Who Are You?

Do you really know who you are? Well, I am still discovering who I am and I am not sure if I will ever find the answer. However, everyday I live with this question in my mind, I see a little bit more of who I am.

So, how do we find who we are? Each of us might have our own way of defining ourselves, starting with basic aspects such as our gender, nationality, race, etc. and going on to more complex areas such as relationships, sexual orientation, spiritual beliefs, attitudes, beliefs, political aspirations, fears, struggles, intelligences, epistemology, ontology, world views, relationships etc. The aspects are much larger and this is only a few of them.

The quote from José Ortega Y Gasset; “Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are”, gives us an interesting method of finding out who we are. Take a journey of your day, from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed. What are the things you pay attention to? What do you notice? Do you pay attention to your health, spirituality, relationships (which relationships?), social concerns, type of news, beneficial to self or others (who?), positivity or negativity, mutuality, aspirations, hobbies, habits etc. This will show you what your ‘values’ are.

Therefore ‘our values’ would be an interesting way of knowing who we are. I recommend you reflect on this question to figure out who you are and perhaps that can lead you to the next two questions; ‘who you want to be’ and ‘how do you get there’. I hope these questions will engage you and give you direction to improve the quality of your life, contributing to a better world.

Wish you purposeful living.

How Is The Pandemic Serving Us?

Image Credits: Wired.com

In the one before the last blog post (two Wednesdays ago) in the ‘Purpose Quest’ series, I attempted to list down questions that came up during my various interactions with various audience over the last 6 months of the pandemic. I started attempting to write about how I responded to those question and the insights I had regarding the first two questions related to goals, in last Wednesdays blog post. Let me attempt to respond to the third questions;

What is the purpose of the pandemic? How is it serving us?

I had already answered this question on my blog post of 30th March 2020. That was at the beginning of the pandemic and it is interesting to see how the answer to this question has evolved.

Six months ago we were wondering how the pandemic was going to affect our lives. Many of the conversations were about the materialistic impact such as health, economy, jobs, livelihood, etc. This has been visible all over the globe to various extents. However these challenges have made people think about their lives, livelihood, vocation, goals etc. Some have started their own business that they were procrastinating. Some have changed jobs to a one with a lower salary, but more in line with their passion and talents. Some have taken a bigger job. Some mothers stopped working to ensure they give time to their children who are studying online while the father earns the money or visa versa. Therefore for some people the purpose of the pandemic was to make them more purposeful in living.

While we felt that the bigger purpose, of the pandemic was to remind us that this planet belongs to all forms of life, not just to human beings, to remind us that our purpose is not to just enrich ourselves but learn to co-exist with each other and other living beings. We are one eco-system, one life process and there needs to be balance. However in many countries life is coming back to what it was with the traffic building up, factories emitting fumes, government not improving their policies on climate change etc. While aircrafts are not flying as usual, many airlines have started commercial flights and I feel that air travel will be back to normal soon. So six months later , I am not sure if we humans responded to the pandemics aim to make us value and protect our ecology.

At the beginning of the pandemic, we saw beautiful videos of how families are closer, having lovely conversations, playing board games, and watching movies together. We saw people helping each other, the rich helping those that are having financial difficulties, the poorer using their talents to harvest the crops and deliver to others who need it, healthcare workers caring for the sick, security forces and law enforcement officers maintaining quarantine centres and providing security, banks and utility companies postponing payment due dates and rescheduling loans. However all these things are going back to what I was with work re-starting in many organisations. While the pandemic liberated human values and reignited the consciousness of the need to coexist, my hope is that it at least stays at a deep level and guide the conscience of people.

At a higher level lets hope the eco-system that started regaining its balance will provide us better living conditions while we do our part to support that effort.

I wish you purposeful living.

Goals! What Goals?

Image Credits: Saba.com

In the last blog post in the ‘Purpose Quest’ series, I attempted to list down questions that came up during my various interactions with various audience over the last 6 months of the pandemic. I will attempt to write about how I responded to those question and the insights I had, in the next few blog posts. So let’s begin with the first two questions. Both of them are related to goals;

My goals have become irrelevant due to the pandemic? What do I do now?

Why do I need to have goals when they can become irrelevant due to uncontrollable situation?

I always felt goals were irrelevant without a bigger purpose. A goal becomes meaningful when it is connected with a higher, noble purpose. Therefore if someone feels the goal they had was irrelevant due to the pandemic, perhaps it was not attached to a purpose. If a goal without a purpose is difficult to achieve, we may use unethical, illegal, unhealthy methods to achieve them and we will get stress if we don’t achieve them. Goals attached to a purpose are easy to adjust and we do not get stressed if such goal.

For example I was in the process of starting to write my thesis to complete my Phd when the pandemic hit. Due to the pandemic, I had to focus on other priorities as I have written widely in this blog. This requires me to delay the completion of the Phd or even even not to pursue it anymore. I was comfortable with both these option as the purpose of doing the Phd was to inquire about the notion of ‘purposefulness’ and present to the world new knowledge that can help people become purposeful and thereby find success, happiness and peace of mind, while contributing to a better world. I was able to make this contribution to the world over the past six months through webinars, webshops, blogs, social media and other interactions. I also realise I already have a book to write on the topic, which will also help people live a purposeful life. I may or may not complete the Phd and that goals seems irrelevant when I think about the bigger purpose behind it.

The answer to the second question is that we could still have purposeful goals that we are willing to change, adjust or let go when the universe sends us a strong message, as in the case of the pandemic, calling us to be of service to this world in a different way.

I hope this is food for thought. I will be delighted to hear from you the answers that you came up with and engage in dialog, purposefully..

I wish you purposeful living.

A Common View Made Rare by the Pandemic

This was such a common view, having been on a flight at least twice a month, over the past 15 year until the pandemic arrived. I was on a flight only once in the last 6 months and that too a special flight that repatriated standard Sri Lankan’s home. I feel relived that I don’t have to pack my bags every fortnight and this is likely to continue for many more months. Stumbling upon this picture that I had taken on one of my flights, evoked mixed feelings. I am not sure if I am actually relieved or if I am going to miss my travel. Well I suppose this is food for thought dished out by the pandemic.

Questions about Purpose

Image Credits: thamarathorpe.com

The last six month opened up amazing opportunities for me to reflect on the notion of purpose. These opportunities arose during conversations with family, team and clients in trying to make sense of the pandemic. These opportunities arose during webinars conducted to help people with their concerns, anxieties, stress and other psychological challenges. These opportunities arose from the 150 plus participants from 15 countries taking part in the four ‘Mastery of Self’ through NLP, online certificate courses over the past few months.

In this blog post I will attempt to list down the questions that came up. Some of these questions were already asked earlier, some of these are modifications to the old questions and some of these are new questions.

My goals have become irrelevant due to the pandemic? What do I do now?

Why do I need to have goals when they can become irrelevant due to uncontrollable situation?

What is the purpose of the pandemic? How is it serving us?

Is our purpose changed due to changing realities?

I am struggling more due to the pandemic. Is it helping me to find purpose?

Am I struggling more during the pandemic because I try to live purposefully?

Do our values change with situations? Arn’t they supposed to be fixed?

Isn’t values an important component of our purpose?

My purpose is clashing with the purpose of some of my family. It is prominent now because I spend a lot of time with them. How do it deal with them?

Are religious people more purposeful than non-religious people?

Does spirituality become more important than religion for purposeful people?

Does the notion of Purposeful living taken a new meaning with the pandemic?

Are world leaders being purposeful in the way they are handling the pandemic?

I will reframe from answering these questions to provide you the opportunity to reflect and answer these questions. I am not sure what that process will do. I will be delighted to hear from you the answers that came up and how these questions and answers served you.

I wish you purposeful living.

Do We Keep Writing or Re-Read What We Wrote?

A Pen, A Paper, and A Purpose – Isbah Nasir.

A Poetic spoken word piece that explore the question: what is the purpose of life? and explores the decisions we make that shape our lives.

As you reflect on these words, a powerful line within it to reflect is; “Just keep writing, keep filling in the chapters on the pages of your life and don’t look back because if you keep regretting and rereading you won’t move past and you miss that final ending at last”.

What has passed has passed. Everything that happened has given us some insights to assist us in our quest for our purpose. The next step we take, using the learnings of the past or not, will help us get more insights in our quest. Turning the page and moving on seems more meaningful that turning back and regretting.

Reflect on your life so far to make sense of your higher purposes and use that information to take your next step in your quest for purpose.

Do You Believe?

I Believe I Can Fly – R Kelly

As you listen to this song, reflect on those things which you believed were possible, when you were a child. Those beliefs are still embedded deep inside you. We may believe such dreams are impossible now. However the mind has amazing potential. Think of baby steps you can take today to make those dream come true.

Lyrics:

I used to think that I could not go on
And life was nothing but an awful song
But now I know the meaning of true love
I’m leaning on the everlasting armsIf I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there’s nothing to itI believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day (Night and day)
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly hooSee I was on the verge of breaking down
Sometimes silence can seem so loud
There are miracles in life I must achieve
But first I know it starts inside of me, ho ohIf I can see it hoo, then I can be it
If I just believe it, there’s nothing to itI believe I can fly
I believe I can…

The Pandemic and the Environment

Image Credit: business west.co.uk

In the last 6 blog posts in the ‘purpose quest series’, we explored how the pandemic impacted six important pillars for purposeful living; spiritual, mental, emotional, relational, health and money. Let’s explore the seventh pillar, the ecological aspect in this blog post. As in the past six blog posts let me attempt to describe my personal experience during the pandemic. 

With lockdowns being imposed, offices closed, and people starting to work from home vehicles movement reduced drastically. With airports restricting flights there were less flights in the sky. With demand for non-essential products reducing factories were operating at lower capacity reducing environmental damage. All this made the air cleaner, water cleaner, skies bluer and grass greener.

Unlike in the earlier six aspects, there was not much for me to do, the earth was healing itself. I had to only participate by using the freshness for my well being and helping others to use this Knowladge to make sensei of the positive aspects of the pandemic. Therefore I used the webinars I was conducting and conversations I was having with people to show these benefits and to use this opportunity to adjust lifestyles, so that even after the pandemic, we live in a manner that is beneficial to the environment.

With life coming back to normal in Sri Lanka, I am concerned to see that the amount vehicles on the road have gone back to pre-pandemic levels. Our airways are still clean as the flights are still restricted, but with the envisaged opening up of the skies end of this month, the air pollution levels are likely to start increasing again. Work from home is getting lesser, and in person activities are increasing. I am attempting to keep at least half of my learning experience delivered online even when things are back to normal. I need the other half to interact with people as we cant be totally devoid of human interactions to help them in their learning, growth and transformation.

So lets continue to communicate and role model to help people at least adjust to a mid-way level between total lockdowns and total free movement with their free will so that we can bring this planet to liveable conditions. If not nature will hit back with a bigger pandemic and will keep doing it more regularly to save the planet.