If I look back on my life the times I have been most dissatisfied are the times when I haven’t felt alive, clear or authentic. When I experience “flow,” which is a state of total absorption and engagement, clarity of thought, ability to see the big- picture and time seems to disappear while I create meaning for myself and others, this is when I feel most content and fulfilled. These are the times when I am living “on purpose”. I am clear about where I want to go, why I want to go there and the how I will get there presents itself.
At the core of our beings, I truly believe we all know who we are and what we are meant to be doing. It is when we haven’t discovered our “why” or when knowingly we allow ourselves to be sidetracked, that is when we dig ourselves into a hole. The first thing to do when you discover this is happening is to stop digging! Take a deep breath and realign with your life purpose.
Here are three ways to live on purpose:
Ask yourself this question regularly – “why am I here?”
It doesn’t matter what stage or aspect of your life you need to bring on purpose. This one question will answer it all. Remember when you are aligned with your purpose you will experience clarity, contentment and empowerment. When you begin to feel something has lost its meaning or joy, you pause and ask yourself – why am I here? So, if you are a spiritual entrepreneur trying to create a business for yourself and it feels like you are hitting obstacle after obstacle you ask yourself this question. Remember this technique will only work if, you have defined your purpose with authenticity and you are answering “Why am I here?” with integrity.
If your purpose was too generic or nebulous to begin with you need to go back and define your purpose. Remember you need to identify your core lifelong strengths, values, and passions in order to craft your authentic life purpose. If you haven’t read my blog the one thing that stands between you and everything you’ve ever wanted: purpose, this would be a good time. It offers a step by step frame-work to crafting a genuine life of purpose with integrity.
Second strategy to stay on target – A purpose scorecard or goal tracker
However, you wish to define it, create a tangible way to review how you have utilized your passion, talents, skills, abilities and life experiences to continue living your purpose. Living on purpose means consciously working on taking steps to achieving your “why”.
So, if your passion is self -development or transformation or healing or self improvement, your talent is to help people see their blind spots and teach them skills and practices to transform those and your skills are writing or creativity and you have some great life experiences that can add integrity to the stories you tell and inspire people into action then your life purpose could be “to create life -transformation through wisdom”. You could choose to become a spiritual entrepreneur or a life coach who mentors and facilitates transformation in people’s lives or write a book that does the same.
Now let’s take this example further of having a business that serves people’s transformation and creating a goal tracker or a scorecard that tracks your ability to live on purpose.
- Gain wisdom: Study and certify to become a teacher or a healer or a life coach of an existing modality
- Create strong testimonials of your work: start with family and friends, extend to their friends and your community. Regularly meet and connect with people that share the same passion, interests and abilities
- Do community work, offer services to others in the community and get invited to speak at conferences, seminars, expos etc. within the area you wish to establish your expertise
- Identify channels of communication that will establish your expertise in the area while allowing interaction with those who wish to connect with you
Plan each of the above points in depth. If you need help with initiating any of these or feel stuck review what is missing – wisdom? Ability or knowledge or how to begin? and immediately find a friend or mentor to guide that aspect of life.
If you are living on purpose, these are small matters. None of us know everything, we have to create our network and support systems to develop ourselves. This is key and crucial to our success to live a life of purpose.
If you hesitate to speak in public find a public speaking course and get over it. If you are unable to craft your elevator pitch (describe yourself in 2 mins or less) find a resource to do it and move on from that point. Do not get stuck, keep moving into action.
If needed practice a hundred times in front of family and friends before you make your call to a community home and even after that, call 30 – 40 community homes before you break through but by the time you have done this you will have repeated who you are and what you have to offer so many times, you will know what works and what doesn’t because only practice makes perfect.
Take baby steps, set incremental goals in achieving your purpose and keep moving forward. Consistency in action and discipline go a very long way in achieving success. Small wins are very important. Every management discipline from change initiatives to innovation speaks can testify to the significance of small wins. Celebrate your successes and learn from what didn’t work. There is no failure. It is only a learning of what didn’t work.
While your life purpose will remain constant, when you reach or achieve certain milestones you will re-calibrate your journey and add in newer goals. This is an on-going investment you will in yourself and is one of the key stages of your growth and development.
Key Relationships: Identify the people and relationships to help you manifest your purpose into reality.
These key relationships will add great value and significantly impact how you live into your purpose more fully. These relationships are with people who share your purpose and are invested in it. They will become your support system and continue to nourish your purpose as you will nurture the purpose of others. You will need to identify mentors (these could be different depending on the need for example spiritual, professional) advisors (need based) and friends. These key relationships will help you to take care of requirement whenever specific expertise is required for example if you wanted to publish a book – your professional mentor could help you.
Having a sense of purpose in our life is critical to well-being. And yet it’s not enough to find that sense of purpose once — you have to continually re-find it as circumstances (and you) change. We are all constant persons ‘in construction’ as long as we continually reflect upon what drives us, lights us up, we will continue to create magic for ourselves and others.