Embracing Vitality and Purpose: A Leaders Guide to Thriving in Work and Life

By Mark Griffin


In our journey through life, vitality and purpose stand as the pillars that support our overall well-being and success. As leaders and individuals, understanding and harnessing these elements can transform not only our lives but also the lives of those around us.

This article is supplemented by a series of five videos (links embedded at the bottom) for those who would like to spend a little more time on each area. Use this as a guide to help you explore the interconnectedness of vitality and purpose, along with practical steps to integrate them into your daily routine.

  1. Vitality: The Foundation of Holistic Well-being

Vitality, defined as our capacity to live and develop with physical and mental vigor, is crucial for thriving in both personal and professional spheres. Gallup surveys indicate that two-thirds of employees are disengaged at work, signaling a looming mental health crisis. One solution lies in fostering vitality, which leads to holistic well-being and enhanced performance, engagement, and retention.

  1. The Link Between Purpose and Vitality

Purpose fuses our relationships, experiences, and future with meaning (hence our name PurposeFused). Discovering our purpose emphasizes the importance of our relationship with ourselves, enabling us to give to others effectively. By living and leading with purpose, we regenerate the energy necessary for impactful living and high performance.

We must recognize that our physical and mental health are intertwined and avoid compartmentalizing aspects of our lives. Instead, we should delve deeper, view broader, and strive further to develop vitality with purpose. Observing the pain points in front of us limits us to short-term tactical fixes. Instead, committing to longer-term possibilities prevents many observable problems from existing or at least enables them to fade away with a change of perspective.

Purpose fuels a meaningful life, with vitality being the outcome. This synergy results in a life well-lived, characterized by increased focus, energy, effort, and enthusiasm. Isn’t this something we should strive for at work?

  1. Building Vitality with Purpose in Daily Work and Life

A. Focus on Key Spheres of Life

To build vitality, concentrate on the energy, effort, and enthusiasm dedicated to the essential spheres of your life: self, friends and family, work role, workplace, community, and money. Your interaction in these spheres influences who you are, and your intentionality in turn drives your impact (positively or negatively). You are the common denominator.

Start with a score out of 10 based on the following impact formula:

Impact score / 100 = 1 x 2 below:

  1. How intentional are you with your time in each sphere?
  2. How meaningful is your energy and engagement in each sphere?

We’re striving for more than 80% in the spheres that are most important to us right now. We do not need to be 100% in all six areas, 100% of the time – take some pressure off yourself.

Finally, remember, self-care is paramount, and involving supportive and accountable individuals can significantly enhance your efforts. As a leader, you have to live it to give it – and that includes taking care of yourself!

B. Commit to a Purposing Process

  1. Reflect on Your Purpose: Determine how your purpose influences your perception and prioritization of life’s spheres. Click here for more (3 tips to discover your purpose).
  2. Plan Intentionally: Use your purpose to guide your presence in the moment and future direction. Click here for more (Game Plan for Life).
  3. Focus on Intentionality: Align your behaviors and actions with joy, inspiration, and fulfillment.
  4. Eliminate Non-Essentials: Prioritize things that matter most, thereby enhancing productivity and performance versus spreading yourself too thin. Repurposing hours is a key component of this.
  5. Boost Productivity: A purpose-driven approach acts as a catalyst for better performance, emotional regulation, and resilience.

C. Embrace a Vitality Framework

Revisiting the definition of vitality, we identify several key components:

  • Capacity: Built through intentional actions, not innate traits.
  • Living with Purpose: Defines the essence of an intentional, authentic, impactful life.
  • Development: Meaningful growth or decline – we choose.
  • Learning and Growing: Through reflection, feedback, and experiences.
  • Physical Vigor: Achieved through fuel, activity, and rest.
  • Mental Vigor: Cultivated through purpose, continuous learning, connectedness, courage, and commitment.

This type of holistic approach allows us to appreciate the broader view of life, enhancing both short-term performance and long-term fulfillment. This perspective fosters intentionality, presence, and productivity, ensuring a life of inspiration, happiness, and fulfillment.

D. Dig in and Commit to Your Physical and Mental Vigor

To build physical and mental vigor, set long-term goals and identify practices that resonate with you. Prioritize these practices and break them into manageable steps. Ensure your goals are significant to you compared to your current state. Then, document your commitments, and measure and celebrate progress along the way.

Here are some areas to focus on – how you prioritize each will come back to alignment with your goals. View the final video to see some of my goals for physical and mental vigor.

Enhancing Physical Vigor:

  1. Fuel: Consider what you eat and drink, focusing on timing, calories, and nutrition.
  2. Activity: Engage in physical activities that suit your goals and schedule.
  3. Rest and Recovery: Ensure adequate sleep, relaxation, and rejuvenation.

Enhancing Mental Vigor:

  1. Cultivate Self-Awareness and Purpose: Align your authentic self with your desired impact in all life areas.
  2. Encourage Continuous Learning: Engage in reading, podcasts, conversations, and new experiences aligned with your interests.
  3. Foster Connectedness: Prioritize quality, meaningful connections and experiences with others.
  4. Demonstrate Courage: Say no to misalignments and pursue opportunities aligned with your values.
  5. Commit to Growth: Regularly review, refine, and improve your goals and commitments.

In summary:

By integrating vitality and purpose into our lives, we can experience profound improvements in our well-being, performance, and relationships. As leaders, it is our responsibility to model and promote these principles, creating a ripple effect that benefits our teams, organizations, and communities.

If you want to move from success to significance, embrace vitality and purpose, and unlock your full potential for a thriving and fulfilling career and life.

Video Links:

Vitality #1: Introduction

Vitality #2: Well-being, impact and performance

Vitality #3: Defining a framework for vitality

Vitality #4: Living, developing, learning and growing

Vitality #5: Enhancing physical and mental vigor