When you think of purpose, what are some of the first things that come to mind? Maybe it’s what you’ve identified as your calling in life or an intention you’ve set for the season you are in. Whatever it is, the real question is are you living on purpose?
Founder of the OnPurpose Movement, Jovian Zayne, who is also a leadership and professional development coach, public speaker, and author says that it’s time to think about purpose differently. But don’t worry, she doesn’t have 300 ways to help you find your purpose if you thought this was going to be one of those corny self-help articles.
If you didn’t know, June 21 was the International Day of Purpose. The day was started three years ago by Zayne after discovering that one of the things that drives her is helping people and corporations operate with more purpose to be more successful. The intention of the day is to help people around the world to pause and celebrate the power of purpose in their work and help them re-center. And celebrities and people all over the world shared and recommitted to their purpose last Thursday on social media.
I’m proud to celebrate the International #DayofPurpose!! I live on purpose by writing. It is my vehicle to service. Shoutout to my girl @jovianzayne for this day and this work and living #OnPurpose. Go to dayofpurpose.org to make your own purpose picture and tell the word how you’re living on purpose! #DayofPurpose
We attended the first annual International Day of Purpose Summit and spoke with Zayne about how living on purpose permeates throughout every area of life, and ultimately makes entrepreneurs and professionals more successful. And trust us when we tell you to prepare to get your entire life because she is about to make you soul search with this one. We also asked her how she defined purpose. “I align purpose with keywords like intention, insistence, commitment, consistency, core, urging, voice, unique, call. Those are the words that resonate deeply with me when I think about the word purpose,” says Zayne.
Purpose Isn’t About What You Do, It’s About Doing It With Intention
Like most people, Zayne once thought that her purpose was associated with her career. But in 2010, she realized that it was steeped in her calling to encourage people to pursue their best selves. After years of climbing the corporate ladder in one marketing role after the next, something within her wanted more. She wanted to get back to the little girl inside of her who she says can’t help but to encourage people and help them be their best.
“I was doing really well externally by all accounts in my career,” says Zayne. “I had been promoted three times within a corporate company but I didn’t feel whole at all. I felt more exposed, open (and not in a good way), and empty than I had ever felt. And I just couldn’t figure out why. I was like, ‘God I know you; I have this kind of family; I have a lot of support around me; and I have all of these things; so, why don’t I feel full?’ And, I got out of that place by slowing down.”
Once she did that, she says that the question of purpose came to her.
“Instead of asking myself, ‘What’s my purpose?’, I remember saying to myself, ‘Okay, you don’t want to feel this way anymore’ and then asking myself, ‘If you take yourself a little more seriously in your life, on your job, and with everything–what would be different if you were living with more purpose tomorrow?’ Not like forever, I just said tomorrow. And the next day I woke up a little bit happier, with a little bit more direction, and I started to look at things through the gauge of “is this with intention?”
The following day, Zayne began to be more intentional about getting fit and staying connected with others so she went to the gym and called a friend she hadn’t spoken to in a while. “I started to make positive changes in a very small way all because I asked myself, ‘What are you going to do tomorrow that’s with more purpose?'”
From there, she discovered that pursuing a healthy lifestyle (both physically and dietarily); being intentional in one’s relationships (both romantically and platonically); and living out one’s purpose professionally were all connected and impact the way that we show up in the world and in the workplace.
And that is when her purpose became crystal clear. So, she left her job doing human capital work, found new mentors, and surrounded herself with people who were in season of pouring out into others.
“I discovered that I must do work every day that’s committed to helping people be better. Coaching, training, and supporting them around purposeful, personal and professional development. And the OnPurpose Movement® was born. We do executive coaching, training, facilitation, design, and strategy work that helps companies to live out their values with purpose while supporting their talent and the most important commodity that they have.”
Now, as a “purpose recruiter,” Zayne works with companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Teach for America, and countless others, helping them operate more purposefully and efficiently.
“We support organizations who say ‘we’re a purpose-driven organization and we care about doing work that has meaning and value in the world,'” says Zayne. “Sure, to say that is one thing but to walk it like you talk it means you have to align your objectives differently. You’re aligning your time differently, you’re prioritizing personal and professional development for your staff members. Organizations often know what they do, how they do it, but they don’t know why they are uniquely positioned and why they are in the market. Therefore, their employees don’t know that. So, we help organizations re-center and help them figure out why the values that they are holding are important to hold in order to do the thing that only [their] company can do.”
Slowing down is key to being able to discern what it is that your soul wants to tell you about what it is that you need to be doing with purpose. And for women (gentlemen, you can apply this information to your journey as well) who are still trying to figure out their sense of purpose, Zayne says that you are not alone. But it is time to slow down, listen, and reflect.
“She can find that sense of the why in her efforts when she slows down her routine, asks herself the simple question of ‘what would be more on purpose for me to do tomorrow or the next hour?’, and see the way her soul answers that. Not the way her agenda answers it, her calendar answers it, her Instagram swipe… Turn all of that off and that’s what I mean by slow down. Cut the noise, trim the fat, and turn up the voice inside. And not the fear voice but the real voice. The hope voice, you know, the one that begs for your attention. That’s the one that’s really been trying to talk to her,” says Zayne.
A lot of being intentional is simply making up your mind and committing to yourself and others. Asking yourself what you can do with more intentionally is all of the motivation that you might need. But if you need more resources, Zayne has a Purpose Packet (yes, it’s free!) that you can download to help you be more purpose-filled.
And as a businesswoman, Zayne says, “being grounded in purpose allows you to understand from a soul perspective why challenges may arise and why you can still have peace in the challenges.” In fact, research proves that people who live purpose-driven lives thrive more.
She also says that a great way for people to re-center and start today is by “taking stock of what they have not done with intention and what they should be doing with intention that allows them to better serve themselves and the community around them.”
It’s time to start being more purposeful. Are you ready?