Purpose is such a buzzword these days. One, I have to confess, I’m guilty of using probably too often. Sort of like “tartlet” in the episode of “Friends,” the word has almost lost all meaning. Is purpose really that important? And does it apply to organizations or just individuals? Great questions! (I’m glad you asked…)
According to Websters, “purpose” is the reason why something is done; the aim or intention of something. Umm, so yeah, I guess it’s pretty important. Where we can get hung up is when we our purpose gets fuzzy and we start inserting the word “purpose” in place of something more specific: mainly our WHY.
For example, it’s one thing to have a purpose-driven life (or family, business, or organization); it’s a different thing to know exactly what that purpose is and be driven instead by that. Purpose can’t become a generic word we use when we are unclear about our reason, our aim, or our intention. It has to be more than that.
The challenge is: how do we articulate or communicate that purpose? Well, we can use words when we know what they are. But we can also use pictures. As much as I love words, I understand the power of visuals in identifying and focusing on our purpose. That’s why a purpose board can be a good exercise for you and a fun activity for your team (or board or volunteers)!
A Purpose Board is simply a visual representation of your personal or organization’s purpose. It’s made up of pictures of what your hope to accomplish, who you hope to impact, and the results you want to achieve.
Here are some ideas to get you started…
1. The Artsy Purpose Board: pick up a blank canvas from your local hobby store. Paint the canvas (preferable a color in your brand palette but any color will do) or leave it white. To add photos, glue sticks or double-sided tape work well.
2. The basic Bulletin Board: purchase a large cork board (or dig the one out of your supply closet that’s been sitting there for how long?). Feel free to freshen up the plain wood frame with a coat of paint or leave it natural. When you are ready to add pictures, use double-sided tape or some cool push pins.
3. Light & Pretty Purpose Board: Purchase a piece of foam core and cover with attractive paper (wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, and even contact paper will work). This is a great option if you plan to move your board around or can’t hang on the wall. It can sit on an easel or lean on a shelf easily. I recommend double-sided tape for this one.
4. The Digital Purpose Board: Looking for an excuse to use (or learn how to use) Pinterest? Use it to make your purpose board. Create a “Board” in Pinterest, title it My Purpose Board (or something more clever…) and start Pinning. Everyone who follows you can see the pins and you can add others to the Board to Add Pins as well. You could do this with an Evernote folder or other digital platforms, too.
How To Create the Purpose Board: Once you have your board ready to go, gather your group (or work on your own!) and a stack of magazines. (Or Laptops if you are going the digital route). For magazines, gather as many as you can but be sure they are appropriate to your mission. When I did mine, I used business and travel magazines that would represent my vision well. If you get stuck on this, give me an email or post on our FB group and I’m sure we can come up with some ideas…)
Now simply cut out (or Pin) the images, faces, and even words that represent your purpose. I know…this is the tough part. But I promise the process is worth it. You will begin to clarify and visualize your purpose in a new way. When you are done you will have a clear picture of what you are called to accomplish, who you are called to help, and why you do what you do.
Be sure to take a picture of your completed board and post it here or on our FB page. Or share the link to your Pinterest Purpose Board and we’ll all follow you!