It plays an important role in each of our lives. It’s the driving factor that helps us create meaning in our work. When we understand purpose, we can easily grasp an understanding of what to do next. But, what if we lose sight of our purpose?

Many times this year, I have experienced moments when seeing the purpose behind what you’re doing is difficult. Recently, this feeling for me has stemmed from a good friend of mine, virtual learning. As connecting with others through a screen has slowly encapsulated our world, I’ve come to understand the exhaustion that accompanies this way of living. From tech troubles to faceless screens, everyday seems to chip away at drive behind our work, but recently my eyes were opened to a new perspective through watching the 93rd National FFA Convention.

As our team attended the National Convention virtually, our expectations were exceeded as we participated in a one-of-a-kind experience and heard powerful words from our National Officers. One message that instantly stuck with me, was Tess Seibel’s retiring address which conveyed how we can move from powerless into purposeful. Each word shared characterized how rather than focusing on what we can’t control, how could we pour our energy into what we CAN control.

Since I first heard that saying, I’ve thought about it often: what it means, how it plays into my everyday life and most of all, how  I could live with the intentions of moving forward in uncontrollable situations. Looking back on these past few months, I realize that our team did exactly this. We focused on what we could control. Together we reimagined a world of in-person leadership events and brought students together, virtually. Through 4 sessions of a statewide chapter leadership conference, countless daily chapter visits and sitting in on monthly chapter meetings, we, in the words of Tess Siebel slowly shifted from powerless to purposeful.

And, in this process, I’ve learned that purpose isn’t always present. There will be days you feel fulfilled and days when you feel empty, but the reality is, if we live purposely and remind ourselves of our why, it can help us to understand the impact we can make on others. So, before you close your computer screen or set down your phone, I challenge you with this question:

How are you choosing to live with purpose ?


Grace Adams

2020-2021 Oregon FFA State President