It’s interesting that the month of January 2019 was a month where I did as much free work as paid work. The first free assignment was to provide a keynote address at the new year celebration of a leading organisation in the insurance industry to inspire the staff of over 1000, who were gathered for the celebration, on the 1st of January. The second free assignment was to continue to help the administrators, parents and past pupils of my alma mater, St Anthony’s Collage, to take forward the strategic plan that I facilitated in formulating one year ago. The third free assignment was to help an important arm of the government of Sri Lanka to develop the leadership of a very important category of officials in becoming better leaders and making a better contribution for the development of the country. Continue reading “Finding Purpose in giving – Purpose of Living – Part 23”
I wish you a Merry Christmas. In this season of Love, let’s give our love and kindness to all living beings with the intention of adding value to the process of life.
As I write this blog post, the first instalment of phase 3 of this series, on Christmas day, I feel it is appropriate to explore how we find purpose at Christmas. We explored the notion of purpose from various viewpoints in the first phase (ten blog posts) and then we attempted to understand the process of purposeful living in the second phase (eleven blog posts) of this series. We now step in to the third phase of purposeful living that deals with practical aspects of living a purposeful life.
While a lot of effort goes in to dressing up for Christmas, in terms of our homes, our clothes, our social media pages and our websites, it would be appropriate to find out the purpose, reason or intention behind this dressing up? I believe purposeful living is being joyous, learning from our struggles, living with noble values and being of service to our world.
Perhaps the external dressing up can contribute to our joy to some extent if it is done within our means, in a manner that it does not make others feel deprived and in a manner, it does not harm our spiritual, emotional, intellectual, relational, physical, financial, ecological and social aspects of life. Another, perhaps more important aspect is the inner peace and joy we gain through prayer, mediation, giving and kindness to all living beings. While being of service to life, we may struggle, especially when we give from what is required to fulfil our basic needs, result in discomfort. But the joy derived from this is of another kind.
Perhaps this is the bigger reason behind Christmas. Finding a glimpse of our purpose or finding more clarity through real joy, struggles, sacrifice and being of service.
I will dedicate this new phase of this series on ‘purposefulness’ to address living issues and struggles related to purposeful living.
Wish you love, happiness and success through purposeful living this Christmas season.
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 ten blog posts. I invite you now to reflect on the ninth aspect in the model of purposeful living– inspiring (the dark blue colour circle in the model). While this is the ninth and final circle, in real life it can happen anywhere in the nine circles, it’s not necessarily chronological. There could be also other circles that are yet to be discovered. Once we gather momentum in living purposefully, we start inspiring others to live purposefully as well.
This blog-post deals with our responsibility to inspire others to live a purposeful life. We can inspire others by design or by accident. On one hand, others can get inspired when they see the improvement of our quality of life as we attempt to live a purposeful life. Living a purposeful life includes; living with a set of positive values, engaging in spiritual activities, looking after our health, building quality relationships, building financial stability, developing intellect and allocating time for purposeful activities. On the other hand, we could use our roles in life to inspire others. These roles include being a parent, sibling, relative, teacher, leader, colleague, author, speaker, and social figure such as a sportsman, entertainer, business leader, religious leader and social leader etc.
After I had discovered the notion of ‘purpose’ and formulated the first version of my purpose, I choose the profession of a catalyst (a combination of consultant, trainer, coach, author) to help organisations and people transform to enable them to live to their real potential. The core of this work involves helping others to understand the notion of purpose, discover their purpose and live a purposeful life. I was inspired to choose this purpose and change the course of my life by Omar Khan during the Mastery of Self Playshop conducted for senior leaders of John Keells Holdings. I was inspired when Omar showed simple methods such as using positive posture, words and questions, improving performance by making mental depictions of success, articulating a purpose statement, taking baby steps to improve spiritual, mental, emotional and physical aspects of life, erasing bad memories, giving up bad habits etc. His style of speaking and methods of teaching were very interesting and engaging. All this resulted in my getting inspired to live a purposeful life.
Based on the feedback I receive from those who go through my learning experiences, specially those whom I meet many years after such learning experiences, I believe I have been able to inspire many people to live a purposeful life as well. I don’t want to take credit for this as I believe I am responding to a calling, using God-given talent. I believe my purpose is to sow the seed of purposeful living in the minds and hearts of those I meet during the journey of my life. The credit for any success goes to those who choose to help the seeds of purpose grow within themselves and improve the quality of life.
In addition to teaching others, living purposefully has also inspired others. When others see my family and myself happier because of our regular meditation, yoga, & exercise practices, reading habits, food habit, embarking on higher education, attempting to practice what we teach, improving our relationships and improving our financial status also inspires others to use us as role models or mentors. When some people inquire about how I maintain such quality of life, I tell my story and suggest they start working on discovering their purpose and living a purposeful life as well. Those who get inspired and take it to the next step, attempting to live as per some of the recommendations, go on to learn more of these concepts by attending my workshops, reading my books or visiting my blog. Many participants of my learning processes, who practice purposeful living, inspire their teams and their families to live a purposeful living.
I believe that each living being, human and other than human, has a purpose to fulfil and it is our responsibility, not only to attempt to live a purposeful life, but also to inspire others to do the same.
In case you have not established your purpose statement, I suggest you visit the 14th blog postin this series that suggests a process to articulate your purpose statement. Keep building yourself and be fit for purpose so that you can say ‘yes’ to opportunities presented to you to live a purposeful life and to inspire others to do the same.
While this concludes the content related aspects of this series, I will reflect on the various practical realities of purposeful living in the blog posts to follow.
Meanwhile I wish you purposeful living!
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 nine blog posts. I invite you to now reflect on the eighth aspect in the model of purposeful living– Learning & Growing; the bronze colour circle in the model. While this is the eighth circle, in real life it can happen anywhere in the nine circle process, it’s not necessarily chronological. Learning and growth that occurs due to an experience could make us feel fully alive and of service to the world and this can make us reflect and find purpose.
This blog post deals with learning and growing with the struggles we face as we attempt to live a purposeful life. What I mean by attempting to live a purposeful life, it is about living with a set of values that can attract spiritual energy, it’s about looking after our health with good exercising, rest and consumption practices, it’s about building relationships by letting go of selfish motives, listening, understanding, respecting and becoming mutual, it is about building financial stability with healthy earning, saving and spending practices, it is about building intellect by reading and studying purpose related content and willing to let go of the interesting but not purposeful content. These require going in to discomfort as the body and mind is used to a different way of being.
After I had discovered the notion of ‘purpose’ and formulated the first cut of my purpose, I decided to look after my health by going to the gym regularly, eating nourishing food, giving up the consumption of alcohol and attempting to sleep at least for six hours a day. This resulted in struggles in the form of leaving office early and work piling up, attending cocktail parties with a glass of soda in hand, giving up some of the food I enjoyed and struggling to fall asleep. But after some time, I learnt how to delegate and this resulted in being able to leave office early to get to the gym, the body got used to the new way of eating, drinking and sleeping. I started feeling healthier and more energetic. Therefore, the struggle had helped me to learn how to look after my health and grow in health during the process. I had similar experiences in my spirituality, relationships, finances and intellectual development.
It is also about taking risk such as changing jobs, starting relationships, migrating to a different city or country, starting a business etc., to be in line with our purpose that might be risky, sometimes resulting in struggles. I decided to leave a prestigious and financially secure position of director of a leading company in Sri Lanka and establish a company to represent Sensei International, who was providing organisational and personal transformation services, as it was in line with my ‘purpose’. The initial years resulted in struggles due to the need to continuously find assignments for financial sustenance, personal financial difficulties during dry spells, facing difficult audiences, needing to learn and skill up etc. resulting in very little time for family or self, damage to my ego, and the sacrifice of some comforts I was used to. However, these struggles helped build an organisation with a strong image and create the financial freedom, personal space and self-esteem to be able to give more time to my family and for myself.
A title of a book by Robert Schuller, Tough Times Never Lasts – Tough People Do, has helped me to go through these struggles, knowing that the tough times will pass. Principles that I have learnt, experienced and teach practically such as ‘focus on the process and the outcome will take care of itself’, ‘champions are comfortable when they are uncomfortable’, ‘the harder I work the luckier I become’, and ‘happiness is the willingness to be in the discomfort on behalf of growth’, has helped me to accept the struggles positively until I started experiencing the learning and growth they are designed to achieve.
I recommend you use your ‘purpose’ statement, when faced with struggles while attempting to live purposefully, to reflect on the learnings and growth provided by the experience. A first step would be to go back to some of the struggles you have experienced in the past and reflect on how they helped you learn and grow to be fit for purpose.
In case you have not established your purpose statement, I suggest you visit the 14thblog post in this seriesthat suggests a process to articulate your purpose statement. 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 dark blue colour circle, ‘inspiring’ that explores aspects related to living in a manner that inspires others to live a purposeful life.
Meanwhile I wish you purposeful living!
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 eight blog posts. I invite you to now reflect on the seventh aspect in the model of purposeful living– Responding (the dark green colour circle in the model). While this is the seventh circle, in real life it can happen anywhere in the nine circles, it’s not necessarily chronological. An opportunity received could make someone feel fully alive and of service to the world and this can make him/her reflect and find purpose.
This blog-post deals with responding to the opportunities provided to us from the universe. I use the word universe to describe the energy system, a higher power that makes this planet tick. Those who are religious would make sense of this higher power as God, Allah or the Almighty. Whatever we call this power, I feel we are not intelligent enough to understand this higher power and it requires faith or a brilliant scientific mind. I believe the opportunities can come our way or we can go looking for the opportunities. Continue reading “Purpose of Living – Part 19: Responding to the Universe”
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 seven blog posts. I invite you to now reflect on the sixth aspect in the model of purposeful living– Rituals; the red colour circle in the model. While this is the sixth circle, in real life it can happen anywhere in the nine steps, it’s not necessarily chronological.
This blog-post deals with rituals for our purpose that we have now started to glimpse, based on the processes suggested in the last few blog posts. Rituals 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.
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 last four blog post. I invite you to now reflect on the third aspect in the model of purposeful living– The choices (the orange colour circle in the model). While this is the third circle, in real life it can happen anywhere in the nine steps; it’s not chronological in real life.
This aspect deals with making choices once we have a glimpse for the beginning of what our purpose might be. When I had a glimpse of my purpose 22 years ago, I made choices such as finding opportunities to improve my knowledge regarding personal development through Neuro Linguistic Programming and organisational development through continuous improvement by reading and conducting training for my team at Keells Super, and attempting to apply this knowledge in my work and personal life. I started organising public workshops in Sri Lanka featuring Omar Khan of Sensei International, who opened my eyes to see this new world, so that more people can benefit from his gift. I started spending more time with my family because helping them grow and see them grow gave me joy. They are the oxygen that energized my flame. These choices were relevant to my purpose, which was about helping myself grow to my fullest potential by helping others to grow to their fullest potential. I started going to the gym regularly as I wanted to keep my body in shape so that I am fit to do purposeful work. I started to pray and meditate regularly and felt peace of mind. I also started to be more helpful to others thereby building high quality relationships. I knew all these were in some way connected to my purpose as I really felt good doing it. Continue reading “Purpose of Living – Part 15: Purposeful Choices”