Originally published at Roar!. Available here.

February 14th, 2022

Words By Philippa White

It’s hard not to notice that the world is dramatically being reshaped. From digitisation to the repercussions of the pandemic, to all of us gaining a greater understanding of the bigger global issues out there. There is a lot to get our heads around, but the result is that people are looking for more from life.

However, society is slow to adapt to these changes. Schools create people to fit for jobs, and then they are promptly pushed specialisations. People aren’t meant to be painted into a corner. People not only need to be able to bridge different areas, network with different people and respond to different challenges – they are yearning for it.

It’s too easy in our jobs to drop into a formula and a rhythm where you feel like you are going around the block a bit. We can feel constrained and it becomes hard to know how we can contribute. We all know our place in the system and hierarchy.

The key is finding ways to step out of the circuit, bursting bubbles and silos, to find your own route, so that you can go on to achieve great things.

Perhaps you have seen the Disney film, Encanto?

The other night my seven-year-old, Maya, invited me to watch it with her. Her big sister was out at a friend’s house, and this was a chance to do something together.

My goodness – what a beautiful illustration of how powerful it is to break free of preconceptions and find your purpose.

The movie talks a lot about magic. And although Disney’s magic involves a little more theatre, the magic created once a purpose is discovered is not dissimilar. And I have seen this regularly in the 16 years of working in growth and development.

In Encanto, when Mirabel discovered her purpose, she was able to break free from the constraints imposed on her. The message was clear: what other people think of you or expect of you doesn’t define who you are.

The key to doing this is by disrupting your comfort zone. By doing and being more so that you can unlock that special magic within you. And that is your magical purpose.

And when this happens, it’s extremely powerful.


Once you know your purpose, life takes on a whole new meaning. You have more clarity. You know who you are. Where you’re going. And you’re more likely to live life more fully.

You have more focus and you’re more passionate about your goals. And that passion is the driver to help you achieve extraordinary things.

Purpose also helps ensure you live a life in line with your values.

Values are also a key aspect of your life. They are the rules that guide decisions and help define your goals.

When you know your values, you know what makes you tick, what motivates you, what really matters to you. And when you stop and think about the answers, it truly gets you approaching life in a different way.

But this growth is the responsibility of everyone involved.

People need to have the courage and make the time and investment to see the world in a different way and to push themselves to be able to unearth their individual superpowers.

Companies also need to recognise that people are yearning to be and do more. Due to the pandemic, and the real challenges people faced, life has been put into perspective. People are looking at work through a very different lens.

People’s priorities have changed. People are no longer working for a paycheck. They want to feel fulfilled. They are looking for enrichment, they are looking to unearth their purpose. And companies not only need to invest in this type of growth and discovery, but then need to be open to doing things differently.

To adapt to this changing landscape. And empower employees to be a part of this new beginning.

So, look for opportunities to unearth that magic that will fulfil your life and help you discover why you are on this planet. The reason to be and the reason to do.

And if you have people who work for you, help connect your employees to a meaningful purpose, something they can feel proud to contribute to when they show up for work every day. As Encanto illustrates, a role without purpose is an empty shell. Everyone has their own magic, and it’s important that they don’t become defined by that. How they bring that to life – is their purpose.

Philippa White is Founder and CEO of The International Exchange (TIE), a world-leading international leadership programme for commercial professionals looking for personal and professional growth through experiential purpose-driven learning.


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