Deep Dive: Purpose Seekers

There are those who see the world for what it is, and then there are those who see the world for what it could be. Their passion lies in the potential of all things, and their existence is pledged to bridging the “what is” to the “what can be.” These are the Purpose-Seekers — AKA Inspiration Incarnate — AKA the third part of Zenzi’s Values Wheel. Grab your dairy-free, fair trade, local coffee and get comfortable, we’re going in. 

To make one thing clear off the bat, Purpose-Seekers aren’t looking for Utopia. Unlike Pleasure- and Freedom-Seekers, their aspirational attitudes are less directed at the elevation of self, and more concerned with the evolution of all. “A rising tide lifts all boats” is their philosophy (not just about the economy), and they apply that higher pursuit rigorously to all aspects of their life, right down to choosing what toothpaste they want. Purpose-Seekers move through the world by … literally moving it. Their actions, both big and small, eschew the comfort of the status quo to push humanity, politics, and the planet forward. Every little bit helps, and they’re big on helping. 

Is this checking your boxes? Do you have a table full of postcards and letters to representatives, a car that runs (at least partially) on electricity, and/ or a closet filled with second-hand scores? Then perhaps it is Purpose that you seek. A purpose that gives reason and meaning to your time moseying about on earth, an aim for your arrow-like passions. To an outside perspective, it may seem that Purpose-Seekers are among the most pessimistic of the Value Types, seeing the negative space and the room for improvement instead of basking in the beauty that there is … however, we have to set you straight — they’re actually the most optimistic of all. Purpose-Seekers push so hard for change because they have a deep and devoted belief in that aforementioned beauty. They see glimpses of the best we can be, and they want to secure a future where that is the standard. 

Admittedly, in 2020, there is a little bit of Purpose-Seeking in us all. Climate change is an ever-looming threat, plastics are a public enemy, and the overtly-politicized environment in the US has infiltrated every strata of day-to-day life. With these conditions, every choice can feel like a verdict, like a vote, and it’s increasingly difficult to divorce even the smallest decisions from the larger moral and philosophical implications that ripple out like a rock skipping on a lake. But not everyone takes up the charge, takes to the streets, and turns their life into an exploration of ethics and ideals. For those who do, you are in the company of visionaries and voices like Greta Thunberg, Michelle Obama, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Some companies that align with your interests are Ben & Jerry’s, Tom’s Shoes, Patagonia, and Trader Joe’s. 

When Purpose-Seekers are on social media and not reposting anti-racism and environmental resources or signing petitions, they’re filling up their feed with images that promote the idealistic world they want to see, like this: 

For a brand to catch the eye of these positive and proactive people, they need to be conscious — as in eco-conscious, but also conscious of what they represent and where their profits go. Purpose-Seekers fully believe in voting with their dollars, so they will abstain from amenities that will just end up in a landfill or that rely on sweatshop labor or testing on animals to create the final product. They’re looking to the future, and want to fill their life with all-natural, clean-energy, and fair trade items. These things won’t just satisfy Purpose-Seeking customers, but will provoke their interest and secure their loyalty. Once these consumers are invested in a company, they’ll not just return, but recommend it to everyone around them. They believe in the power of amplifying a voice, and that does not exclude a brand voice … if the messaging is right. 

Has reading this left you energized and excited about the future? Are you about to go wash out your reusable mug, research gasoline alternatives, or sign up to canvas for a local politician? Well then, the Purpose-Seeking spirit has lit a spark (its favorite thing to do), and we suggest following its path until we’re back in a few weeks to wade into waters familiar with the next Values Type: Tradition.