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 next 6 blog posts. I invite you now to reflect on the fifth aspect in the model of purposeful living – Representation, the light beige colour circle in the model. While this is the fifth circle, in real life it can happen anywhere in the nine steps, it’s not necessarily chronological.
This blog post deals with creating a representation for our purpose that we have now started to glimpse, based on the processes suggested in the last few blog posts. A representation when seen regularly helps us to internalise the purpose, remind ourselves that we are in this world for a bigger reason, helps us decide to take some baby steps during the day towards living a purposeful life, energizes us, makes us feel more valuable, helps us to make decisions, solve problems etc.
A common representation of our purpose is a written statement of our purpose. Once the first cut of our purpose is written as per the process suggested in the 14thblog post in this series, it can be made more inspiring and energizing by tweaking the words. Some even get a scribe to work on it to bring out such qualities. Some others compose a poem or song using the words of the purpose. We also see people making a collage, doing a painting, using an artefact, drawing a mind-map, or making a prop.
The visual in this blog post is an artefact that represents my purpose. This is a stone that I found and used for a purpose related activity at my university. My purpose is to deeply understand the notion of purpose and sow the seeds of purpose in the minds of others. As in the stone the purpose is something solid representing a universal truth. However, I see only the surface of the notion of purpose and make sense of what I see as my purpose. Then if I look at the stone from a different angle the stone looks different and similarly my purpose looks different when I look from a different paradigm. This makes me feel my purpose is changing, but it is not, I am only getting a different, deeper or clearer view of it. It has a depth I can’t see and I may not be able to reach as in the case of trying to reach the depth of the stone. Therefore, the best I can do is to sow the idea of purpose in the minds of others so that they start exploring their purpose in their own unique way, make sense of it in their own unique way, discover their own unique purpose and live their own unique purposeful life.
Since each of have different artful forms and are inspired by different artful forms, this approach helps us to customise the purpose representation to make it relevant and inspiring. Once the representation is done it is good to check if it continues to energize us as we engage with it daily. When we find the level of energy dropping, it may be an inner signal to inform us that it is time to improve it or make a representation of a different type.
I recommend you attempt to make your representation of your purpose. Get your family, friends and team involved as appropriate. It is a fun, interesting and energizing activity. In case you have not established your purpose statement, I suggest you visit the previous blog posts and try out the processes suggested. 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.
In the next blog post, we will explore the red colour circle, ‘rituals’ related to how to engage with your ‘purpose’ to energize and inspire yourself to live purposefully.
Meanwhile I wish you purposeful living!