Find your purpose | Sharleene Bibbings

If you want to smash it out of the park in your career then get more meaning in your life. If you have a purpose, research shows that you:

  • are 64% more likely to have a higher level of career satisfaction
  • are 50% more likely to be a leader
  • are 42% more likely to have career contentment and live longer
  • are more likely to have a higher income and have a higher net worth.

Having a purpose is bigger than career success. The benefits from your contribution to the world flow back to you. A recent study found that people:

  • Had a lower risk of heart disease
  • Lived longer
  • Slept better

In his commencement address to Harvard, in 2017, Mark Zuckerberg said that ‘finding your purpose isn’t enough. He’s right. Once you have found your purpose you also have to live it. That’s why I love Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg. Wow, is she on a mission, with her call to action for all women to ‘Lean In’.

Say what you will about Mark and Sheryl. Some are inspired by them. Some not so much. Either way, they’re taking action and making things happen.

Taking action can be scary and overbearing though. You can just feel stuck. Even if you’ve tried and read every self-help book from Amazon.

Shonda Rhimes is another case in point. She is a legendary screenwriter, responsible for TV shows such as How To Get Away With Murder, Greys Anatomy and Scandal.  She has achieved phenomenal success where she used to ‘own’ Thursday nights on ABC. This is called Shonda Land– when three of her programs played back to back during primetime US television.

But her personal success isn’t what I want to highlight. I want to underline how I believe she achieved that success. I believe she achieved because she is a woman of purpose and she claims that in her work.

I’ve heard a couple of interviews where she talks about her mission to represent the diverse faces that she sees in her everyday day life, in her TV shows. What a phenomenal game changer she has been. She created the first prime-time US TV show to have a black female lead in 40 years.

So how do you get a life with a bit more purpose? Check out my top 5 tips to find how:

  1. Notice: Find out what your strengths are. What comes easy? What are you good at? What is valued in the job market?  I call this your Zone of Genius.
  2. Stand in your zone of genius: Be a resident expert, take a course, read a book, do this weekly. Not as a one-off.
  3. Be inspired and inspiring: What inspires you and how can you do good for others in the world?
  4. Be it: Spend more time ‘doing’ your purpose. Volunteer in your local community or do a stretch project at work.
  5. Articulate: do a talk, blog or podcast on your purpose topic.

I would love to hear how you get on – get in touch with me here.

Till the next time, live long and prosperous!

Sharleene Bibbings is the founder of She won the PRECIOUS Leadership Award 2017.



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