Cause vs Purpose

Merry Carole Powers:

A cause is based on a desire to stop something. A purpose is rooted in a desire to start something. Cause is charity. Purpose is empowerment. A cause is your nemesis. A purpose is your muse.

Should we break it down? Let’s use hunger as an example.

Cause: Feeding the hungry. Purpose: Creating affordable food for all. Cause has you fighting hunger. (Nemesis) Purpose has you changing the game. (Muse)

One might send you to the soup kitchen or shelter to donate groceries but the other might send you into creating a hydroponic farming system that can grow healthy, nutritious, affordable foods for people on a permanent basis.

Very different, right?

This definition is key to creating impact in the social space.

Integrated Impact:

The business world is beginning to experience something akin to the shift the medical community has gone through in recent decades: Cause is much like traditional Western Medicine: Focused on the symptom of the problem and how to alleviate this. Purpose is more like traditional Eastern Medicine: Focused on the circumstance creating the symptom.

And just as we now have something called Integrated Medicine that treats symptoms that are creating pain in the present moment and also works to eliminate that which is creating the symptom, so too can we have Integrated Impact.


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The Purpose Economy An excerpt from the new book “The Purpose Economy”.  Lots of explore here. Little of this is truly new, of course. Farmers’ markets existed long