Personal Reflections: Purpose, Vision, Goals… What’s Your Why? How Can You Start to Get There?


If your purpose explains what you are doing with your life, what’s your purpose? Some people will phrase this as ‘What’s your why?’

If you don’t know, look at how your life is currently unravelling. I guess you need to look at what you do day to day and let that explain your purpose. Maybe you are just coasting along and you didn’t even realise that if your actions are what defines you that you then must currently have purpose ‘x’. Do you like purpose x? Are you happy with all aspects of your self examination? If you don’t like purpose x then you need to reflect on what actions are defining your purpose in this way. It’s only then you can change some of your actions to redefine your purpose to something else you are more happy with. What purpose would you like to define you? What actions do you need to make that shift towards that purpose becoming real?

To give your purpose a real overhaul in this way, it seems to be that your vision is key. What vision do you have of yourself and your life? (Link back to ‘what’s your why?’) That’s the hard bit. Once you know what that is you can make your actions fit for purpose in quick time (through alinging the right ‘what’ and ‘how’).

Creating a vision takes effort. It’s not for the lazy. One of the easiest ways to start though is to examine your own values. What are they? What do you feel is important in life? What takes precendence over what for you?

Once your vision based on your values is firmly in place, small goals will help you realise it – SMART goals! For example, if you would like to improve as a teacher, or become a middle leader or SLT/Head, what goals are you going to set to achieve the vision of the kind of teacher or leader you want to be? And before that, what is your vision of a good teacher/leader? What values underpin that vision? Why do you want to be a teacher/leader? Are you sure this is your purpose? Look at your day to day and week to week actions… Do they define a good teacher/leader in your view? What actions do you need to change to be the teacher/leader you want to be?

What if… your true purpose isn’t really teaching or in school leadership? What is it?

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