I could be the most delectable, the most delicious, the most wondrous peach in the world, and I could offer it to everybody. But there are people who are allergic to peaches. Then they may want me to be a banana.” And so often we become a banana for other people who want peaches. What a messy fruit salad. Isn’t it all right to say to them, “I am so sorry I cannot be a banana? I would love to be a banana if I could for you, but I’m a peach.” And you know what? If you wait long enough, you’ll find a peach lover. And then you can live your life as a peach, and you don’t have to live your life as a banana. All the lost energy it takes to be a banana, when you’re a peach!
This is a part of a poem I love, written by the author of ‘Love’ Leo Buscaglia. This poem, which I first heard from my teacher and now my business partner, Omar Khan about 20 years ago, has had an amazing impact on my life and the choices I make. This has helped me to continue to search for my God-given gift by asking the questions; what do I love to do? What am I good at? What is important to me? These reflections have led me to find a sense of my ‘purpose’ and I continue to ask myself questions to inquire if that is my purpose. Such inquiry has also changed the questions and I ask and the third question above has now changed to; for what or who am I in service of?
While I may never find the ‘right’ answer to these questions, I get the sense that I may be living a life congruent with my purpose when I feel happiness, energy, joy and fulfillment. I feel otherwise when I make choices not congruent with my purpose. For example, I get the feelings described above when I help participants of my training sessions find the ‘purpose’ of their life and carve out a strategy to live purposefully. I feel the opposite when I neglect myself by not exercising, having poor quality sleep and consuming unhealthy food. While this is self-calibration and self-validation of my purposefulness, I also feel that there is some external validity.
The external validity is when I receive verbal and written testimonials from participants who have improved the quality of their life after my training and started to live purposefully (Please click here to see these video and written testimonials). Therefore as in the poem above, I keep offering my services to people who need to improve their life and thereby live my life as a first-class peach for the thousands of peach-lovers out there. These are the times I really cherish.
Sometimes I conduct training that is very technical in nature to meet client needs and to address my financial needs. Such sessions don’t provide me the scope of dealing with matters of ‘purpose’, and during such sessions I do not feel the sense of happiness, energy, joy and fulfillment that I feel when I live purposefully. The responses I get from clients after such sessions do not have the passion and authenticity that is evident during sessions dealing with matters of ‘purpose’. I suppose these are times when I try to be a banana for those who need bananas, when I am in fact a peach, and thereby become a second-class banana.
Therefore attempting to search and live a purposeful life could help us to excel in areas we love to do, we are good and are of service to our world.