Goal vs Purpose — What is the difference?
Updated: Oct 31
I recently started making videos on YouTube and in the channel intro video I said, “I’m going to help you find your goal, purpose and mindset.”
However, in that intro video it seemed I was using the words GOAL and PURPOSE interchangeably like they were the same thing.
Now, admittedly, I think I was. I think I was kind of getting them mixed up. When I uploaded that intro video, a kind viewer very rightly and very kindly pointed out:
“Hey, you’re using goal and purpose as kind of the same thing. And they’re not. They’re very much different.”
Which got me thinking. He was right. They’re not the same and they are very different. Hence, why I’m writing this blog today to explain the difference (in my understanding anyway) of:
“What is the difference between a goal and what is the difference between purpose?”
GOAL: So a goal is something that you want to achieve. Some point that you want to reach, it’s somewhere that you want to get to. So some examples of goals.
- A goal could be a job that you want to get,
- An exam that you want to pass.
- It can be a certain amount of money that you want to save by a certain date.
All of those can have clear and actionable steps. In my opinion, that’s a goal.
PURPOSE: Now, a purpose is a bit different. A purpose is less measurable.
- It’s ongoing. It’s harder to define, and it’s more about what you believe in.
- So a purpose is “Why do you think you are here on this earth?”
- “What is it in your life that you want to do?”
That pretty much for me is what purpose means to me.
So a goal is almost like a smaller part of that purpose. And I think of the purpose as this overarching umbrella, and each goal is a small part of that purpose.
In reverse, you can think about it as the purpose is. The reason for why you are doing these little mini goals. So I gave some examples of goals earlier and now some examples of purpose. I guess right now, for me personally, my purpose would be.
- To help you or to help others find their goal, purpose and mindset, like I keep saying.
- So that would be my purpose right now, to help others, to share my knowledge,.
- Share my experiences of things that I’ve been through and have done, just to save you time. So you don’t have to go through the pain of doing that yourself.
That would be my purpose. But other examples could be:
You might be a musician and your purpose is to write great music or songs to help others get through hard times in their life.
Or you might want to be a children’s book illustrator, and your purpose is to create great, magical, wonderful books that make children happy.
Or your purpose might be to be the best parent or family member that you can, and to support those around you that you care for.
So what exactly is your life purpose and how will you know?
That is something that I’ll cover in another blog, just so we can take the time to absorb the info from each blog, before inputting more.
As for this week’s blog, hopefully you’ll now be clearer on: “What is a goal, and what is a purpose and what is the difference.”
Thanks and have a great day!
Francis Fung | Career Coach
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