These post-Labor Day, end-of-summer-vacation weeks mean:

Back to work
Back to school
Back from vacation
Hit the ground running
Catch up on work while everyone is back in the office
Finish up that project you never got around to during the summer

Panic, breathe, repeat.

It’s a hectic time, but I am finding that I can keep my cool, and keep my focus, if I ask myself one question when I wake up the morning:

What is my purpose TODAY?

I don’t ask myself what my purpose is IN LIFE, or in my business, or as a parent, or a friend. That’s too big.

I ask myself what my purpose is TODAY. Maybe my purpose TODAY is to build relationships and connections with clients. Or create order (in organizing my home, my work files, etc.). Or make fun memories with my daughter.

As you gear up for busy fall months, and you return from what might be a slower summer pace, you can ask yourself this question in the morning, either for your personal life or your organization’s life:

“What is my purpose in my organization TODAY?” It could be:

Connect with donors.
Show your colleagues that you value them.
Create order on your desk and in your calendar.
Educate yourself.
Advocate for your organization, or your cause.
Create great social media buzz.

Deadlines are still deadlines, and if there is something that must get done today, well… you have to do it. But if you start each day by asking yourself what your purpose is for that day, it can guide your decisions about how you spend your time, and it can help you re-focus when things seem overwhelming.

Originally published at


  • Lauren Brownstein

    Embracing a Creative, Meaningful Approach to Philanthropy

    Lauren has been helping non-profit organizations thrive for more than 25 years as a fundraiser, educator, and program manager. She has helped raise millions of dollars for museums, workforce development programs, student support organizations, environmental groups, communal agencies, and other initiatives. She has a particular expertise in crafting effective, impactful grant proposals. Lauren also works with individual donors and groups of donors to help them make philanthropic choices that reflect their interests and passions. She has realized her own commitment to philanthropy through extensive community volunteering and board service, in addition to serving as a certified foster parent.