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As he wrote The Commitment Engine, John Jantsch discovered that most organizations with “loyal, engaged communities” have a “single-minded, active purpose.”
Which led me to wonder what the opposite of an active purpose would be. I suppose it’s a passive purpose.
The first question to ask yourself is this: “Do I have a purpose?”
A lot of people don’t. A lot of organizations don’t either (beyond making money).
Your purpose is your reason. Your promised land. Your there.
It’s fuel for your story. Most story problems are the result of purpose problems.
The second question to ask yourself: “Is my purpose general or specific?”
It needs to be clear and attainable.
And the third question to ask yourself is the one John covered: “Is my purpose active or passive?”
Saving lives through community cancer screenings is a specific, active purpose. Because you can do the screenings. You can know how many were discovered to be at risk. And you can help them access treatment and track their health over time.
Your (or your organization’s) purpose is either general and passive, or specific and active?
The same applies to your story.
I’m going to spend some time on this. Hope you will too.
Image by godserv on Flickr