Monday, November 8, 2021 (Day 311)
Relaxing Music for the week: Brother to the Wind: Deuter (10:19) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5f4k3Jk-4U
Question: Do you believe you find your purpose or believe your purpose finds you?
Answer: Now THIS is the kind of question that stokes my fire! People who know me that “purpose” is the foundation for the Life Design Catalyst work. The short version of how I would define purpose is…”a commitment to the exploration and expression of your best self in service to something bigger than yourself to make the world a better place.” So, based on the journal question for today, I would say that it’s a combination of both. I strongly believe that each of us has a purpose; how we go about expressing that purpose is through trial and error, meaning you have to engage in things in order to gain clarity on your purpose. For example, in our class, we have students do an activity called “Lollipop Moments,” where they identify 20 instances where they have engaged in some type of activity that made a difference in someone’s life, big or small. In most cases, they’ll see a pattern emerge; that pattern may be based on specific group of activities, specific groups they tend to work with, and/or a specific way they seem to engage in helping others. By noticing the pattern, they’ll be able to come up with a theme of how they typically engage with others, with could also be a starting point of how they want to serve. For example, I noticed that most of the activities that I engaged in over the years were focused on helping others complete things they never thought they could do, such as leading 150-mile, 2-day groups rides for Multiple Sclerosis, serving as a “Dungeon Master” for Dungeons and Dragons role playing adventures, to the work I’m doing now, helping students young and old forge paths to a better major/career/business. So, “doing stuff” is a great way to identify how purpose may be flowing through your veins, knowing that’s it already inside of you.
Every now and then there are things that you read that really resonate with your soul. And since this prompt was on purpose, I thought I would share one article that redefined what purpose meant to me. Instead of being something you “find,” I see purpose as something that evolves over one’s lifetime. It’s a constant exploration and expression of your gifts in service to the world. I shared one of the activities we use in our class in my answer above. We also have students think about the times that they’ve felt or been hurt, physically and/or emotionally, and how they’ve overcome it. They also get a chance to identify pressing issues in the world that makes them angry or dives them crazy. The things that people spend their most time thinking about, writing about, and/or talking about are usually a sign of something that’s resonating with their soul.
Anyway, I’ll share this article with you because it’s an interesting take on purpose, where it posits that purpose changes over one’s lifetime. I would argue that purpose is the same for everyone (become your best self in service to the world), but how that happens changes over time. Here’s the article:
- How Purpose Changes Across Your Lifetime – https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_purpose_changes_across_your_lifetime
For me, my purpose centers around helping myself and others achieve more than they ever thought possible (I also have a seven word motto I live by – “Striving to be 1% better every day.”). How I do that has changed over time, but it’s always been about becoming a better version of yourself in service to something bigger than yourself. As you can see, I LOVE having purpose conversations; that’s definitely my jam!