If you attended one of my workshops, heard me talk and just know me the last 2 years I have been talking about Purpose a lot. Literally every platform that came my way, this has been a message that I have been sharing with people. Purpose as it sounds a big , fluffy, maybe even impractical word brings depth and meaning to life. It is a word that we don’t pay much attention to or take the time to explore.
Everyone has a purpose, a why they are on this earth. A why they are wired, the way they are. Our Purpose can shift and change throughout our life. As we evolve in our experiences, our priorities will fluctuate giving birth to new purposes.
A Purpose is not a pursuit of gain for oneself, rather its about recognizing your gifts and how to contribute to the world. Richard Leider, a coach and purpose expert, says that “genuine purpose points to the end of a self-absorbed, self-serving relationship to life.” When your authentic purpose becomes clear, you will be able to share it with the whole world.
Richard Leider also layed out Purpose as
Who does not like a nice formula for life 😊. I want to take it further and say the foundation for this is, knowing oneself very well. Your identity or the big question ,Who am I?
As simple as this formula looks, it takes a community to help explore someone’s purpose it is not a stand-alone process.
Questions about purpose arises during hardships, transition or a crisis. But these questions can bring great physical, emotional and spiritual transformations that leads you into new possibilities.
Nothing in you is out of coincidence, slowly you will see how this puzzle comes together, one piece at a time.
Often the word Calling comes into picture while thinking about purpose.
Another weighty word that people want to stay away from is Calling. It sounds as though it is for a special few who are gifted. I want to break this presumption and tell you, each one of you have a calling. As lofty as this word is portrayed, a calling can be simple yet impactful.
I have to tell you a story here. My grandmother is one of those simple, Meek, small made woman. All her life she devoted in caring for people in many forms, be it raising her children, grand children, children of friends, family, neighbors…the list goes on. She was the most thoughtful person I know. She would stand with a towel to wipe our wet heads after a heavy rain. She would have that warm concoction of herbs when someone at home has a cold.
I learnt something from her life, even though she did not go out and work and take on a career. Her life had a solid purpose, she recognized it and lived it every day. The day she left us, during her funeral, numerous people came to speak about her and honor her. Each one of them remembered her acts of kindness.
Calling versus Purpose:
This is a confusing one for many, do they mean the same? Your calling is in your purpose. It is simply when you use your gifts, passions and all that you are for your purpose your calling flows out of that.
It is a place where you use your natural gifts. Again your calling is about others. It creates a natural flow in your being.
What about skills, knowledge and aptitude?
Gifts are more than skills. You can acquire skills, knowledge and aptitude for things. But there are some gifts that set you apart. Your personal touch. The way you were wired as a person. As a person of faith, it is also the unique God given gifts to each one of us.
The sad truth is the way we are nurtured from a young age, our experiences either shapes or blocks our gifts and in a bigger way sense our purpose. As a child we are in a competitive world where the emphasis is on developing skills, knowledge and talents. We do not celebrate people enough for who they are.
In my own experience as an Indian young person, I was totally developed for a good career and hard work. It took me a lot of courage to ask these questions and even more courage to step out of the traditional career oriented lifestyle.
Calling ,Purpose and Career:
For some people ,work is a job that generates income, achievement, status and reward. It is unrelated to their broader purpose. For others their job or career is closely interwoven with their life purpose—it is a vocation, perhaps rooted in the notion of service. As described by Frederick Buechner, “Vocation is where our greatest passion meets the world’s greatest need.”
Your calling right now may not be your job but may may be a hobby, a charitable work or a way of helping people but as you become aware of your purpose it extends broadly to all aspects of life. That makes for a life of Purpose.
This doesn’t mean you need to run out and switch careers. Pursuing meaningful work may simply mean integrating your gifts and passions into the job you do have—for example, volunteering to organize an office recycling program or charity drive.
A sense of life purpose promotes physical, mental and spiritual health. Purpose is fundamental.
Purpose goes beyond having a purpose statement, it is a perspective shift to living purposefully.
It is beyond doing what you love. Not feeling like work. There will be days that feels difficult while living purposefully too. But you will have your why and clarity and reason to push through.
If you want to discover these questions together, we have a Coaching Program – ‘Discover Your Purpose’ – a series of coaching conversations, exercises that will help you gain clarity of your purpose.
Questions to Ponder:
Who am I?
What am I good at?
What do I love to do?
What do I care about the most in the world?
Whom do I want to help the most?