I was watching TV the other day and I saw an ad for a bank that’s part of a larger campaign where they show customers and employees in short vignettes talking about why they like working with or for the bank.  As expected, these vignettes are touching and give you that warm feeling, which, of course is the intent.  They want you to like them, we like doing business with people we like.  The bank is simply trying to become that cute little puppy in the window that you want to take home.

Well, one of these ads had a much bigger message, and it’s one I am not sure the bank even thought about.  In it, a bank employee talks about why she loves working for the bank much like the others, however, this employee says a few things that stuck with me.  In her vignette, she says she “loves to smile and make people happy, that’s her purpose, taking care of people.”  Now that probably doesn’t sound earthshaking to anyone but it got me thinking.

As Stephen Covey, the writer of the iconic Seven Habits of Highly Effective People explains in Habit 2, it is critical to success to begin just about any endeavor with the end in mind. In other words, when we have a good idea of what we want things to look like, we inevitably not only get it done, but we do it better.  This vision, this purpose, is a driver; it’s a shining star that leads to the goal.

Now that’s pretty fancy talk but this woman made it clear, she has a clear purpose for her life, she wants to take care of people and make them happy.  If she goes to work every day with that in mind, she knows her goal, and, at the end of the day, she knows whether she’s been successful or not. And what really struck me was the nobility encased in such simple thinking. In her simple way, she’s working to change the world, no, not starting a revolution to topple an evil empire, simply making life better for those she touches every day, for the people right next to her. It’s a simple purpose but a noble purpose.

So, what is yours, what’s your purpose, your end in mind?  What gets you out of bed every day?  How do you want to change the world?

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