Over on Lori Ann Lothian’s blog Awakened Dreamer, she posted an article on Purpose, Discover the Thing You Were Born For in 5 Easy Steps. I enjoyed the article and ended up writing a long comment I decided to share here. I’ve added some links to articles I’ve written on the subject, with more at the bottom.
It is a fascinating explore… I’ve found that we are never not living to purpose. It’s actually not possible to be otherwise. It’s built in to our existence. However, if we’re not conscious of it, we can tend to resist and thrash and try to control making it all so much more difficult. Do we flow down the road of life, travel in the gravel on the shoulder or swerve in and out of the ditch?
A lot of it is about just paying attention. Not just what do I want but what is being supported here? The key is – purpose is not about me and what I like. It’s about the role you have in the whole, what you have to contribute. Living to that will inherently bring happiness. Trying to get what I want will bring fleeting satisfaction at best.
R. Buckminster Fuller observed that nature uses precession to get the desired effects. It’s not our actions themselves, it’s the right angled side effects that support the whole. The unintended consequences. He uses the example of a bee, seeking nectar and unintentionally pollinating plants.
I’ve also noted that life evolves and thus the form our purpose has can change. “Finding purpose” isn’t a one-shot thing but rather an ongoing process of tuning to what is unfolding. We all have gifts but they may or may not be called on at a given time. Depends on the needs of the time. While our being has a purpose, this is not defined by a job or role. That is simply the current expression of it. Monique MacDonald describes living life On Purpose instead.
Another useful point is that our gifts are often invisible to us. We’ve had them since birth and take them as obvious. The key is recognizing they’re there, making them conscious. As children, we tend to assume others are the same and thus ignore them. Or we may get negative feedback about being “different” and suppress our gifts. Writing was like that for me, so Not obvious. Looking back as adults, we can miss such things.
Finally, it was pointed out to me that our greatest pain often becomes our greatest driver. What we didn’t get we want to ensure others do. Our purpose becomes an I Am statement. Our driver an I Will statement. Together, they steer the gifts into expression.
You may also enjoy this talk – Life Purpose in 5 Minutes
Also, in India they speak of the 4 levels of dharma
Some caveats about a search for purpose as an escape from living
And a discussion of Co-creation and reasons we may not be experiencing what we want.