This series of ‘Purpose Quest’ will be illustrated with narratives of how we search for purpose. The question is, Are we searching for ‘purpose’ or is ‘purpose’ searching for us?
On the 14th of March, when I boarded the Sri Lankan airlines flight UL 189 to Dhaka I did not realise that I will have to stay in Dhaka for 10 weeks due to flight restrictions. The WHO had declared Covid-19 as a pandemic a few days ago. My mother was encouraging me to stay back without going as I had just recovered from a cough. I was hearing how passengers coming in to Sri Lanka from Europe were being taken to quarantine centres. Was the universe trying to inform me and help me make a purposeful choice?
On the other hand I had committed work for clients in Bangladesh. It was important to meet these commitments to ensure that the cashflow requirements of my company and my family are met. I also needed to spend a few days in Dhaka to to fulfil some regulatory requirments. Perhaps these materiel aspects made me become deaf and blind to the signals from the universe.
It was announced on the 17th March that all flights to Colombo will be suspended for a week from the 19th to the 25th. I took this literally and planned to attend to some of the important tasks and leave after the 25th. However the universe had other plans. The travel restrictions were continuously extended.
While the the travel restrictions were extended many of my clients decided to either postpone the assignments or do them online. This resulted in my being confined indoors. With the availability of time in hand and a big challenge in hand my daily routine changed drastically.
Very soon I was in contact with hundreds of Sri Lanks in Bangladesh who needed to return for various reasons. I made it my purpose to help them as much as I could while helping myself to return. It resulted in collecting required information, creating contacts with decision makers at the relevant ministries and the Sri Lankan high commission in Dhaka, writing to them, communicating with them about the vulnerability of certain groups of people and the importance of early repatriation and working closely with the President of the Sri Lanka Association of Bangladesh to arrange flights.
On hindsight I feel it was part of the grand plan of the universe for me to be in dhaka because it helped me learn another aspect of life, develop new contacts and relationships, be of service to a group of people who needed help, and develop a new way of delivering my services to the world, online!. I will write about this aspect in my next ‘Purpose Quest’ blog post.
The sense I make from this narrative is that universe tries to inform us and create situations that makes us reflect on our ‘purpose’ in life. The first part of my purpose statement, ‘To inspire others to live a purposeful life based on their evolving beliefs, values and methods’ seemed inadequate. It does not address the realities people face. These realities also evolves with the world changing. Our response to the reality makes our belief, values and methods evolve. Therefore I decided to add one more word to my ‘Purpose’ statement; ‘To inspire others to live a purposeful life based on their evolving realities, beliefs, values and methods’
Please reflect on your purpose, decide on how best to respond to the universe, take some baby steps in that direction and reflect on the outcome. Perhaps our purpose is searching for us and let us welcome it wholeheartedly.
I wish you purposeful living!