This is NOT a model for Purpose.
You’ve probably seen versions of this kind of model on social media. There are some with three outer rings, some with four like this one, some where the circles overlap, some that include words like mission and career and passion, and so on. They’re all almost completely wrong.
The problem with this model and others like it is that it treats purpose as though it’s just about the work you do.
These models are rudimentary and very introductory. And like a lot of very introductory things, a lot of people will look at this and think they know about purpose, and sadly they’ll know hardly anything at all.
The problem with this model and others like it is that it treats purpose as though it’s just about the work you do – your job or career. Purpose is about how you live your life – your work of course is a part of that – a big part, but when you get a bigger and better picture of purpose, you’ll realise this is just one tiny wee corner.
Another thing that’s wrong with this model is that it looks at purpose as an equation, whereby if you somehow create a list of what you’re good at and what you love, and somehow connect that to something that pays, and so on, then you’ll get to x, being your purpose. And that’s absolutely not how you’ll find your purpose.
Your purpose, once you find it, will probably have these elements (ie. that you’ll love it, you’ll be good at it, it’ll make a difference), but they are a fraction of the total picture of your purpose, and some of them may even be absent, at least initially. Your purpose will possibly even be something you don’t love to start with, and may include things you’ve overlooked in the past because you don’t like them at all. Or you think you don’t like them.
Another challenge of this model is that each of the aspects depicted are equal. This is never going to be the case. No two people would have the same model of purpose, nor would any one person’s model stay the same in any of its aspects for their lifetime. Purpose is not a static thing, such that once you’ve found it there you are. Your life is your purpose and your purpose is your life; it evolves and grows and changes and you will be journeying along it until your last breath.
For more on Purpose, see my book: