How to live a purposeful life
I get a lot of questions from people who’re seeking purpose and meaning in their lives. And I often get questions from people who’re thinking about a career transition. And sometimes, I get questions from people who’re absolutely confused about where their energy is going in life, and why.
So I thought I’d dedicate today’s email to a question that I believe sums up these 3 questions:
Purpose or purposefulness?
People generally want to know, "What am I doing with my life?", but they don't slow down enough to think about what they are really asking. To really think about what’s deeply important to them and what are the ways they can express it in their lives.
When we’re so busy worrying about our career, we’ll often forget to pay attention to our callings. When we’re so busy chasing social status and personal advancement, we’ll often forget to make time for the relaxing joy of discovering who we are and what we love doing beyond our working life. When we’re so busy looking for or obsessing over our ONE purpose, we’re blocking our purpose from finding us.
The question of purpose (“What is my purpose?”) suggests that there’s only one purpose for each of us, for our entire life. Sure, some people have a distinct calling, a singularity of purpose that they have probably known from early on in life, but most of us aren't wired this way.
Here’s what I want you to know --
There’s no ‘One “Right” You’.
I believe that we all have so much more to offer than one lifetime can possibly allow us to.
Your purpose is not about what you’re DOING, it's about who you’re BEING. What you’re doing, (and/or even better how you’re doing it) can be (and hopefully is) an expression of your purpose. And that expression will probably change throughout your life.
Looking back, thinking about past roles / jobs which I didn’t particularly like or felt fulfilled in, I can see how they played a big part in my ‘purposeful journey’. In the discovery of who I am and how I most want to express myself in my life. They also gave me tools, skills and knowledge that are serving me in living a purposeful life.
So rather than figuring out my one purpose, I focus on living purposefully, career and beyond. For me that looks like moving forward, growing, evolving and keep listening to what wants to come forth.
While the different ‘roles’ in my journey have changed (or rather, evolved) the purpose behind them remains the same: helping people connect with their truth and wisdom, so that they can create a life that's a reflection of who they are. When we honour our truth and wisdom, we move past our fears and we follow our heart’s desires -- we live PURPOSEFULLY.
To live purposefully is to let our purpose (who we are BEING) deepen throughout our life, and to allow the matter in which we may seek it out or engage with it to change. The more creative, open and connected we are — the more fluid, dynamic and expansive this journey will feel.
So here’s my invitation for you today -- instead of seeking for the one perfect purpose (which probably only keeps you stuck) can you shift your focus to living more purposefully?
Begin with discovering who you are BEING (through contemplation, self reflection and through action and experience). Then ask yourself: How can I express it in my life right now?
This may look like - taking on a new project at work, signing up for a course, volunteering… and it may also look like transitioning into a career that feels more aligned with who you’re BEING.
Think about the ways you can express who you’re being in your life outside of work, in your day to day, and ways you can bring more of who you are into your interactions with others.
We live in a real world that is heavy sometimes with real-life responsibilities, but we also have souls that deserve care and attention. We can pay attention to our worldly ambitions, needs and pleasures; without neglecting our inner, sometimes mystical, beautiful whispers of our heart. We can pay attention to all of it, but it requires getting still at times, listening and really thinking things through, with honesty and courage.
Onwards & Upwards --