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Unlocking purpose at any stage of life

They say purpose is the new competitive edge.

That’s not only for people like you and me but for organisations and businesses in every sphere.

But how do we find it, activate it and sustain it?

I grew up with Shooting

I grew up with target shooting. My father was Captain of the South African team for many years, so we had a gun room like other people had a pantry. It smelt of metal and Ballistol, a gun oil with a distinctive peppermint odour. We soaked small pieces of cloth in it, then wrapped them around the end of a long rod to clean our gun barrels. It was also good for skin rashes and stopped the itch of mosquito bites. My Grandfather said it also cured tummy upsets, so with some persuasion we even drank it.

Saturday was shooting day, regardless of the weather. Shottists have a willingness, or madness, to get up at all hours, slog in heat, cold, dust and rain to get a bullet into the middle of a target. We often travelled many miles to a shooting event – from Carnarvon to Bloemfontein and to Bisley in the United Kingdom.

And all that to make a hole in paper almost a kilometre away, 900 metres to be precise, into a bullseye of 510mm! We shot at paper targets, mounted on large wooden frames. Why anyone would choose to shoot animals as a sport I simply don’t understand.

There were two things that would take your bullet off course after it left your rifle. Wind and heat. You had to watch the flags and the mirage of heat that would ripple under the target like a shimmering sea. In team competitions you would have the luxury of a coach to read the conditions for you and tell you by how many degrees you should alter your sights to compensate for the conditions.

Once your bullet hit the target, you depended on your Marker who would sit safely below the targets, gazing upwards to wait for your next shot. When your shot landed, the Marker would indicate the value of your shot by pointing a long stick with a round disk on the end of it into a corner of the target.

If you got a ‘5’ bullseye in the inner black ring, they would point the disc into the bottom right corner of the target. If you got a ‘4’ in the outer ring of the black area, they would point the disc into the bottom left hand corner of the target. If you missed the black area and were in the first ring of white, they would point into the top right hand corner of the target and you would get only 3 points. If your shot landed in the outer white area, just awful, they would point into the top left-hand corner of the target and you would get only 2 points to record on your score card.

Once your Marker had indicated the value of your shot, he would then pull the target down on its heavy frame and plug the hole with a marker. That way you could see exactly where your shot landed so you could make adjustments to get even closer to the middle with your next shot.

But there was something you never wanted to see. And that was seeing the stick being waved slowly from left to right on your target.

“I missed the target?’ Not possible, that was such a good shot!”

Now to miss the target entirely was unlikely. The chances were that you shot on the target alongside you, even though your target number is boldly displayed above it. But with more than 100 targets across the shooting range, it was possible, though a horrible thought.

You pull off that perfect shot but get no response from your Marker. After a respectable time, you ask your Range Officer to call on the radio to check if they perhaps missed it while chatting to their mates? Indeed, you hope they were. And you wait with bated breath, only to hear that two shots landed on the target next to yours.

Whoever was shooting on that target got the higher value of the two shots. And you got nothing. That was a lot of points to lose, along with your pride and the ragging you would get from team-mates for many hours and weeks to come. Some even remember the ‘miss’ you fired years ago.

Purpose is shooting on your own target

As I contemplate careers and our purpose in life, I am aware of how many possible targets there are for us all. Our job is of course to hit our own target and not someone else’s, and as close to the middle as we can get.

But in life, how do you know which is yours? There are no easy tests. No fool-proof systems. No counselors who can tell you. They may all help you find important clues, but you may need to discover your purpose on your own.

I want to share some thoughts on unlocking your own purpose. In shooting terms, some thoughts on how to shoot on your own target and not someone else’s.

Here are some keys to unlocking purpose in your career.

Purpose can be ordinary

There is a danger of seeing purpose as some illusive, holy grail that we need to spend our lives searching for. One that has to change the world, change the course of history, make you a billionaire or perhaps an overnight celebrity.

Now that may indeed be your purpose, but purpose also lives in very ordinary things.

We have a holiday home in Arniston. Like many homes in small coastal villages, it has a septic tank. And it works a dream. Except on New Years’ Day when we have guests and one of them reports, as my Grandmother would have said ‘The lav is blocked’. On a public holiday? Really? Couldn’t this have happened last week when the plumbers were open for business and when we had no guests?

And so, I call Uncle Norman. He is an active Elder in the local Church, a man of faith and unending cheerfulness, who will arrive with a spring in his step and with two long wires and a pair of gloves up to his elbows to solve our crisis. No visit from the Mayor, or indeed anyone, would be more important, or welcome. Norman has an overwhelming and apparently inexhaustible purpose to serve people in his community. To help the youth. To encourage people. To build the Church. And he considers helping us as important as encouraging those in the pews.

Jane Goodall at 26 years old went to observe animals in the wild. She had no idea she would become a voice for sharing hope across the world about our environment.

Christo Wiese, one of the wealthiest businessmen in our country, opened stores to sell shirts for R10 to people who had no access to affordable new clothes for themselves and their children.

These three people all have a purpose in their lives. Some make more money than others, but they are driven by purpose.

Richard Branson said: “If you aren’t making a difference in other people’s lives, you shouldn’t be in business – it’s that simple”

Your mission may not be in the workplace at all. One of the most important roles on this planet remains being a good parent and providing a safe and nurturing home for the next generation. Perhaps you will end up being most proud that your children have turned out to be good people. Rose Kennedy was reputed to have said that her purpose was to bring up presidents. And despite huge losses in her personal life, she did that.

My dear Mom-in-law was the custodian of our family history. Every year, since her two daughter’s first birthdays, she created detailed birthday cards for every member of her family, each one hand drawn and capturing the highlights of that person’s year. They always included cartoons of the dogs making comments from the side lines. She created photograph albums that captured every age of our children, never missing an important event or special occasion. ‘Stoep parties’ were her speciality to lift flagging spirits. This together with her unconditional encouragement to us all, was a purpose we will miss and treasure always.

For the world to go around we need people to be doing all manner of jobs. To grow food. To pack supermarket shelves. To create art. To design beautiful buildings. To manage money. To clean school buildings. To provide legal support. To provide care to the aged. To find homes for rescued animals. To be big business that is being called to be responsible in fulfilling its purpose in the world.

Maybe you’re already in your purpose and haven’t noticed it because you are so busy looking for it.

Your purpose may not be popular

Purpose is not always popular.

Nelson Mandela’s purpose was so unpopular he spent 27 years in prison. He started his education at Fort Hare Missionary College and was expelled for organizing a strike against the white rule of the college. That wasn’t popular either. In 1994, aged 76, he became the first democratically elected president of South Africa.

Mahatma Gandhi famously said: ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win’.

A recent entrant on the world stage is Gretha Thunberg, who from the age of 15, skipped school every Friday to sit in front of the Swedish Parliament to demand tougher environmental policies. She launched the “Fridays For Future” movement – that encouraged students around the globe to skip school to protest their government’s environment policies.

In March 2019, 1.4 million people from 128 countries took to the streets, according to the Friday for Future campaigners. When addressing MPs in the UK Houses of Parliament, she said: “But I don’t care about being popular. I care about climate, justice, and the living planet.”

It can be hard to forge your own path when it makes no sense to anyone else.

Well- meaning and kind people who love you may give you advice to perhaps follow a safer, more profitable, less risky course.

Your choices may sometimes come as a surprise to your family. In the Netflix series ‘Comedians of the World’, the South African comedian, Riaad Moosa, first a medical doctor, tells his story. Both his parents were doctors and his Dad always said to him: ‘Riaad you can do whatever you want to do in this world, as long as you become an orthopaedic surgeon first’. “So, no pressure there” he remarks. He tells how his parents sacrificed a lot to become doctors in the apartheid era, then paid to put him through medical school too. “And still I became a comedian. So, they were obviously thrilled with my decision!” he jokes.

Many people won’t agree with or even understand your journey, but then it’s not their journey. 

 But just because it’s not popular doesn’t mean it’s not right.

Your purpose may not yet be clear

It would be great if finding your purpose were a simple, predictable process with some slick tests and ‘Bingo!’ there it is.

Some people do find their purpose at a very young age and pursue it with zeal their entire lives. And then there are the rest who may only see a short part of the path at a time, or only find it later in life.

Discovering your purpose may mean following your gut, making some apparently wrong moves and keeping moving. You may have to find your way through the forest looking for the next clearing and the signs that await you there, sometimes feeling lost and confused. Remember what J.R.R. Tolkien said: “Not all who wander are lost”.

Perhaps you think it’s too late for you?

David Attenborough, 93 years old this year (2019) has recently turned his attention from showcasing the beauty of the natural kingdom, to educating people about the immense and urgent environmental crises we are facing. The last episode in Blue Planet II focused on the growing problem of plastic waste in the ocean. The episode showed baby birds feeding on bits of plastic, beaches piled with plastic pollution and marine environments being destroyed. 

A report by Global Web Index shows that 53% of people surveyed in the US and UK reduced their single-use plastic over the last 12 months due to what is now called the “Attenborough effect.”

Jane Goodall at 85 travels up to 300 days a year, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, environmental crises and her reason for hope. She writes and speaks about the connectedness of all living things and the collective power of individual action to look after animals and the environment.

She went to Tanzania at the age of 26 to study wild animals. With no experience or suitable qualification, she landed a job with the famous anthropologist Louis Leakey. At the age of 57 she developed a vast global network of ‘’Roots and Shoots’’ Clubs at schools and at village level where young people meet and take on environmental issues. She remains one of the most respected and well-known activists for animals and our planet.

Just because you don’t have a clear purpose in your twenties and you are not having world impact, is no reason to have what Oprah once called ‘A little breakdown in the kitchen!’

Steve Jobs said: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Perhaps all you need to do it to keep moving forward, one step at a time.

Your purpose may be in a support role

Your purpose may not be in the frontline. You may not end up in Time Magazine or on the news.

There is a famous story of Winston Churchill visiting one of the coal mines during the war. He stopped and asked a coal miner what he was doing. And the answer? ‘I’m supporting the war Sir’.

In Corporate life we often speak about ‘line of sight’, to what extent individuals can see how their role supports the business and its clients. In my middle career I was part of a team to establish a commercial bank from an existing non-profit organisation. Initially we attracted many people with huge sense of purpose. But I noticed that as we became more commercial, many lost their sense of why they were there and moved on.

You don’t have to be in the front row, on TV or in the limelight to be supporting a cause or a business you believe in.

Every project and initiative needs people to support it in different ways: bookkeepers, camera men, journalists, people who fly planes and drive delivery vehicles and feed horses and clean hotel rooms.

My father-in-law, referred to by all as Grandpa, is at 88 this year my best proof-reader and a wonderful stickler for detail.  Every piece of written material and article we produce is gone through with a fine-tooth comb. Even the company that does our printing, to avoid any re-work, will ask: ‘Has this been through Grandpa?’ (Any errors in this blog are mine, Grandpa has not done his final check and will be horrified that I have put this online…)

Without any special interest in career decision-making, he supports my purpose to help people worldwide make more inspiring choices in their careers and their behaviour in the workplace.

Your purpose may be outside your job. Your work may make money to support a purpose you believe in, or to save money so that you can do something different in the next phase of your life.

We can each make a difference by doing just one thing differently to support a cause we believe in without changing what we do at all. You can help reduce plastic waste by not buying non-recyclable plastics or by refusing plastic straws at restaurants, or not supporting restaurants that determinedly use them. Adopt a rescue dog rather than buying one. Sponsor one meal a month with meals-on-wheels to support old people. Spend time with someone who needs help.

Maybe your role is to encourage those who are working in the frontline. Maybe your role is to cheer from the side-lines. We need that too.

Are you perhaps driving your purpose already?

You don’t have to be ‘more’ or ‘less’

You may think that you have to be ‘more’ or ‘less’ in some way before you can pursue more purpose in your life. You think you need to be older, younger, smarter, more qualified, more experienced, more eloquent or have more money. Not so.

Bill Gates didn’t graduate. Steve Jobs dropped out of College. Mother Theresa simply worked with love.

Greta Thunberg, the environmental activist is still at school and has Asperger’s syndrome. In an interview on BBC radio, she explained the “gift” of living with Asperger’s syndrome. She said that it helped her “see things from outside the box” and to see things in “black and white”. “It makes me different, and being different is a gift, I would say,” she said. 

She launched the “Fridays For Future” movement – with students around the globe skipping school to protest their government’s environment policies. When she was only 15, she skipped school every Friday to sit in front of the Swedish Parliament to demand tougher environmental policies.

Her strike snowballed into an international movement that culminated in some of the world’s biggest ever environmental protests. In March 2019, 1.4 million people from 128 countries took to the streets, according to the Friday for Future campaigners.

You may think you need to ‘be more’ because people in your earlier life said you didn’t have what it takes. That belief may still drive your choices, or lack of choices.

Barbra Streisand, one my favourite artists, started her career early. In interviews she has said her mother telling her not to go into showbusiness only made her more determined. By 16 she was living on her own in Manhattan, by 19 a Broadway star, and by 20 she had her first hit album. Aged 26 she won a best actress Oscar for her very first film, Funny Girl.

Barbra says she has never taken a singing lesson. Aside from her movie credits, she is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time, with over 150 million albums and singles sold worldwide.

I found a lovely book in a London guesthouse, called ‘Could do better’. It quotes from school report cards of well-known people.

Of the actress Dame Judi Dench, they said: ‘Judi would be a very good pupil if she lived in this world’.

Of Peter Ustinov: ‘He shows great originality, which must be curbed at all costs’.

And then, of Sir Winston Churchill; ‘Is a constant trouble to everybody and is always in some scrape or other. He cannot be trusted to behave himself anywhere’.

And then in a later report: ‘Very good abilities…he has no ambition – if he were really to exert himself, he might yet be first at the end of the term’.

Did someone say you were not enough?

Maybe you already have everything you need to pursue your purpose.

Your purpose lives inside your own voice

Hearing you own voice can be hard in a sea of opinions and expectations.

There are many voices competing for your attention. Maybe some loud tapes from the past that scream ‘That’s not a real job’ ‘That won’t pay’ ‘You have no way of creating that kind of change in the world’

Steve jobs said: “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

One of my favourite places in South Africa is the small Karoo village of Matjiesfontein with its beautiful Victorian hotel and gardens. There is a small chapel I have photographed often. At the entrance is a pond and in the middle of it is a statue of a young girl cupping her ear to listen. It’s a place I go to be still and listen also.

Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to raise your own voice and not simply be a vessel for repeating what everyone else has said. I gave a talk very early in my life and remember very kind and helpful feedback from someone who said: ‘You quote so many people, but what do you think?’

When my Dad died, I remember having a large box of his shoes that I needed to give away. But on the top was a pair of Hitech shoes in my size. Since mine had done their time, I thought I may as well use them. I had not walked more than couple of metres when the sole came loose at front. It was as if I heard my Dad say: ‘You can’t walk in my shoes, you have to walk your own path’.

I for years tried to copy and mimic people I admired, tried their style, their language, tried to write like them. It sometimes got me a good laugh, but it wasn’t me.

Sometimes it’s hard to find your own voice and the courage to use it.

If you were in London’s Hyde Park on 7th July this year, you would have been one of 70 000 other people at a Barbra Streisand concert. She wowed the crowd and was as glam as ever at the age of 77.

But she doesn’t only use her voice to sing. She is active in politics, women’s heart disease, and within minutes of opening her concert in Hyde Park made a clear statement that she believes people have the right to love whoever they chose. She is a vocal non-supporter of Donald Trump and last year she released an album called ‘Walls’ with a song undeniably addressed to Donald Trump ‘Don’t lie to me!’

It is clear that Barbra believes that if you have a voice, you should use it.

Is it time to raise your voice to fulfil your purpose?

Your purpose may come with a price

Choices come with a price, and so may your purpose.

You may not have to spend 27 years in prison like Nelson Mandela, but it may mean getting up at unearthly hours to study statistics, or write your book, or leave your warm bed when it’s raining outside with your training shoes on.

It may mean travelling extensively.

It may mean investing hard-earned savings into something you believe in. It may mean letting go of needing to be popular. It may mean letting go of years of study in a particular field to make a change and start again.

It may mean making it through the tough times when your hope is low. It may mean scraping the barrel, often, as you start or sustain your own business. Sometimes you have to feel the fear and do it anyway.

But lack of purpose has a price too. Your health, your psychological wellbeing, your energy and nagging sense that you are not doing what you came here to do.

Steve Jobs said: “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

I was looking through some old files of writing from many years ago. In it I found this lovely story and couldn’t remember where I had found it. Then I realised I actually wrote it on some reflective evening gazing at the stars. I thought you may like it.

“Look at the stars”, said the Elder Warrior to the young man as he pointed his crooked finger toward the vast galaxy stretching into the beyond.

“I don’t see anything”, said the young man.

“Ah, you have to get used to the darkness. As your eyes adjust the stars will become clearer to you and more will appear”.

And so they sat, staring into the magnificence of space and time.

“There are literally millions out there”, said the young man eventually.

“You are not even seeing a pin head of what is out there” mused the old man. “Just as each star has its place in the universe, so you too have a place here on earth. And when you finally do what you came to here to do, you too will shine”.

“How will I know I have found my place here?”

“Because you will feel connected to your God, you will feel connected to the people around you and you will make a difference that you care about and that serves other people.”

“But then I could just as well do anything, since everything makes a difference. And there are so many stars, how do I choose?”

“Ah”, said the Elder Warrior. “Just by looking outwards you have already learned the first weapon of the warrior. It’s knowing that the universe is vast and we are not at the centre of it. But each star sheds its own light and helps create the starry heaven here on the earth where we live and beyond”.

“But how do I find my purpose?” persisted the young man.

“You learn fast”, the Elder Warrior said jovially. “The true sign of a warrior is someone who has the courage to seek and pursue what is theirs. It starts by wanting to find it.”

“But even if I truly want to find it, how in this vast universe will I know that its mine?”

“Ah, that is the gift. It is not always an easy road to find it. But it starts with you. You see, you already know what it is. You may need to work hard to find it and then it also finds you.”

“How will I know for sure I have found it?” the young man said, now agitated.

“Oh, that’s the best part. You will find it in the things you love, the things you are fascinated by. You will find it in the things that make you feel alive when you talk about them and get involved in them.  And when you find it you will know. Many people in the world already have it and they find great fulfilment and happiness through it.”

“But how will I earn a living? I also need to care for myself and my family. How will I sustain myself with my purpose?”

“Ah, money”, said the Elder. “We earn our living by serving others. The more people you serve the more you may earn. But real success is not only about how much you earn, it’s about living your dream. And that doesn’t always need lots of money. If you go after money for its own sake, that may feel like stones in your hand. But if you serve others you will be rewarded in many different ways and money is just one of them.”

“So, what sets the Warrior apart?”

The Elder Warrior gazed out at the Milky Way as if looking for an answer, then said slowly.

“The Warrior will know there is a gift within himself and will never stop searching for it. He will be brave in the face of opposition and difficulty and be filled with gratitude even when times are tough. And he will never stop wanting to do good by serving others.”

He turned and looked at the young man intently.

“You see, your work is a gift you have been given. It is a special gift because it gives as much to the giver as to the receiver. Find your gift and share it, and it will grow and multiply.”

“And out there”, he said gazing far into the stars “is a new mission waiting for you when this one is done.”

“It is time to hand on my sword and shield to you, for it is time for me to go.”

As the Elder Warrior handed them to him, the young man noticed on the shield a worn message he could barely make out.

These are weapons of choice. Use them wisely. Many people never go to war at all. They settle. May they give you the courage to fight the war of purpose and to serve others in a way that only you can do. And when you do, you will discover you have created a bigger impact than even you can explain.

When he looked again the old man was gone.

Your purpose may be hidden inside your current job

I have been reading a book about Christo Wiese published this year, called Risk and Riches. In the book is the story of his 40th birthday party held at an upmarket restaurant in Bloubergstrand with all manner of superb cuisine. Then dessert arrived. The most important course, right? Except it was a plain doughnut. The interest peaked when they announced that there was a diamond in three of the doughnuts.

Very often the ordinary parts of our lives and careers hold diamonds inside of them. Unexpected gems.  

The first chapter of my career was in financial services and I loved it. I worked with people I still love dearly and whose support will never leave me. But after five years it was time to move on. I was busy with post-grad work in Adult Education when I was approached to join a different multinational. It would provide new challenge, space to grow and an apparently limitless budget to do work I cared about.

A year later you would have found me checking into another 5-star hotel. On the yellow-wood dressing-table a bowl of beautiful fruit with ‘Welcome back, Mr Bramley’. I put my shoes outside the door to be polished. Then I looked in the far-too-large mirror on the cupboard. I was looking prosperous; overweight from too many hotel dining rooms. I was also looking tired, rings below my eyes. I hated this job. The politics were thicker than the carpets. The games people played were exhausting. The work was challenging only in volume. My dog was staying with friends and my new home was locked up. It simply didn’t work. I had promised the organisation two years and I left pretty much to the day.

But there was a diamond in the doughnut. I discovered the field of personal development planning. I discovered my interest in decision-making systems, which inspired my ongoing learning in this field. My purpose took me to different parts of the world to learn from those who worked with decision processes rather than career testing. My next move was to join the leadership team of a niche bank for the lower income market, which in turn provided a new learning curve for me around leadership and behaviour choices.

Every part of my journey provided what I needed before establishing my own career consulting business. I now work with Corporations, Business Schools and Individuals from anywhere in the world to support career and personal leadership choices. And our online conversations give individuals and managers easy and low-cost access to better self-managed conversations with themselves, their colleagues and their families. (www.careerwarriorsonline.co.za)

What are you learning in your current job? What insights are you gaining? What skills are you learning? What networks are you creating? Is your purpose locked inside the experience and knowledge you are gaining there? Are you learning to manage politics, and yourself?  At the very worst you may be learning what doesn’t work so you can make better choices in the future.

Steve Jobs said in his Stanford University Commencement Address: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards’. It is sometimes years later that the so-called mistakes we made played into our future.

In shooting you learned on the bad days when the wind was howling, the mirage was running high and the flags were changing direction without warning. Indeed, they were often the days you learned the most.

Your purpose may also be hidden in your life stories, in the skills you enjoy using, in those things you love learning about, articles and books that fascinate you. Or in the daydreams. David Niven said: ‘Everything starts with somebody’s daydream’.

Christo Wiese’s wife later confessed that the diamonds in the doughnuts were not real, they were cubic zirconias. So be vigilant, sometimes what looks like a diamond is just a stone.  

Is it time to review how your current role, trials and learning may be supporting your purpose?

Back at the shooting range

You don’t only get one shot. You get to make adjustments along the way. The adjustment you make will depend on where the last shot landed. With the many changes in the workplace and the increasing number of variables, what worked before may not work so well now. The feedback you got from markers and coaches helped you make better choices. From a distance it’s difficult to see the impact of your shot. Those who fail to make corrections and ignore feedback may literally be shooting in the dark.

There was strict protocol on the shooting range. There were rules to ensure safety. You didn’t speak while others were pulling off a shot. When you were done, you stood quietly to give others the same gift of concentration. And when you lost, you stayed to congratulate those who did well.  To get what you want you also need to help other people get what they want, to encourage them and to celebrate with them.

You needed a good rifle. You needed reliable ammunition. But with all conditions and equipment optimal, you were still the only person who could put a bulls-eye in the middle of a target. You didn’t drink tea or coffee for fear of the jitters. You breathed properly, lay comfortably, focused absolutely and pulled off your shot smoothly aiming for the middle. Perhaps the most valuable thing to learn was that you were only as good as the next shot. You could be leading the field and lose it with one shot. If you were dreaming of receiving a prize on the podium or being carried in the chair as the winner, you could lose it. Every shot counted, and it still does.

I once asked my Dad if we were going to a practice on a Saturday. I will always remember his answer:

‘You know, you never go to practice. You only go to shoot bulls.’ Go for your plan A. Go for your own target and go for the middle.

In shooting you learned very quickly how to lose. Complacency didn’t work. Failure was simply an opportunity to adjust and to try again. This time with more information and more determination than before. There are no guarantees in life or in the workplace, but I believe that if we aim to shoot on our own target, do the best we can, we can change the world, each in our own unique way, one shot at a time. There was no point in comparing yourself to the man on your left. He had his own battles and challenges and successes. What the guy next to you does, you can learn from. But the score he gets is his and not yours. Learn from others, but don’t compare yourself to them.

There is a huge mound behind the targets to catch bullets when they have done their flight. They hit the dust, as we say. And so do we. If we are going to put all that effort into life and work, it seems to me you may as well shoot on your own target.

You didn’t have to get up in the cold Bloemfontein weather where your breath creates steam. You didn’t have to go shooting in the dust and heat. But you did. Purpose is also a choice.

I hope you seek out your target and that you shoot right through the middle of it.

 

©Andrew Bramley, Career Warriors® 2019. All Rights Reserved.

 

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