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 five blog post. I invite you to now reflect on the fourth aspect in the model of purposeful living– Building – the light blue colour circle in the model. While this is the fourth circle, in real life it can happen anywhere in the nine steps; it’s not necessarily chronological.
This blog-post deals with building ourselves to be fit for purpose. I believe that God almighty or the universal energy system, or whatever way you make sense of the energy that makes life tick, would send us the opportunities to make our contribution to life. It could be a calling, a vocation, an opportunity to serve or an opportunity to further develop ourselves.
When I had a glimpse of my purpose 22 years ago, I decided to build myself by developing my spirituality through regular prayer and meditation, my health through regular visits to the gym, my relationships through spending more quality time with my family and team members, and my knowledge through re-introducing the reading habit to my life. These are four areas where we need to build ourselves; spiritual, physical, relational and mental. I started improving in these four areas and I felt successful and happy as a result, giving me peace of mind resulting in the improvement of the fifth aspect; emotional. I found I was getting less angry and was less frustrated when things did not go according to my plans.
Two other areas that I was struggling with was ‘financial’ and ‘temporal’. Regarding the ‘financial’ aspect, I could identify some non-purposeful expenses and eliminate them, but this was only a small fraction of my commitments. I need to earn more to meet my commitments. This led me to invest in shares, plantations and real estate which promised reasonable returns in the long term, although the short term financial situation did not improve much. The choice I made to be a part of Sensei International helped in this situation, which led me to further investments and to improve my income to support the upcoming higher educational expenses of my children. Regarding the ‘temporal’ aspect that relates to time, it continued to be a struggle, because whatever non-purposeful time I liberated, was used up in purposeful activities such as exercises, meditation, reading, family time etc. However, I felt that the limited time I had was used more productively, giving me a sense of accomplishment.
I have realised the importance of two more aspects relevant to me since I started my PhD studies, ecological and societal. In this regard, I converted my house to a solar powered system early this year to make my little contribution to the environment. Interestingly this also provides me financial benefit as I am saving on my electricity bill in the long run. I also conscious of the use and disposal of plastics and has contributed by educating my family, friends and participants of my workshops about the detrimental effects. The ninth aspect is ‘societal’ and I have started contributing by dedicating my studies and my social media presence to create an awareness about the importance of ‘purposeful living’ and how to live purposefully. Further I do use some of my time to bring in such consciousness in to educational systems by conducting relevant training and facilitations.
As I start building myself up in these nine aspects, it made me feel more balanced, energetic, content and purposeful. I also saw new opportunities coming my way; such as new clients with new needs which required innovation, new learning opportunities and new opportunities to be of service. These opportunities too drove me to build myself further. It continues in a cyclical manner, continuously improving my sense of purposefulness.
The nine aspects that I think is relevant to me, as illustrated above are; spiritual, mental, emotional, relational, physical, financial, ecological, societal and temporal.While these aspects are relevant to me as at now, it can change as life evolves and each one of us must find the aspects relevant to us. However, a good starting point would be to reflect on the importance and relevance of these nine aspects to your life.
I recommend you take some baby steps in building yourself in some respects that you think is relevant to your purpose. In case you have not established your purpose statement, I suggest you visit a previous blog post and write the beginning of your purpose statement using the process suggested. Once you start feeling the benefits of such action, you will be driven to build yourself in other aspects too. Keep building yourself and be fit for purpose so that you can say ‘yes’ to opportunities presented to you. What is important is to be in the process, and be relatively unconcerned about the outcome, which is part of a larger plan that we may not be privy to.
We will explore the light-beige colour circle, ‘representation’ related to how you create a representation of your purpose in your own artful form to inspire you to live purposefully.
Meanwhile I wish you purposeful living!