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.

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.

How are Great People & Trees Made?

Good Timber by Douglas Malloch – Read by Mark O’Keeffe

As you listen to this poem (words below), reflect on what your challenges and struggles have done for you?

The tree that never had to fight
     For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
     And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
     But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
     To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
     Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
     But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease,
     The stronger wind, the stronger trees,
The further sky, the greater length,
     The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
     In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth
     We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
     Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
     This is the common law of life.

The Master of My Fate, Captain of my Soul.

Invictus – The Poem

As you listen to the words of this poem, closed eyed or watching the visuals of the visit of the South African Rugby team to Nelson Mandela’s  prison (scene from the movie Invictus), reflect on your biggest struggle and how that helped you to realise that you are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul.

What’s your ‘Why’ that helps you find the ‘how’?

Reflection Guide

Read the above quote and reflect on the struggles you head and the steps you took to deal with it? Did you have a big ‘why’ to understand the higher purpose of the struggle? If so how did you serve you? If not, how would it have been if you had a big ‘why’?

Love and the Rose: A Poetic Definition

Reflect what Love is to you. Is it River that drowns, a razor that leaves the soul to bleed or an endless hunger? Or is it nurturing – like a seed in to a flower.

Enjoy Bette Midler’s song recited in a poetic manner, defining ‘Love’ by Ranjan De Silva

When purposes clash at the workplace – Purpose of Living – Part 25

collegue purpose conflits
Image credits: http://www.insperity.com

Have you ever faced a situation where you have a purpose that clashes with the purpose of a colleague, such as your boss, peer or a direct report? Has this situation led to misunderstandings, arguments, anger, click formation, politicking and even violence that starts affecting the business of the organisation? How did you handle the situation? Has it made you become disgruntled about the notion of ‘purposeful living’ and even resulted in discouraging team members in living purposefully. I will try to address this issue in this blog post from the experience I have had in dealing with such situations as a team member from within the organisation or as a consultant and coach from outside the organisation. Continue reading “When purposes clash at the workplace – Purpose of Living – Part 25”

When Purposes Clash in Families – Purpose of Living – Part 24

When purposes clash
Image credit: http://www.keyministry.org a caption

Have you ever had a situation where you have a purpose different to the purpose of a family member, such as a spouse, parent, sibling or child? Has this situation led to misunderstandings, arguments, anger, violence or estrangement? How did you handle the situation? Has it made you become disgruntled about the notion of ‘purposeful living’. I will try to address this issue in this blog post from the limited experience I have had in dealing with such situations.

Recently I had the opportunity of counselling a couple who were facing such a situation;  the husband is a successful chief executive of a company and the wife is a senior manager in a bank. They have two adorable children. The family is financially sound with means of passive income. The husband was very caring to the family and they were always happy. The wife had always been supportive of the husband, specially in the early days of their marriage when he was struggling to move up the corporate ladder, while caring for the children. Continue reading “When Purposes Clash in Families – Purpose of Living – Part 24”

Finding Purpose in giving – Purpose of Living – Part 23

purpose in giving - jan 19
Image credit: http://www.stapostle.org

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”