PR: Seed Waikato - Millennials discuss purpose with inspirational leaders

Hamilton Gardens was inundated with young people last night as 110 attendees turned out for Seed Waikato’s June event Finding Purpose in Your Playground.

The event was centred on exploring purpose from a diverse range of perspectives.

“We often hear that young people are 'purpose-driven' but struggle to find an intersection of their values with meaningful work,” says Chair of Seed Waikato, Gemma Major.

“The millennial generation is increasingly prioritising purpose in their mahi, and seek to make an impact that is socially responsible, human-centred, and ethical,” Mrs Major says.

A sentiment that is at odds with the societal expectation to know your passion early and pursue nothing else, according to Seed Waikato’s Head of Learning and Development, Kendyl Morris.

“We live in a world where a perilously limiting idea remains at the heart of everything we believe to be true about success - that you have a singular passion, and your job is to find it and to pursue it, excluding anything else. If you do this, everything will fall into place. And if you don’t, you have failed.

“This pressure starts really young, and it lurks in the backdrop of our lives, reminding us constantly that we are failing at life. It’s stressful,” Ms Morris says.

The evening’s guest speakers, Latesha Randall, Andy Mannering and Shelley Davis, all spoke at length about how they have navigated similar expectations and found their true purpose.

Some of Holly's key takeaways from the event.

Latesha Randall, also known as Mrs Coconut, is the Co-founder of Raglan Coconut Yoghurt.

“I've had a rather unconventional career path and I believe there are many different roads to finding success and purpose in what you do. It was an awesome experience to share my insights as an entrepreneur and author to help motivate and inspire the Seed Waikato crew,” Ms Randall says.

Andy Mannering is the Community and Social Development Manager at Hamilton City Council, and is part of the leadership team for Te Rautini.

“Let’s love life and live it well. I want to know my purpose and feel I am succeeding in the pursuit of it. I know I’m not alone. I support the idea that life is more of a playground than a mountain to conquer. Often internal pressure can limit the success and satisfaction we experience across life because we are worried we might take a step in the wrong direction. Let’s be free,” Mr Mannering says.

This year’s MWDI Māori Business Women Tainui Regional Award winner Shelly Davis also spoke about how she found purpose.

“I don't think I knew my purpose until late in my 30s. So my takeaways were: know yourself, know your brand, and communicate with purpose. I don't believe we have to know, especially at a young age, what our purpose is. But if we play to our strengths and our joy, our purpose finds us - that’s definitely what happened for me,” Ms Davis says.

Seed Waikato holds an event every month. The next event is the launch of Seed’s inaugural Dreamshop event on July 23. More information can be found here.