It’s my firm belief that each one of us is put on this planet with a Life Purpose and has a Destiny and it isn’t simply the domain of the famous people who make it into the pages of History.
Believe it or not but each and every one of us has a Life Purpose. Some of us know it from the very beginning of our lives, while others have it imposed upon them by family and elders or even circumstances.
There are also some of us who find it along the way, often noticing that our life purpose changes as we go along, not due to any whimsical reason but because as we grow and develop, new facets of our personalities and new avenues for contentment arise.
Sometimes the discovery can be attributed to a wakeup call and starting off in a direction that leads to new experiences and transformation. The old way of life doesn’t suit us and we start afresh, with purpose on a new road where we are of service to others while finding fulfilment in a new avatar and fulfilling, what I would describe, our true Destiny.
I’ve been told by my circle of successful career professionals who started a completely different vocation in later life (no it wasn’t mid-life crisis) that their decision to change tracks wasn’t an idea they had over a morning cup of tea but a nagging feeling that something was ‘missing’.
The feeling kept building up but they ignored it because they were in good careers and not ready to change the status quo. They didn’t want to step outside their comfort zone– until they had no option but to follow their call to adventure.
Guess what? Each one of them has told me that they wish they had started earlier!
Autobiographies of famous people are full of wakeup call and crisis moments and overcoming them. The message at the end is that of triumph over adversity and a transformation that brings with it a gift to help others or make a difference.
If you read the Meet Your Coach page at my website, you would see one of my wakeup calls, my response to the Call to Adventure and the successful completion of that Hero’s Journey.
My coaching and consulting business has strong links to the transformation that took place in that journey. Visit any well-known coach or consultant’s website and the wakeup call with Hero’s Journey will be there in their About Me Page or even in their content because they want others to benefit from the lessons they have learned.
The phrase Hero’s Journey was coined by an American professor Joseph Campbell who studied the myths across different world cultures and found common patterns of story woven through them in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
The standard path of the mythological adventure of the hero is a magnification of the formula represented in the rites of passage: departure -initiation—return.
For some reason, these patterns of story are so prevalent in our human psyche that even today, movies and novels of our time still follow it. The hero or heroine is an ordinary person who wouldn’t have thought their destiny was so extraordinary – think Harry Potter, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz or the 4 students in Rang de Basanti who die while trying to clear the name and reputation of a dead friend who has taken the fall for a crashed air force plane.
It’s almost as if this story pattern reflects our everyday lives and journeys so much that we build it back into the stories we tell.
I go into details about the Campbell’s monomyth and guidance to help if you believe you are in the process of your own journey to self-discovery, including one of my own experiences, in my Kindle book Wakeup Call: What Happens When You Accept Your Call to Adventure.
Contrary to any popular belief, there is nothing esoteric about one’s life purpose although popular schools of thought do exist to consider life purpose to be based on fate and destiny on the one hand and free will on the other.
Either way, I believe that our life purpose is within us – we just need to look inside and we will discover it. I
f you know your life purpose, then you instantly know what your highest goal is and as we all know, if we know what our goal is, it is easier to strategize and make our game plan to achieve it.
Knowing your life purpose also helps you to live a meaningful life, adding joy to all around you rather than living and dying in your private silo.
How do you go about finding your life purpose, if you haven’t already?
This is similar to what a life coach would ask you to do though it may not be at such a macro level but limited to one goal at a time. For starters, look at yourself with honest and clear eyes. Do a brainstorming session on the following areas of your life with these 5 key questions.
What am I passionate about?
Passion for something and what you do for a living are not necessarily the same thing although your vocational skills can be used to further an area that you are passionate about.
For example, I have been passionate about education from a very young age and back in school, I used to teach less privileged children English as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. In later life, during my corporate career while targeting jobs, I would check their Corporate Social Responsibility Statement and ask about it in interviews. When I look back, there was always an element of education and learning involved in my job as an extra activity and the use of my finance skills to create business plans for charities that further my passion, even if it was on the periphery of my passion..
What about you? What’s your passion? Is it technology, animals, fashion, Formula 1, cooking?
It can be anything!
What motivates me?
What are my trigger factors for action and inaction?
If something speaks to your heart and inspires you to take action at a grass root level, that is a strong motivator and an indicator that you are meant to pursue a path that enables self-expression and ultimately self-realization.
What am I really good at that I enjoy doing?
What are my inherent and acquired talents? Is it singing, writing, stock market, cooking, Sunday morning time spent looking under the bonnet of the car? The choices are many.
Think of your natural abilities, maybe you are great with people, even babies or senior citizens. Think of your talents, maybe you are creative, analytical or logical.
Think of your life experience to date and the skills you have acquired along the way, maybe you are good at problem solving or mentoring. You may be a great networker or communicator. You can be good at so many things without having ever acknowledged your strengths!
What makes me happy and complete?
These are tangible activities that give you a buzz of satisfaction either when you are doing them or after completing them. Have you noticed how many Master Chef Contestants, whether in the Australia or the India program are from different walks of life with complete careers who love to cook and are competing?
So many of them get eliminated but continue their dream because they dared to step out of their comfort zone and conditioning that they can only be good at one thing. They look content and happy cooking even when they are competing and under pressure tests where elimination is around the corner because they are hearing the sound of their own distant drummer.
In the priority area, what ranking do I give it?
Here, focus on the big picture, the world around you and not yourself. Would a change of path make a difference that is bigger than the change it would bring to your life? (This resource provides a starting point. Click here or on the below image to learn more)
Once you have a clearer understanding of these elements, it will be easy to put the puzzle of a purposeful life for you together.
The things that are important to you are your end GOAL, the things that you love to do will be your vehicle to reach your end goal.
Your talents and abilities will help you to get there and your passion will motivate you through your journey, especially when the road gets bumpy!
And before you know it you will be living your purpose and creating your own Destiny.
Are you living your life purpose?
Written by: Vatsala Shukla
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