Perform in the storm

Powered by Lifeguard

The Four Keys to Finding Your Purpose

A former lawyer and banker, Sander turned to leadership training with a mission to help organizational leaders respond effectively to the new challenges of this time. In this talk Sander discusses the process of self-reflection used to elicit one’s meaning and purpose in life. If the process reveals a gap between your current and desired situation, experiment with small changes in the direction of joy and fulfillment, to re-balance your life.

To find your purpose look closely at what you enjoy doing; what you excel at; where you would like to contribute to society as a whole; and what your dream is.

Sander Tideman on the four purpose questions to ask yourself

Key insights

  • A crisis means change, and change requires re-orientation: The question is, on what basis do you re-orient yourself? Do you insist on adhering to the old ways of doing things, or are you willing to consider new ways of looking at the world? Discovering your purpose would ideally guide your re-orientation.

  • Purpose emerges from a journey deep into yourself: This is ideally done by retreating from the world for a few days and immersing yourself in an environment which encourages self-reflection and exploration, although it can also be done through a guided process of discussions, whether individually or with a team.   

  • There are four main areas of exploration which help elicit your purpose in life: Each of which examines a different, meaningful aspect of your person. The common denominator between these different areas is where you are likely to recognize your purpose.

    • The first area of exploration looks at passion: What do you get up for in the morning? We can all remember moments or times of flow, ease and joy. Reconnect emotionally with these moments. They will give you a clue as to your passion(s) in life.

    • The second area of exploration looks at talent and competence: What do you, or others, see as your unique core skills and abilities? What kind of work comes naturally and easily to you? Ideally, these unique abilities also relate to your passions in life, although this is not always the case.

    • The third area of exploration looks at the outside world: What triggers you in the outside world, whether in your personal surroundings or globally? Where would you like to see change? What do you care about deeply?

    • The fourth area of exploration looks at impact: What is your dream? What do you hope to change or achieve in the long term, especially in relation to what triggers you? What difference can you make in the world?

  • If the process reveals a gap between your current situation and your desired purpose, the very awareness of it is useful in and of itself: You may not be able to change your career or relationship overnight, but you can start exploring those things that bring more joy into your life. Experiment and re-balance your life slowly.

  • Purpose is self-leadership: Take personal responsibility for exploring your life’s purpose. You cannot expect your boss or company to understand it for you.

Dive deeper

Can you do what Martin can?

To help you keep your energy levels high and stay positive throughout your day it is essential to take breaks regularly. To help you get more out of your downtime, Martin Pet, a seasoned sport and performance psychologist and physiologist, will challenge you to perform a wide range of exercises that will do just that.

Play Twinkle, twinkle, little star with Martin Pet
Find out how he does it and why
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

Of course we all know this English lullaby, written almost 150 years ago by Jane Taylor. More in general, making music is a great way to use your recovery time. Playing the guitar, the piano, drums, or even just using some of your kitchen gear. It makes you use your brain differently for a while and that’s why it reloads your prefrontal cortex; the part of your brain you need so much for your work. What kind of kitchen gear you can use? Well, as Martin shows in this video, just a couple of wine glasses work perfectly fine.

About the crew member

Sander Tideman • Author and leadership trainer
Sander Tideman

Sander started his career practicing law and then turned to international finance, serving in leadership roles at ABN AMRO Bank and Triodos Bank. For the past 15 years, Sander has worked with companies and institutions across the globe, running leadership programs with a focus on shared value strategies and societal leadership. His mission is to help organizational leaders to develop the capacity to effectively respond to the new challenges of this time, utilizing the full potential of the mind. He integrates principles of yoga and mind-training into his leadership development work.

Your journey until now


The Four Keys to Finding Your Purpose

Sander Tideman on discovering your purpose in life

You are here