Practising a different approach to finding purpose

What brings meaning into your life that you will make time for this year? In a new series of blogs for 2019, members of the Mayvin team share some of the productive patterns that help us walk our talk in the world of people change.

Here, Rachael Geddes, Operations Manager at Mayvin, shares her experience of practising a different approach to finding purpose in her life.

Life for me in the past 10 years has had some considerable changes. There have been tears and laughter, despair and hope, darkness and light. If I had a penny for every time I had said to myself: ‘If I knew what my purpose was, I’d know what I should be doing!’

In May this year it will be four years since I joined Mayvin, originally on a six-month contract, it was a risk to accept a temporary role but it also felt completely right. I’ve never looked back and have relished each challenge and opportunity to learn, develop and grow. I’ve also felt grateful to be able to work in my own style with a sense of freedom to be me, empowered to contribute and accepted for who I am. It is inspiring to be part of the Mayvin team, as we help organisations (including our own) to create real, lasting change for the better.

It’s during this time I’ve relaxed in wanting to know exactly what my purpose in life is, to know exactly what it is I should be doing to achieve this purpose and declare myself happy! Instead I’ve learnt to move towards what interests me, pick things up and try them and either put them down or continue to pursue them if I so desire.

It has been a rewarding journey that has left me with an appetite for wanting to learn, develop and explore even more because there are no limits.

Now it’s another New Year and a traditional time to look forward and plan. In an unpredictable and busy world, what will I make time for this year?

This has taken my thinking back to the Meaning Conference I attended in Brighton last November. Particularly one presentation by Dr Marjolein Lip-Wresma “The Struggle of Meaning”.  Some of her words have stayed with me:

  • Meaning is not a fad, it is a fundamental human need
  • Meaning is your anchor and you need to be responsible for it
  • Meaning comes from facing the struggle – too much positivity denies meaning making it unreal
  • Purpose without meaning and Meaning without Purpose is not enough. Meaning helps us to move towards our purpose
  • Even within an organisation that has and brings meaning and purpose in the world, it is still important to pay attention and maintain responsibility for what brings the meaning within your role
  • Meaning comes and goes. It’s important to find meaning across all areas of your life


So this year, even though I’m proud to work for an organisation that has purpose and meaning, I will continue to remain responsible for my sense of self. I will continue to pursue what interests me, but looking forward I’m also going to ask myself more closely: what brings meaning into my life that I am willing to make time for? My purpose in life may still not be written in black and white, but I think this way I will continue to find joy in the journey along the way.


Read Mayvin Director James Traeger’s blog ‘Productive patterns: what are we doing better?