Purpose is not about what you achieve; Purpose is why you exist. It is like a Guiding Star. A sailor does not aim to reach the star but constantly checks his course based on the star’s position relative to his boat. Similarly, our lives are directed toward our vision. That is what must be realized. And how do we know we are going to eventually realize our vision?
For this, we set up missions in alignment with the vision, with specific goals and objectives; Just as a sailor must reach a designated island at a particular time or consume a predefined quantity of food, by another time. There are consequences for failing to complete objectives, goals, and missions. But when these are aligned, and you are guided by purpose, you will continue in the direction of your vision – to eventually achieve it and move forward with renewed guidance.
Here’s an exercise to start to arrive at your Purpose. I’d like you to get a pen and 3 plain sheets of paper.
On the first sheet, write down as many bullet points as you can about ‘Your strengths’. These can include personality traits or acquired skills.
On the second sheet, jot down as many bullet points as you can about what ‘You are passionate about’. These are the things that make your heart happy.
And on the third sheet, write down ‘What you dream of that affects others.’ To envision such dreams, think about how you would like to be remembered. What would you want people to say about you at your funeral? By keeping this end in mind, you will always say and do the stuff that aligns with your purpose.
Write these down now!
Now, review each point and mark the top two on each sheet that resonate strongly with you. These are the ones where, no matter what, you are always strong on those strengths, always in love with those passions, and always connected with those dreams.
Take a few moments for reflection on this.
Now, see how you can craft a sentence that combines the top one or two points from each sheet. For instance, a student of mine – who worked as an accountant – had identified communication as his top strength, photography as his passion, and working for orphans as his dream. The purpose statement he formulated was, ‘I am here to shoot the living conditions of street children, to communicate their challenges to potential donors and facilitate their rehabilitation.’ Within six months, he left his accounting job and established a highly respected NGO and dot-org. Needless to say, he now sleeps fulfilled and stress-free, with his body, mind, and spirit in alignment!
Fascinated at how quickly this happens?
Here is another example – my own.
My top strength/s? Communication. Empowering people.
My passion? Applying ancient oriental wisdom to resolve the challenges of modern life and business – what I call RENEWAL.
And my dream? Raising human consciousness.
So here’s my simplified purpose statement – which you will even find at InnerPowerWithSandeep.com
“I am here to empower people through their habits, to renew their lives at a higher level of consciousness. That’s it. That’s my guiding star! Anything I write, speak, or participate in has to align with this statement or I do not embark on it. Simple!
You will notice that the statement that emerges for you may have little to do with the Accountant’s job you’re doing (perhaps… or whatever). But if you do what came out of that statement, you may never need to be an Accountant (or whatever) ever.
So start shooting pictures… set up a photography blog… join street-kid care groups and spread your work.
Don’t worry that you don’t have the time. Time will come from the priority passion creates. Just start to do it. Start small… with your old shots for instance. But apply kaizen, with consistency and discipline. Measure what you do every day. And keep doing it.
Getting yourself into a support group of like minds will accelerate this hugely. And if that group activity funds you as well, you’d get the time for your mission!
Get it? Now go get it!