The Purpose of the Pandemic – Purpose of Living – Part 37

Animals and people near pond
Image Credits: Vectorstock.com

We are all in some way affected by the Covid-19 virus and wondering how it is going to affect our lives. Many of the conversations I read are about the materialistic impact such as health, economy, jobs, livelihood, etc. This is real and we need to first accept the reality and respond to it. The response needs to be at different levels; global bodies like the World bank and World Health Organisation, governments, business organisations, NGO’s, social groups, communities and individuals. It is heartening to see this happening at different levels, although much more still needs to be done. Once some of these immediate realities are responded to it could help to reflect on the bigger purpose of the pandemic.

The bigger purpose, as I see, is to remind us that this planet belongs to all forms of life, not just to human beings. It is reminding 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. When we humans try to violate the principles of nature, the creator of nature, the universal energy system will act to bring about the balance. The religious will argue that it is God almighty and not the universal energy system. This is true if you prefer to look at this from a religious paradigm because God did create the universal energy system and is using it to preserve life.

We have seen the beautiful videos of how families are closer, having lovely conversations, playing board games, and watching movies together. We see 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. There is a lot of compassion and love visible. The pandemic is liberating these human values and reigniting the consciousness of the need to coexist. We see less air, sea and road transport thereby having less air pollution, we see less people on the roads and parks making room for other living beings to roam freely.

At a higher level the eco-system is gradually regaining its balance. It is also educating us that we don’t have to travel to communicate or pay bills or do our shopping. It is educating us that social distancing useful. It is educating us that we can stop spreading germs by not sneezing or coughing out in the open and by washing our hands regularly. It is educating us that we can work from home and still be productive. It is creating new ways of living and new professions and businesses such as online selling, home delivery, video conferencing, mobile money transfers to support the new way of living. Perhaps the universe helped us created IT infrastructure, the internet; mobile devices; mobile apps etc., before the pandemic to help us learn to live in a manner that helps maintain the eco system.

The important question to all of us to ask, if this is the higher purpose of the pandemic, how can we respond to it positively? This will be discussed in my next blog post.

Meanwhile stay safe and productive while reflecting on the higher purpose of the pandemic and how it is serving you.

I wish you purposeful living!

Take a JUMP in to your purpose – Purpose of Living – Part 36

Jump-blogI have learnt that we keep discovering our higher purpose as we live life once we discover the notion of purpose and is conscious of its existence. This had got me in to the habit of reflecting, reviewing, refreshing and re-writing my purpose every month.
The first part of my current purpose statement is;

Inspire others to live a purposeful life based on their own evolving beliefs, values and methods.

This is based on my discovery of how my beliefs, values and methods evolved during my first-person inquiry and my discovery of how different people have different beliefs, values and methods that evolve as they attempt to live purposefully, during my second-person inquiry. First- and second-person inquiry are methods of action research that I adopt in my doctoral research into the notion of ‘purposeful living’.

I would like to focus on the aspect of ‘evolving methods’ in this article. I have personally experienced methods such as prayer, meditation, mental tools from NLP & TA, community building, Yoga, and Releasing that has helped me to live a purposeful life. The methods we choose are guided by our beliefs and values. I have discovered that attempting to live a purposeful life leaves me open to inspiration and I keep finding new values, beliefs and methods (or do these methods find me?), which I sometimes adopt. I also realise that my beliefs, values and methods keep evolving and each of these aspects impact the other aspects during the journey of life and these aspects are an evolving fusion of my experiences.

A new method I discovered last month was the JUMP movement and I was fortunate to learn this directly from the founder Ineke Hurkmans thanks to the CKH Network who made it possible for her to visit Bangladesh. I found that the JUMP movement is also a useful method in living a purposeful life. It is a simple seven step process that makes a movement in your consciousness, energy, beliefs, values, success and happiness within you. It is a simple conversation method that can be done between two people or a small group and could be also considered a coaching technique.

The first step is to promise three things to the members of the group; to own express opinions to others, support each other and confidentiality. These are important human values and since noble values are a part of a purpose statement, this step help participants practice these important values and perhaps adopt them for their own life purpose.

The second step is to celebrate personal success by sharing success in the group and receiving applause. The process of finding purpose begins with reflecting on what makes us joyous to discover inner resources that we must develop for the service of the world. Similarly, this second step in the JUMP movement helps in discovering, valuing and celebrating our inner resources.

The third step is to share where you are right now using an anecdote or key words and receive a compliment (without hidden advise) from the other group members. The process of finding purpose requires accepting who we are, including the struggles we are grappling with, with the intention of using the experience to be of service to the world. Therefore, practicing the third step regularly helps make sense of some aspects of our life purpose.

The fourth step is to state, ‘where do you want to go’, loud and clear without any comments, feedback and advise from the group. In the process of finding purpose we encourage you to let your heart guide you without any limitations because the conscious mind may be thinking with limitation, doubts, prejudices etc. Therefore, this step helps silence the negative and allow real potential to be articulated.

The fifth step is to give yourself tips and advice using a creative technique. This step could feed ideas about the daily steps to be taken to build ourselves in the nine aspects of lifewith the intention of being purposeful. These nine aspects are; spiritual, mental, emotional, relational, physical, financial, ecological, societal and temporal. Those who practice the JUMP process would be regularly reflecting on improving themselves in some of these areas to be fit for purpose.

The sixth step is to decide on the next step you will take and is applauded by the team. The decision can be something you will start doing or stop doing. Living purposefully requires deciding every morning at least three baby steps you would take in any of the nine aspects of life that was discussed in the earlier paragraph and celebrating successes end of each day. Those who practice the JUMP process regularly would be fertile with ideas and courageous to implement those ideas.

The seventh step is gratitude; to say to the larger group what you are grateful for. Continuing this practice helps develop an attitude of gratitude. This helps purposeful living, which is about being grateful for what we have, informing the universe how we would like to serve and saying ‘yes’ to opportunities that are presented.

The lessons I take from this exploration is that there are varied methods available to help people live a better life. All these approaches have some value and if we are open to possibilities we will find the approach or a fusion of methods that best suits each of us. And such methods are bound to evolve with our ongoing experiences. Therefore it is important to be open to change so that we can be in sync with the evolution of the universe.

My blog posts of the last 11 months addressed the impact of violence, religion, politics, sports, professions, stress, releasing, the subconscious, love and family on the lives of people and how to respond from the frame of purposefulness. We continue to explore purposefulness, this time in relation to new methods and approaches that we encounter.
I hope this short blog post inspires you to find ways of making sense and dealing with experiences and struggles you encounter trying to live purposefully.

I wish you purposeful living!

How to use messages from our subconscious mind to live a purposeful life? – Purpose of Living – Part 33

purpose and subconscious
Image credits: theconversation.com/

The question for today’s blog post is; How can we use messages from our sub-conscious mind to live more purposefully? We have been exploring the notion of purpose and purposeful living over the past 33 posts and hence I assume the notion is clear to you. Therefore, let’s directly move on to exploring the sub-conscious mind and how we can use it to live purposefully.

The idea of deeper levels of information processing was developed and extensively studied by famous Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939). According to him, the mind could be divided into conscious, subconscious and unconscious levels. The Conscious Mind – defines all thoughts and actions within our awareness. For example, the beauty and pleasance of the smell of a red tulip. The Unconscious Mind– defines all past events and memories, inaccessible to us no matter how hard we try to remember to bring things up. For example, the first time you had ice cream, or how it felt to be able to speak for the first time. The Subconscious Mind defines all reactions and automatic actions we can become aware of if we think about them. For example, our ability to ride a bicycle: once we get skilled we stop thinking about balancing, when to pedal, when to break, when to speed up, when to slow down, when to bend etc., but when we think about it later, we become aware about all the action we took.

Continue reading “How to use messages from our subconscious mind to live a purposeful life? – Purpose of Living – Part 33”

Stress & Life Purpose – Purpose of Living – Part 31

Stress and Life Purpose
Image credits: lifealchemyblog.com

Managing stress was at the center of a coaching discussion I had with a CEO a few months ago. He was very successful and his success is attributed to the hard work he put in to his job. He gave his job first place and was willing to work late in to the evening, work on weekends and travel extensively for the success of his organization.

He had not adequately developed his team to take over responsibilities as he preferred to get things done on his own. While this worked for a while, it was taking its toll when the organization grew to a larger scale. He was also having issues at home as his two teenage sons had lost interest in studies and sports and preferred a lazy life engrossed in video’s and games using the expensive devises the father had purchased for them. He wife had given up trying to get him involved in family matters and was trying to manage on her own, but the absence of the father’s love, guidance and attention could not be compensated adequately by her. This is a source of stress when he returns home.

Continue reading “Stress & Life Purpose – Purpose of Living – Part 31”

Is Selling a Purposeful Profession – Purpose of Living – Part 29

purposeful sales person 2
Image credits: businessknowhow.com

I was at a cocktail party listening to an interesting conversation between two other guests who were in the same huddle as me.

Person A: What do you do?

Person B: I sell financial services.

Person A: What do you really want to do?

Person B: I want to be banker.

I asked A why he asked that question, and B why he responded that way. A said, “isn’t selling a profession that is not respected?” B said “yes”, it is so difficult to sell because customers look at him with suspicion. In my three decades of being in business and playing the roles of seller, buyer, leader, trainer, consultant and coach of sales professionals, I have encountered this attitude towards sales on many occasions.

However, my personal attitude towards sales is the opposite. As I reflect on the questions – how is it that people have developed this attitude towards sales, and what would be the best way to help people to look differently at sales? – the notion of purposefulness continues to come to my mind. Perhaps if I can find out if ‘sales’ is a purposeful profession, then it might help me to engage with people who have diverse viewpoints regarding this question.

Answering the above question requires understanding what is a purposeful profession. While I have attempted to answer this question in the earlier blog posts regarding purposefulness, there is no definite answer due to the complexity of this question. I believe that a purposeful profession needs to be of service to the flourishing of life and supported by noble values. Let’s examine these two aspects in relation to the sales profession. Continue reading “Is Selling a Purposeful Profession – Purpose of Living – Part 29”

The Purpose of the Mens Cricket World Cup – Purpose of Living – Part 28

CWC-2019-Captains
Image Credits: http://www.cricketworldcup.com

Over a billion people have been engaged with the ongoing Men’s Cricket World Cup over the last month. It all started with everyone hoping the cricket teams of their respective countries will become the world champions. The fact remains that only one team will be the eventual world champions. This blog is not about trying to predict the eventual champs, it is to discuss the impact of such sports extravaganza has on the lives of people.

The International Cricket Council organizes the Men’s Cricket World Cup as well as other global competitions related to Cricket to propagate cricket as well as raise funds. I am not sure which comes first. Is it to raise funds to propagate cricket or propagate cricket to raises funds. Well it doesn’t matter, perhaps both ends feed each other. There could be other reasons, for example to raise the standards of the sport and of those who are involved in it such as the players, coaching staff, umpires, referees, cricket boards and administrators. These aims could have a higher purpose that impacts the lives of people and I would like to address such issues in this blog post. 

My blog post of the last two months addressed the impact of violence, religion and politics on the lives of people in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday bomb attacks in Sri Lanka, one of the former world champions who are now at the bottom of the table, struggling for form. Yet the entire nation was hoping that they will become the champs again. Teams from other countries besieged by violence such as Pakistan and Afghanistan are also in contention. The founders of cricket, England, is amid perhaps their worst political crisis related to Brexit. They entered the tourney as one of the favourites. Countries such as South Africa, Bangladesh and the West Indies are besieged with their own political and economic crises.  Continue reading “The Purpose of the Mens Cricket World Cup – Purpose of Living – Part 28”

Attacking the Innocent – What is the Purpose? – Purpose of Living – Part 26

easter attacks - condole april 19
Image Credits: fairmail.info

It was Easter Sunday (21 April 2019). I was in my flat in Dhaka, attending to some important business matters when I got a message that a bomb had gone off at St Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade, Colombo. Having not heard of bombings and terrorist violence for the past ten years, since the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka, I hoped it was a hand grenade thrown by a business rival involved in unscrupulous business, with no injuries; these were the rare occurrences we heard of over the past ten years. Then the news started pouring in with photos and videos of simultaneous bomb attacks in two other churches and luxury hotels as well. My immediate concern was for my family who would have been at an Easter Mass at the same time. After calling and ensuring they were safe, my thoughts went out to the victims. I started hearing news of people known to me or families of people known to me having lost their lives or being injured, among the 253 souls that departed and 500 plus injured. I had visited St Anthony’s Church many times and I could picture the carnage as if I was there. It is considered a miraculous church and people from all religions visit to reflect on their challenges and ask help from St Anthony to resolve them.

Continue reading “Attacking the Innocent – What is the Purpose? – Purpose of Living – Part 26”