How do you define your purpose?
What are the elements that are known and constant, and what are you discovering along the way?
Weaving Purpose: The intersection of the known and the discovered
In today’s post and video, I share with you what I’ve learned about how our purpose is the intersection of the known and the discovered, and read to you some passages from my bestselling book Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn.
Purpose is not static, but rather is enriched and reshaped through our life journey.
It is the intersection of the known and the discovered.
It is the interweaving of the warp and the weft.
It is this metaphor of warp and weft, of known and discovered, that I used as the loom — the frame — for writing the book and documenting Isao Yoshino’s life journey and learnings.
Moving through life is about redefining purpose — not abandoning it
I was inspired to create this video after receiving a message from a colleague, Jeff Hunter, who shared with me how the book has helped him transition into his retirement.
Rereading the book and reflecting on the questions posed has allowed him to discover how he wants his purpose to manifest in a different way.
He commented that moving through life is about redefining purpose — not abandoning it.
I find this a beautiful reflection on the dual fluidity and constancy of purpose.
Check out the video and transcript below, plus some links to resources for you as you reflect on your own purpose.
Below is a lightly edited transcript of the video above.
The weaving of warp and weft to create our purpose
Today I want to talk with you about the importance of purpose, and about discovering and understanding one’s purpose.
In my book Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn, I talked about the different dimensions of purpose.
One is about these warp threads of weaving. These are the straight threads that are set down.
And then the weft threads of purpose, which are the ones that are woven in between.
And it’s this intersection between these types of threads, that really develop and describe our unique pattern of our life and our life’s purpose.
A passage from Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn
I wanted to read you a passage from the book here, because I think it really helps illustrate those concepts of how warp and weft really help define and create our purpose. So this is from “Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn”, page 28.
Weaving fabric in a life purpose — the relationship between warp and weft.
Warp Threads: the Known.
Warp threads are strong and constant. As the foundation of the fabric, they are established from the outset and held stationary once set in their vertical pattern on the loom. They must be strong enough to withstand high tension.
Weft threads: the Discovered.
Weft threads are fluid and flexible. They can be variable or uniform. They can be fragile and break, or be thick and strong. Their colors can differ and change. Not immediately obvious at first, they are what create the pattern of the fabric by being drawn through, over and under. Winding around the warp threads Weft threads reveal themselves, and we discover their contribution.
I was really taken by this metaphor of weaving as a way to describe our life’s purpose and the life value that we create through the discovery of the known and the discovered.
Learning, Rediscovering, and Redefining Purpose
Recently I received an email from a colleague, who said that he was reading the book for the third time, and was discovering richer meaning for himself as he reflected on the stories of the pages within and using this concept of warp and weft.
He said that each time he has read the book, the themes of purpose and of learning have become more relevant.
They remind him about the importance of purpose and that reflecting on our own warp and weft can help us continue to define and redefine our purpose. Not abandon it.
It’s about knowing what’s those constant things are. But knowing that the pattern might change and evolve
as our life situation changes as well.
Reflect for yourself on your purpose
I ask you to take a moment to reflect:
- What are those things that are known in your life?
- And then what are the things that you’ve discovered?
- The times that have been good, the times it had been bad and more challenging for you.
- How have they intersected to really define and create your life’s purpose and fabric?
- And how are they evolving over time?
It’s been a real joy for me to be able to help others dive more deeply into their own reflections about what it means to live and lead with intention, and to create a purposeful meaningful life.
So reflect on your purpose — your known, and your discovered — and may you continue to weave a purposeful pattern in your life.
Resources to Discover Your Purpose
For more resources to help you reflect and understand your purpose you may find value in these additional resources.
Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn Workbook
For more support in understanding your leadership and life purpose, and the actions that align with fulfilling purpose, check out the Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn Workbook — a companion study guide to Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn.
The 100-page workbook provides you with exercises, reflection, questions, and additional leadership and coaching practices to connect with your purpose and align your actions with the person and leader you want to be.
Get your copy of the 100-page electronic downloadable workbook today! Click here for more information and to purchase.