Where does a common purpose come from?
In his farewell address outgoing President Barack Obama urged Americans to rediscover their common purpose as citizens. As you already know, Terrific Mentors International has designated 2017 as The Year of Purpose. In times of turmoil, a re-examination of fundamentals is how you plan the way forward. We applaud the President’s view.
A country’s, or a business’s, sense of purpose comes from an amalgam of individual purposes, identified, disclosed and modified to make a coherent whole. Those who had the American Dream did not all have the same version of it. My American aunts and uncles were children of emigres from Germany. Their dream was to build a community and they did just that. 150 years ago they started Little Falls, Minnesota, which now has 9,000 inhabitants,
Dreams develop, of course. Once you have achieved (some of) what you want events will change your objective. ‘Nothing succeeds like success’ is very true but we must also remember that nothing breeds greed like success. A greedy nation is not a kind nation. It would not be a community that plans ahead because greed is about ‘now’, not ‘then’.
Dreams are an important part of your plans for the future. Our PASDAQ™ shows them as over 15% of your total plans (PASDAQ™ = Personality, Abilities, Skills, Dreams, Ambitions, Qualifications). But dreams are only part of purpose. The other elements I have shown here are equally important. So how does having a purpose contribute to a community’s future?
A better life often starts as more money. It quickly develops into a desire for all the social elements that make a life. A culture develops. It won’t be your culture, it will be a mix of the cultures of all those who take part in developing it. The biggest influences will be those who know their own purposes, who have their own objectives clear and who can articulate what their dreams are. Britain wants to be a kind country. The Scandinavian countries want to be fair and efficient. China wants to be wealthy.
These cultures grow from the influence of a few ‘leader-citizens’. They in turn glean their cultural views from those members of the society who think and make their thoughts known. When societies are coasting along reasonably happily members can take a relaxed view and let the order develop in its own contented way. When, on the other hand, societies are in turmoil every thinking citizen’s view is relevant and needs to be well voiced.
We are at a time when your view is more important than ever. If it is based on your own, clear purpose it will be a big influence on your community. It will contribute to building the society while mitigating the effects of the destruction that today is wrought so easily.
It will help make the world a more rational and coherent place.
We can all do that, Mr President.
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