change by being a balanced and centred person with a higher perspective on life rather than carrying out one’s plans or wishes with disregard for others.
  3. Not be “a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy” – This is a continuation of point 3 and it emphasises the point that we shouldn’t lose sight of our “mighty” purpose when life’s inevitable hurdles trip us up.

 All being said and done, it is very easy to lead our lives without a purpose, meaning or goal, chasing something that is ultimately meaningless or reaching the top of the ladder of success only to find that we are leaning against the wrong wall. Our purpose in life is far more important than property, possessions power or money. Having more to live for is no substitute for having more to live for.

The purpose and goal of our lives must never revolve around material things. Rather, when we pursue the right relationship with ourselves and others we find life, purpose and prosperity.

It has been said that “the two greatest days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” I for one will be using this period at the start of September to make it a fruitful one and go “back to school” with purpose. 

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