Updated: Sep 27
If you have read John P. Strelecky's book The Big Five for Life, or any other work that presents the same concepts, you probably know where this article is going. We ourselves were inspired by these words, and at the beginning of the Climate Coping project we defined its purpose for existing and its big five.
TLDR: For an accomplished life and project, define your purpose for existing and your big five for life. These tools serve as a compass to guide your actions and be in tune with what is important to you. Climate Coping defines its own purpose for existing: helping people adapt to climate change and live better in a changing world.
What are the concepts of Purpose for Existing and Big Five?
In the books he wrote, John Strelecky often uses both concepts of the Purpose for Existing and the Big Five for Life. He presents them in different stories, for example in a corporate and leadership context in his work entitled The Big Five for Life. But what does this mean?
Let's start with the Purpose for Existing. Each one of us, and by extension each initiative, project and company, must be able to define the reason why they wake up every morning and do what they do. It is far from being easy. But we should all address this question if we aspire to the happiness of a life full of meaning and in line with our convictions and wishes.
Ask yourself what matters most to you in your life. Ask yourself what you want to put as a priority in your life. What is the most important thing?
Is it to live intensely and to try things that seem crazy to those around you?
Do you want to live carefully and enjoy each day as if it were your last?
Or do you prefer to build as many deep relationships with those around you as possible?
By answering this question, you are defining what is truly important to you. It's a true breadcrumb trail to guide you in your life choices.
Once you have defined your reason for existing, or the reason for the existence of your project, the next step is to define the five main objectives that drive your life. These must naturally be in line with, and contribute to, your Purpose for Existing. They are the five things in your life that you want to accomplish above all else. And they are the five things a company wants to achieve in all its actions.
For example, if your Purpose for Existing is to discover the whole world during your life, your Big Five could be built in the following way:
To be able to work from where I want to work when I want to work...
Possess less than 25 objects to have no physical attachment to a place.
Spend at least 1 month in each location to really discover the culture.
Travel in the most environmentally friendly way possible
Write a book to tell my adventures
It is important to note that these five objectives can be completed more or less quickly, and thus they are not eternal. When you complete one of the objectives, you will probably replace it with a new one. Or, perhaps one of these objectives will one day take a back seat and be replaced by a new priority. For example, in the above case, after visiting half the world, you might fall in love with a country and decide to spend more time there to participate in charity. This could replace your fifth goal of writing a book.
Finally, it is never too late to find your Purpose for Existing and your Big Five. The important thing is what you do now.
What is our Purpose for Existing at Climate Coping?
Just as this search for meaning and purpose can be done at an individual scale, a project or a company must also be able to simply express its Purpose for Existing.
For us, we defined from the beginning of the initiative what we wanted to do with Climate Coping. As we presented in the Forum section, for several years climate change has been a growing concern for us. We started to change our habits in order to live in a more sustainable way. We had to rethink each practice, and find out more information to better understand the impacts of our choices. And that made us feel better, knowing that we were doing our best to have a minimal impact on the environment. But we also wanted to help other people to see their environmental impact and to understand how to reduce it.
Climate Coping was born out of our desire to help everyone adjust and live with climate change. It's not just about surviving global change, it's about learning to live with it.
Here is our exact Purpose for Existing, as we wrote it:
Helping people adapt to climate change and live better in a changing world.
Thus our guiding principle is to extend the scope of our actions beyond our personal life. We are convinced that climate change can be mitigated, and that we can adapt to it individually and collectively. At least we want to believe so. But to do so, we need everyone to be informed and equipped to deal with the changes that are already coming. And if we can help make humanity a little more sustainable and a little better equipped, then we will have fulfilled this reason for existence of Climate Coping.
What are our Big Five?
To achieve our goal, we also laid out on paper the five main objectives that we wanted to include in each of our actions. Each idea we have must pass the test of fulfilling as many objectives as possible. This ensures that what we are doing is always useful and contributes to bringing us closer to achieving our final goal.
We have therefore devised the following five points:
1/ Make people feel less helpless and overwhelmed, by showing them how to deal with climate change at their own scale
2/ Give everyone the tools to be more sustainable and resilient
3/ Help the planet recover from human-induced damage and support living things in the face of climate change
4/ Liste to people's stories and needs to support them on their journey
5/ Broadcast sustainable stories and positive impact projects
What are we doing today to meet these objectives?
We have already started several projects within Climate Coping, all of which are helping us to get closer to our goal.
We started by launching the Climate Coping Blog you are currently on. We are posting articles on the themes of:
We have also added a Forum section so that each Climate Coper can make their voice heard in the Share your Story section. This forum also allows everyone to ask questions or provide answers on the three themes listed above.
We are taking this message to our growing community on Instagram, which we are using as our main platform as we write this article.
Then we recently launched the Green Shop, which is designed to offer products that help you transition to more sustainable habits, while complementing our third and most important goal of protecting the planet. In fact, each purchase on the Green Shop allows us to plant trees and protect endangered forests with the profits made.
And then we have other projects that we would like to realise, and that you will discover later by continuing to follow and support us. But we'll see that later!
What are your own Purpose for Existing and Big Five?
We are interested in your own reason for existing and your five main objectives. If you wish to share your story, you can comment on this article, or write in the corresponding forum section using the template we propose.
We are always available on Instagram and on the site, always listening to you and interested in your projects.
Tell us all about it!