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Living with Purpose

Living With Purpose

By Jodi Berg

A purpose is a deliberate choice to pursue a future intention that is personally meaningful. It is no surprise that our internal drive is at its peak when we are pursuing a purpose that is personal and meaningful. Living with purpose ignites this internal drive — creating energy and filling us with joy.

My personal purpose is to help people find their wings and fly. In my current role, I drive our company purpose of “liberating and nourishing the zest for life” by helping employees and customers discover their hidden potential and fly.

Living with purpose has become part of our cultural DNA. For example, much of our success in becoming a recognized and cherished brand is due to the relentless and personal pursuit of Tony Ciepiel, our COO. He is driven to inspire people to emotionally engage in something they can count on and believe in. To him, creating a beloved brand that can help change lives is personal and meaningful.

Similarly, Scott Tennant, our director of communications, is passionate about using history as a truss — or primary supporting structure — for the future. Because this is so important to him on a personal level, he does not abandon or get lost in our 96-year history — he strategically weaves it into the fibers of our future.

Jackie Ekey, our director of marketing strategy, is energized when helping build a launch pad for people or projects — setting them up for ultimate success.

I could give hundreds of examples. We find our purpose drives our actions on and off the job. For each of us, this is exactly what we want to do and what the organization needs us to do in order to drive our company purpose forward.

Discover your personal purpose by reflecting on and talking through the following questions with those who know you well, and then identify a theme:

  • What am I doing when I am positively energized in my role at work and at home?
  • In looking back over my life, what have I done repeatedly that gives me joy — knowing that someone else’s life is easier or better as a result?
  • If I were a superhero called to make the world a better place, what would my superhero ability be?

Be specific
Ask yourself how YOU specifically help change lives. Do you like to help people see things differently? Connect them with opportunities? Launch careers? Each one is different, yet they all change lives. Being specific is more important than being perfect.

Live with purpose
Once you have identified your purpose, begin to practice it in small ways and see how it makes you and others around you feel. If it works at that level, start implementing it in bigger ways, and make living with purpose part of your company’s culture. Over time you’ll look back and realize you and your team are happier, healthier and more productive. You might even say you have increased your zest for life!

Jodi L. Berg, Ph.D., is president and CEO of Ohio-based Vitamix, a leading manufacturer of high-performance blenders for consumer and commercial markets.