“Purpose”

Posted by: admin  :  Category: Neuro Semantics, NLP, Personal Development

Do you know your purpose? Why you were placed on this earth? Are you living a life that is “on purpose”? Is this purpose energizing, unleashing your potential and driving you to actualize your highest and best?

 

I remember how I felt when I first heard these questions…confused, lost and flabbergasted. I mean, here was I striving daily to earn a living to pay the bills, enjoy some luxuries, take an annual vacation, save some resources for the proverbial “rainy day” and invest the rest for the future. Is that not purpose enough?

 

There were already enough challenges with me trying to do all the above with set backs, disappointments, delays, “rainy and stormy days” that collectively and routinely showed up together with personal and professional limitations that spiritually, psychologically and  emotionally challenged my equilibrium!  Isn’t managing these “challenges” purpose enough?

 

Over and above this I have a dream which I am questing, to achieve a level of professional and economical success as defined by me that took a big chunk of my consciousness, either worrying how I could attain my dream faster or fearing that I may not achieve it soon enough. I had my relationship with my significant other, a relationship that positively impacted me and which occupied most of my free time and weekends, it kept me engaged and fulfilled. Lastly I had my “healthy obsession”, my daily exercise regime, an “addiction” that provided me the much needed leisure. Isn’t this purpose enough?

 

 

So, what do you think? Isn’t all the above purpose enough? Isn’t all the above the purpose of us, the common man “on the street”, living in the reality of the theater of life that can, at times, be rough and unforgiving? What do you think?

 

While all the above have merit and are the genuine concerns of most folks I know (including me), they do not necessarily give one purpose. For me, some of them, my relationship with my significant not being one of them, were “concerns”, real life “concerns” that affected the quality of my living. They provided me with some drive and ambition, but were also “high stress” factors, being driven by my need to feel significant. They served to give me a “commercialized sense” of esteem, value and worth and as such, were also driven by a sense of insecurity, fear, uncertainty and scarcity.

 

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

- John F. Kennedy

 

The point I’m trying to make is simply this, these “concerns” of mine were ego driven; meaning that the “purpose”, meaning and intention driving them were pretty selfish ones. Though they were not bad in themselves, they only fed the body but not the soul. On many an occasion, achieving them provided fleeting contentment, even a hint of disillusionment and tiredness while non achievement brought lots of disappointment. In a way life was pretty much like a hamster on the wheel: I was driven, highly competitive, aggressive and ruthlessly ambitious with a convenient disregard for the welfare, needs and ambitions of others. Man, if this was living life “on purpose”, it sure felt “purposeless” and tiresome!       

 

“To forget one’s purpose is the commonest form of stupidity.”

- Friedrich Nietzsche 

 

I believe that the quest for purposeful living has become an unquenchable thirst in the hearts, minds and souls of modern man. Why? Simply because the human soul looks for a higher meaning and purpose for it to actualize and express itself; a higher calling which is already embedded in its DNA but which must be made real and incarnated in flesh.

 

 

So what does finding ones purpose mean? What is “purpose”? For me, purpose is derived from what we most value in our deepest selves and not from what someone else, society, peers or the popular culture of the day deems valuable and meaningful. Purpose involves an “inside out” dimension and dynamics; I would even dare call it a mystique.   

 

Purpose is not achievement per say. For instance, achievement can mean being successful at a job or career you don’t want, to please your parents and to afford an expensive car and house you don’t really need but which “commercially symbolizes” prestige and to impress a girlfriend, wife, peers, neighbours or family members. A purpose on the other hand is something you continually express to bring you deep meaning, a sense of being “connected” to your core and authentic self and not a list of things you have or must achieve.  

 

“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.”

- Wayne Dyer

 

It’s about finding and expressing your “voice”, your own uniqueness, passion, giftedness, talents and strengths; courageously living your own values, principles, meaning, vision and mission regardless of the external realities. Living authentically, actualizing your highest and best intentions and fearlessly unleashing your potential while adding value to others, the world and fulfilling needs!

 

 

“The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”

-Mitch Albom

 

A good example would be Gandhi, Mother Theresa of Calcutta or Nelson Mandela who quested and found their “voice”, a  purpose that pushed them beyond their “comfort zones” to actualize their full potential, values, vision and meaning while adding value and serving a higher purpose of humanity and God.  

 

Does living ones purpose promise a life that’s free of challenges and difficulties? Certainly not, but it does promise a life that’s free from the storms of disillusionment that unending materialistic pursuits and reckless ambition for personal fulfillment that discounts the wider socio, political, psychological, emotional, spiritual and transcendental dimensions of human existence brings. In short, storms that wreck the human soul.  

 

Are such “storms” real? Well, simply open the daily newspapers, turn into the news or simply go on line and you’ll see the symptoms of these storms…maybe we just need to take a pause and look within our very selves and we’ll see, hear and feel these storms silently raging!

 

“Purpose is what gives life a meaning.”

- Charles H. Perkhurst

 

So how does ones find ones purpose? There are so many books, articles, seminars, workshops etc. out there on this very topic. Any one of them can help you find your purpose …in fact the map to finding your purpose is never one but many. I personally believe that in a way, life does send us “taps on the shoulder” experiences to guide us to our purpose and if we have missed these taps, we just need to look back and identify them.

 

 

“Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you.”

 - Wayne Peter

 

I reckon that there are two categories of “taps on the shoulder” experiences that nudge us closer to our purpose. The FIRST is what I call “exciting, engaging and energizing” experiences that reveal to us our passion, our unique strengths and energies; experiences that unveil our love for something, a way of life, a career, an enterprise, etc. Is there something you simply love doing even for free? Is there something that grabs your attention, passionately engages and keeps you awake at night?  What is it that you do that you find is an “exciting, engaging and energizing” experience? What is it?

 

Folks who are “alive” and successful in their own right are highly passionate and energized. They seem to love what they are doing, are in the “flow” state, fully absorbed and are pushed beyond their ego needs and comfort zones! They never seem to run out of energy nor can’t wait to get going, always adding value to the world in one way or other! That’s not all; their passion and love for what they do is backed up by talent, their own unique strengths that make it possible for them to translation their passion into reality!  

 

Marcus Buckingham’s in his book “Now, Discover Your Strengths” calls this living from your Strength Zone!  The Strength Zone Path takes your own unique giftedness and talents, YOUR STRENGTHS, and lifts you above crowd to actualize, unleash and incarnate your passion. To be honest, no one has ever been successful doing something that they didn’t like and nor has anyone been successful doing something they can’t do well!

 

On the other side of the coin there are millions of people doing something they don’t like or hate doing and then wonder why they’re not successful, happy or passionately engaged in living life to the fullest! So, what is it that you do well? What are your strengths and giftedness?  What is the talent or uniqueness that sets you apart from everybody else? These questions hold valuable clues in helping us find and live our purpose.

 

The SECOND category is what I call “painful” experiences. Experiences of set backs and disappointments that may give us some information about the path we have taken or taking. Experiences of sadness and loss, like the sudden death of someone dear, that awakens in us deeper and higher values, principles, priorities, meanings and direction that we may have forgotten, abandoned or neglected. Such experiences “jolt” us out of our slumber and question our higher purpose of life; of living. Are we living authentically? Is our current way of living, work, career or business in harmony with our higher meanings, values, priorities, identity and true self? Do we have the right moral compass to guide us towards living a life that adds value, unleashes talent and empowers others while pushing us beyond our ego needs?

 

“There is a purpose to our lives that each day tugs at our sleeve as an annoying distraction.” 

-Robert Brault

 

 

Perhaps one of the best exercises we can do to help us arrive at our “purpose” is to imagine the day of our funeral. Who would be the folks attending it? What would they be saying about you? What would their inner thought about you be? What would your eulogy consist of? What would your lifetime achievements be and mean to your loved ones? Would they be proud of them and the legacy you have left them?

 

“Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray.”

-Sai Baba

 

Another equally helpful exercise would be to imagine yourself at the end of your life. What would your last thoughts be? What would be your achievements and regrets? What would be the things you wish you did more of? What would be the things you wish you did less of? What would be the values, meanings, intentions and decisions you made and lived that would make you feel that you had lived a life that was purposeful and transcended your ego needs? Did you add value to your family, the lives of your loved ones and the community?

 

“Men, like nails, lose their usefulness when they lose direction and begin to bend.”

  -Walter Savage Landor

 

Folks, I reckon that life is too short for purposeless living. It’s too short for making it “all about ourselves” and our “concerns”, filled with “ego trips” and the delusional fascination with being the “biggest, fastest, tallest, strongest, smartest, richest and fairest”. If ever there was a time for us, the human race, to take a deep pause and ask ourselves about the “purpose” of our lives as individuals and as a community, it is now. The world needs folks who are brave and courageous enough to break through the shackles of “egoistic and materialistic” living, one driven by a warped moral compass, to connect to their deeper and higher purpose, to add value and leave the world a better place. To live a life lived “on purpose” that graduates at death to eternal life!        

 

 

“I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate. It is, after all, to matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.”

-Leo C. Rosten

 

I leave you with the movie clip from “The Last Samurai”, the poignant scene where Emperor Meiji finally finds his “voice”, his higher purpose, meaning and values and defends both himself and his country. An awakening he had after a “tap on the shoulder” experience from the sacrificial death of Katsumoto, whose “purposeful” life added value, empowered and awakened deeper meaning in others!   

          

The Last Samurai

Stay committed to transcending, transforming and transferring value back to your world!

Catch new blogs fortnightly at let us know what you think below.

 

Conrad Rozario is the founder of Alchemy Resources, a cutting edge human potential and peak performance development company in Malaysia. He has more than 15 years experience in people development from the diverse fields of Sales, Marketing, Customer Engagement and Service, Business Management and Talent Development. He is a Certified & Licensed Neuro Semantics and Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP) Trainer from the International Society of Neuro – Semantics, USA, a Master Practitioner in Neuro Semantics and NLP (ISNS, USA) and a Language and Behavior Profiling for Coaching Practitioner. He holds a MBA from Gordon University, Illinois, USA.

404