What were you born for? Why are you here? Is there a purpose to your life?
You’d better believe it.
You were born with unique gifts and talents. As individual as your fingerprints, your spiritual DNA was created for impact. Success and achievement can’t fill the hole that purpose was designed to fit. Until you’re living yours, no matter what else you accomplish, you’ll feel like something’s missing. Because it is.
I used to have a gaping hole where my purpose should have been. It was seriously ginormous. It made me hustle and hide. I bulldozed and achieved, all the while keeping my finger on the pulse of which me needed to show up for whatever situation I happened to find myself in.
I accomplished a lot, and my masks looked pretty good to the casual observer. I had all the bright shiny boxes that society says matter checked. And I was still dissatisfied. None of it was enough.
My emptiness was tugging at me, begging me to slow down, look and listen. I wasn’t interested in disrupting my neat little world, so I ignored the invitation. Until it wasn’t possible to ignore it any longer.
Eventually life served up some major wake-up-you-dumb-shit lessons. There is a rule about lessons related to your life purpose. They start gently. Just enough to get your attention. If you don’t give your attention, they get harder. Until you do.
My lack of attention won me a universal ass whooping. I got my behind handed to me, and thank goodness. Because it made me re-evaluate the way I was doing life. (I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that I needed to make a few changes.) So I did. I started to work with coaching tools, and I got my purpose clearly. Then (as a life coach) I started working with other people to help them get their purposes too.
Your fulfillment hinges on purpose. You can hustle your head off, make millions, have a gorgeous family, a great body, multiple doctorates, and fill-in-your-personalized-blank, but without purpose you still miss out on the grand prize. Doesn’t it make sense to spend a little time exploring this life purpose thing, even if that just means you read this blog and watch this coaching video? ☺
To begin, let’s bust through a few myths. The first is that your purpose is your job. It’s not. It’s so much bigger than that. Your life purpose is about who you become and how you contribute while you’re living. It’s that simple. And that huge.
The second myth is that you have to denounce all your worldly possessions, live in poverty, and be sequestered in a religious order to figure out your purpose. Just. Not. True.
Every person has purpose, and there’s obviously not enough room in the order for all of us, right? Happily, poverty is not required to live your life purpose either. Purposeful people are abundant. (Not just with money, but including with money.)
You don’t have to be poor to have purpose. #GetYourGrooveBack
Another myth about purpose is that it’s some un-nameable, unknowable thing, reserved for a chosen few. Again, not true. Certainly, you have to decide you’re going to do what it takes to figure purpose out, but it’s not hiding from you. You’re already in it.
Pause for a minute and look around your life. You’re right where you’re supposed to be. (Even if where you’re currently at feels like deep doo-doo.) You might not be doing life in a way that serves your purpose, but the mistake is in your actions, not your reality.
You weren’t absent the day they handed out awesome lives. You didn’t get a crappy one. And if you feel like I can’t possibly know what I’m talking about, because your life feels pretty bad right now, I get it. I’ve lived through my share of ridiculously painful, disappointing and trying times.
You see, another myth about purpose is that if you’re in it everything’s going to be rosy all the time. I so wish this was true. It’s not. Purpose incorporates all aspects of emotional experience.
You don’t get to have the good without the bad. You can’t really understand or appreciate light if you’ve never flailed around in the dark, so you need to experience both.
You didn’t get a bum life. This one you have is yours for a reason. Let’s figure out what that reason is, okay? In this week’s video coaching session we’ll walk through three tools that can help. They’re not the only tools available, but they’ll get you started. Press PLAY already! Your purpose is waiting.
Step 1 – Show up with purpose.
The big secret to finding your purpose is no secret at all. You find your life purpose when you begin to show up with purpose. To do that, we use the twin tools of intention and outcome.
An intention is an aim or a plan. It’s what you hope for. When you enter any new situation (whether that’s a meeting or carpool) you have a choice about how you engage. You can flip the autopilot switch, or you can bring some intention to your game. Most people coast. Purposeful people intend.
An outcome is a goal. It’s something tangible you want to achieve. Outcome is about results. What are you going for? Most people show up to their life without any forethought. Purposeful people decide what they want in advance, and then they show up to create it.
Let’s apply this to real life. If you’re lucky enough to come home to a partner at the end of the day, consider putting some purpose into your first hello. Most busy couples get home after a hard day’s work, and launch into logistics (or worse) complaints. Purposeful people don’t do that. They show up with … you guessed it … purpose.
Isn’t your partner your favorite person in the world? Don’t you want them to know it? Set an intention to make your mate feel wildly loved by that first hello, and add an outcome to have yourself a sexy kiss. (You’re welcome).
When you show up different, you get different. When you show up with intention and outcome you get purpose. Don’t take my word for it. Test drive a purposeful hello this week, and let me know how it goes. (PG rated shares only please.) ☺
Okay, ready to hit the life purpose Easy Button?
Here we go…
Step 2 – Serve. Start where you are. Start now.
I’ve got another myth for you. (These things are coming out of the woodwork, right?) Some people believe that life purpose needs to involve huge global undertakings in far-off places. While there are some people who are supposed to serve in sweeping ways (think Mother Theresa or Gandhi) most of us are designed to serve on a slightly smaller scale, starting right where we are.
Begin in your own backyard. The people in your life are there for a reason. The problems you encounter are by design. The opportunities show up to guide you forward.
The only thing you have to do to master this step is look around you and ask yourself a question or two. Where can you add value? How can you help? Then act in alignment with your answers.
A side note here. If you’re reading this thinking that you know your purpose is bigger than your own backyard (so that example is less than inspiring) I hear you. Please allow me to clarify.
Starting in your own backyard is just that – starting. It’s where you’ll begin, not where you’ll end. Your purpose may be much bigger than your current sandbox. Here’s the thing, you have to grow out of your current play structure to get a new one.
If you’re not going about your current business purposefully, what makes you think you’re ready for something more? Living your purpose requires a little elbow grease. You need to be awake at the wheel. You have to take care of business, and you have to keep moving forward – even when it’s hard.
Imagine you’re walking up a hill. (The hill is a metaphor for your life). You’re really tired, and you can’t see the end of the road. You stop and begin to pray for a bike. (That would make your journey so much easier.) You pray and pray, but no bike. Finally, you give up. You sigh and get back on your feet. You start walking again, and pretty soon you’re surprised to see a bike. That darn bike was just around the corner this whole time you’ve been waiting and praying and feeling sorry for yourself when your prayers weren’t answered. They were answered. You just had to keep walking. Moral of the story? Pray, and keep walking to claim the help you can expect along your path.
While you’re walking, add value. That’s all service is. Leave things better than you find them. Even if that means doing something as simple as leaving the grocery cashier with a compliment, or taking the high road in a situation that needs a hero. What you do matters. The way you do it matters too.
One of the most effective ways to condition service thinking is to watch your focus around giving vs. getting. Pay attention. When you enter a new situation, are you focused on getting or giving?
Let’s be honest. We live in a what’s-in-it-for-me society. It’s human nature to look out for our own interests. No guilt or shame here, and I’m not saying for a moment that you shouldn’t get. You deserve to get. ☺
I’m just suggesting you work some give in there too. Especially if what you’re up to feels empty or pointless. Once you start to serve, life changes. You’re living purpose. (Yay you!)
Last but not least…
Step 3 – Get pissed. Then get passionate about what pisses you off.
What pisses you off?
There’s a reason your heart breaks over abused animals. Your anger about girls being denied education is by design. Your outrage over poisoned water or air that isn’t safe to breathe is intended to spur you forward.
You know what pisses me off? It pisses me off when people give away their power. Yet I see it happening all around me, every day. It makes me crazy. It also makes me committed.
I’m committed to your empowerment.
I want you to stop giving your power away. Every week when I show up in this blog that’s what I’m doing. I’m helping you take back one more little piece of your power, and I don’t just do this professionally.
Remember, purpose isn’t what you do for a living. It’s how you do everything you do. #GetYourGrooveBack
If you talk to my family or friends, they’ll tell you I’m all about empowerment with them too. Know what else? I’m uber committed to my own. (I have to do my own work to help you do yours.)
My purpose is to empower, and I discovered that in part by paying attention to what pissed me off.
What pisses you off, breaks your heart, or makes your blood boil? Explore it. What’s already being done to solve this problem? How could you help? If you were to get involved, what might that look like?
There’s no wrong way to do this, other than not to do it all. Just start. You’ll figure it out as you go, and you will get help.
One of my favorite authors is Paul Coelho. A quote from his amazing book The Alchemist is “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.”
And it does. You were created for a reason, and a purpose. You were created to serve, and make a difference. You have a part to play, and if you don’t do it, the world will miss out. For real. So start. Start paying attention. Get pissed. Really pissed. Then get passionate. And curious. Look for a first step. Take it. It will lead to the next. And the next. When you are walking with purpose you are never alone. Spirit has your back.
That’s my two cents for the week. Thanks for stopping by. If you’d like a little extra help getting into action now that you’re burning with purpose, check out my blog on productivity.
Tell me what you think by commenting below.
Remember that life is happening for you, and that no matter what happens…
You Got This!