We explored the notion of purpose from various viewpoints in the first ten blog posts in this series. We then started making sense of our purpose in the last three blog post. I invite you to now reflect on the second aspect in the model of purposeful living– The glimpse, the light green circle in the model.
This aspect deals with how we start seeing a glimpse or the beginning of what our purpose might be. The reason I sound so tentative is because I feel that we may have a specific role in this world and a purpose to live by, based on the higher powers that created us, be it God or the Universal energy system or however we chose to make sense of our existence. I discovered the beginning of my purpose about 22 years ago and the more I attempt to live by the sense of my purpose at any given time, the more I become clearer about it. Therefore, my clarity of my purpose has evolved with me and I believe it will continue to evolve during the rest of my life, although I may still not know what my purpose is completely, even when I transcend.
The first step in discovering the glimpse of our purpose is to reflect on four questions;
- What makes me most alive, joyous and energized? Why? This could be a type of activity, be it in the arenas of family, work, profession or society that is in line with our talents and interests.
- What are my biggest struggles, past or present? Why? Sometimes our struggles have given us an in-depth knowledge, experiences, courage and confidence to deal with the struggle, which could be preparing us for some useful work in the world and this could give us an indication of what our purpose might be.
- What are my biggest concerns? Why? Reflecting on what concerns us in the world, be it poverty, disease, conflict, victimisation of the marginalised, environment, or anything else might be pointing at what our role and responsibility in the world and that could lead us to discovering our purpose.
- What will help me make a living? Why? The reflection on the above three questions can lead us to realise what might help us earn some money to live a life. Having the basic requirements is essential to have a healthy body, mind, emotions and relationships to do the work we must do. I am referring to the vocation that can sustain us. I would consider bliss, if we are able to make our vocation feel like our vacation through the process of searching for our purpose.
Once we reflect on these questions, we can start articulating a purpose statement that consist of the following areas;
- The why of my life?The reason for my existence. This can be articulated by reflecting on the ‘why’s’ of the earlier four questions.
- With what ‘values’ will I live? This is an articulation of the way we will live. It is a list of nobel values that we would have learnt from our childhood and what has helped us to feel happy, meaningful and successful in the past.
- What would I say ‘yes’ to? These are a set of opportunities we become open to and put it out there in the universe. These may look like ‘goals’ from a traditional way of looking. They are goals that we don’t pursue, but opportunities we respond to, if it comes our way. My belief is that if we have a good ‘why’ and if we live with ‘nobel values’, such opportunities will get presented to us.
Given below is my current purpose statement, which now gets revised monthly, based on my experiences of the previous month. This statement illustrates the three parts listed above.
By the grace of God, I attempt to live ‘purposefully’ in an inquiring manner, respond to opportunities, make purposeful choices, and engage and grow with struggles. This is done with the intention of enhancing the depth of understanding of the notion of ‘purpose’, get more clarity about my ‘purpose’, inspire others to live purposefully, and thereby creating a ripple effect that will help make this world a better place, as I believe that this is my calling.
I choose to be Empatheticenough to understand the process of life and care for all living beings, be Passionateabout being of service to the process of life, have an Excellencemindset to find ways of improving what I do consistently, be Authenticwith all its vulnerability and be Selflessso that this way of being is a pleasure even at personal inconvenience.
I will say ‘YES’ to opportunities that come my way, to be of service to the process of life.
I invite you to use this process to find the glimpse of your purpose. In doing so feel free to adjust this process to suit yourself and share such improvements with me, so that I can improve the way I engage with the notion of purpose. It is recommended that you review the purpose statement as regularly as you feel relevant. You may also want to make a representation of the purpose statement in an artful form you like, such as a poem, a painting, a collage, a prop etc. We will explore the orange colour circle, ‘choices’ related to making choices to be in line with our sense of purpose at any given moment, in the next blog post.
Meanwhile I wish you purposeful living!