“There is a fundamental human need for guiding ideals that give meaning to our actions”, states Roger Fisher. Renowned psychiatrist Victor Frankl’s premise is that ‘man’s search for meaning’ is the primary reason to live.
Purpose defined in dictionary.com – 1. the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc. 2. an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal. 3. determination; resoluteness. 4. to set as an aim, intention, or goal for oneself.
As the name signifies, the Statement of Purpose is your personal statement about who you are, a reflection on what has influenced your career path so far, you’re professional interests and where you plan to go from here. Throughout my life I have found myself reflecting on the status of my life and checking to see if I am being driven by a purpose. I remember a story I heard told by Quint Studer, a hospital executive at the time that described his walking around the hospital during administrative rounds and engaging the Janitor, who was mopping the operating room floors, in a conversation on purpose. When asked what he was doing at the hospital the janitor did not hesitate to answer that he was saving lives. The janitor understood his purpose and found a way to find work that helped him realize his purpose. When we realize our purpose or find the opportunity to provide service through our work or volunteering within an organization that provides us an opportunity to realize our purpose we are often happier and more productive. When we find ourselves contributing to a purpose greater than our own efforts we often feel inspired. As a visiting nurse I was very connected to a purpose of nurturing and caring for others. I often had long days that included overnight call but always looked at my role as serving others and often feeling like my patients and their families gave me so much more than I could give them. Many of us want to have a driving purpose in our lives and contribute to a greater cause. We may find this through our work or through outside activities in the community or at home. At work we may find our individual contribution in the larger organization purpose.
In health care, we have great purpose, do worthwhile work, and have the opportunity to make a difference. During life’s busyness we may not be able to reflect on our purpose or even consider that we do worthwhile work and lose sight of how we make a difference. We have answered this calling and we continue to stay with it but I know sometimes we forget and need to take the time to reflect on why we are here, why we do this work, and understand why we chose healthcare and not retail or food and beverage. I hope you take the time to reflect on what your purpose is and either through your work or in the community you find a way to serve your purpose by contributing to a bigger cause.