We explored the notion of purpose from the perspective of Abrahamic Religions, Eastern Philosophies and early sciences in the last few blog posts in this series. Let’s now have a look at this notion from some of the modern scientific viewpoints.
Modern sciences have developed new theories, from the findings of the early sciences, about the evolution of life. An initial review of this literature does not provide specific answers regarding the purpose of life and the purposeful living of beings, specifically human beings. Therefore, this body of knowledge needs to be further analysed for deeper and wider understanding, which could lead to a theory regarding purposefulness (major theme in my doctoral inquiry). The discovery of Nuclein and Double Helix Structure of DNA by Crick, Watson and Wilkins (Olby, 1974) has helped deeper understanding of its role in the makeup of human beings, providing potential to understand the purpose of our lives.
Let’s examine the question; why is it important to find our purpose? Some would say; we have lived all these years without a clear purpose or we know what it is in our mind and our life is moving on well, so why do we need a purpose? I have come across a very small percentage of people who have a clearly articulate purpose, but most of them would say; I think this is my purpose, but I am not sure if it is the right purpose. The following interactive story, titled the million dollars on the mountain, helps audiences of my workshop to start understanding the importance of a purpose;
Ranjan: Imagine a cheque for a million dollars drawn in your name on top o a mountain. Would you like to go get it?
Joseph tends to get angry when his wife Judy asks him too many questions? He notices this tendency and realizes that his response hurts Judy. But this thought does not come to his mind when he is angry. He feels this is not helpful for their relationship, which has been deteriorating gradually.
You may have faced similar situations with family, friends, colleagues or anyone else you have regular interactions or you may know others who are facing similar challenges. Have you ever wondered why it has been sometimes very difficult to change a habit?
While I have been using techniques of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Transactional Analysis (TA) to help myself and those who come for my guidance, to change habits, I was fascinated by the power and potential of Action Inquiry in achieving real and lasting change.
This image is the sunrise at the ‘Ashridge Business School’ captured earlier this month during my quarterly stay there. I consider this my spiritual home that nourishes my soul as I pursue my doctoral studies. This is a place that helps me grow towards my fullest potential, giving me real inner happiness during the process.
Perhaps you are one of those people who is always tasting success and living happily. Perhaps you are one who observes others in this way of living. Perhaps you are one who is searching for the ‘how’ to achieve such a state of life. This blog is designed to discuss how such a state of life can be achieved.
While there could be millions of ways of making sense of success and happiness, my personal belief is that success comes from improving in areas that are purposeful to me. I am refereeing to action that is driven by a higher purpose as I keep on my quest to make sense of what that higher purpose is. Happiness is what I experience when I am in the process of improving in areas important to me.
What is important to me is my purpose that helps me to be of service to the world and thereby helping me to provide a comfortable and purposeful life for my family and me. This requires me to improve my spirituality that gives me peace of mind, and improves my brain, which helps me learn and teach, improve my body, which helps me act effectively and efficiently, improve my relationships, which provides the love to live purposefully, improve my emotions to be in joy, improve my finances to help fund my purpose and improve the use of my time choosing to do purposeful work.
We all look forward to the New Year and celebrate it in different ways. There are those who clean up and pain their houses to give a new beginning. There are those who wear new cloths as the New Year dawns. There are those who go to a place of worship and take part in religious celebrations to usher in the New Year. There are those who eat, drink and dance at hotels, home or parks to usher in the New Year. There are those who stay at home and do traditional rituals such as boiling a pot of milk for good luck. There are those who do not do any of these or sometimes don’t even know it’s a dawn of a New Year. Whichever group you belong to, it is interesting to reflect on the deeper change that happens in you during the transition in to the New Year.
New Year is about renewal. When we renew ourselves we eliminate accumulated negative energy and replenish ourselves with positive energy. That’s what exercises, a shower, a make over, an inspirational reading, an authentic conversation, a paying off a loan, waking up after a refreshing sleep, meditation etc. does to us. It gives us new fresh positive energy that helps us get a new start. Perhaps that’s what New Years do t us.
There are certain things in our life that does not change, while we renew ourselves;
It’s a New Year although it is another day
It’s a new vision although it’s the same purpose
It’s a new attitude although it’s the same mind
It’s a new passion although it’s the same heart
It’s a new you although it is the same face
Have an awesome 2016 … May it be the best of your life!
Ranjan De Silva
I had the privileged of listening to a webinar by Robin Sharma titled ‘Treats to being World-Class’. He shares 8 points. I am happy to provide the ‘How to’ for each of those threats for those working on achieving ‘world-class’ and those who are already ‘world-class’.
- Disbelief – We can over come this by reading our purpose and visualize we have achieved what we set out to achieve everyday and celebrating all successes – even the small ones.
- Distraction (broken focus syndrome) – We can overcome this by switching off those mobile phones or by keeping them on silent mode. Check it once every 40 mts and respond to missed calls and messages. Focus rest of the time on a specific task as per our priorities. We must change focus by switching to another task every 40 mts. So that we rejuvenate the part of the brain we were using while using a different part for the new task.
- Complexity –We can overcome this by looking for simplicity, having a minimalist mind set, focusing on a few important things and having everything we need to do on a ‘Getting things done list’ that needs to be updated everyday.
- Under capitalization (How much of our potential do we actually use – what do we do with what we know?) – We can overcome this by digging deep into our memory and information stored in our hard drives when we work on tasks. Taking on new projects and stretch projects also helps capitalize on what we have.
- Threat of reaching ‘Good enough’ – We can overcome this by pushing ourselves to do better. Ask ourselves, ‘how could I have done this better?’ even when we had done an awesome job that received sincere compliments and standing ovations.
- Talent depletion – We can overcome this by learning something new and teaching what we know every day.
- Loss of longevity – We can overcome this by re-fuel ourselves with good sleep at night and energizing breaks during the day, exercising daily and eating the right food.
- Reputation deterioration – We can overcome this by maintaining the quality of delivery with great understanding of customer needs and great preparation. Lets do things that those around you will approve and be proud of.
We are all born to be world-class, lets use these simple steps to get to world-class and maintain world-class.