A purpose-filled life. What would that look like for you? For some, it may mean being with the right partner, while for someone else it may mean a great job, for another still it could be being a parent. There are also those wonderful beings who want to serve humanity, make a difference, and do good.
I have clients who fit into each of these categories. Some have the perfect partner or kids and some have dream jobs. All of them, even the ones who are doing good by serving others, wonder what their purpose in life is.
I remember wondering about that in my early twenties and just the other day the thought came up again. A few days before, I had watched a lovely movie called,”The Lunch Box” about a friendship that develops between a lonely housewife and a widower. Both are drawn to each other because of that something, let’s call it “purpose”, missing from their lives.
Thinking about the 2 characters brought me to these questions: what does a life filled with purpose look like? How is it different from any other and how will we know when we have one?
For me, purpose is directly related to curiosity, both its pull and its satiation. The impulse to look and the satisfaction of discovery.
Imagine living your life in pursuit of your interests rather than waiting all week to escape the cubicle, forced to endure something that no longer interests you or never interested you in the first place (school, anyone?). Or, being able to switch to other things until curiosity brings you back to the original pursuit.
I think of curiosity as an invisible conductor calling forth different melodies from within us; different parts sprouting, growing, maturing and becoming more authentic us as we can be.
Picture the freedom to explore, taste life as you go along with guidance and support from others as you become you; one minute deep in meditation and the next working diligently on a project.
You see, most people deeply yearn for the permission to be in the zone and fully realized as their journey unfolds and completes its course.
When we are not allowed to chase our own dreams and instead are bent to someone else’s agenda, we can’t truly discover what it is that we like or dislike. What it is that moves us deeply or resonates with different parts of us.
We are brought up to believe that our purpose will be one singular idea, activity, or way of being that will satisfy us for the whole of our lives, but nothing could be further from the truth. Purpose is curiosity driven, fluid, and needs to be able to adjust daily, hourly, by the minute.
Having one overarching purpose to anchor into is comforting – “I’m a humanitarian” “I like to help people get job skills” ”I am an educator” or “I’m Mother Theresa”. But if we were to look a little closer at all these people with their identified purposes, we would see that they too experience emptiness or yearning and wonder what their life purpose is.
That is why I look to curiosity to fill the emptiness when that “What am I doing with my life?” question creeps back into my thoughts. I have learned, over the last few decades, that following the scent of my curiosity will lead to destinations that nourish my head, heart and soul. Destinations that feel like purpose.
I start by revisiting existing projects, to get my feet firmly back on the ground and a solid sense of self. It’s never long before new ideas and projects emerge, navigating and positioning me in such a way that I hear myself saying: “I’m exactly where I want to be. Being me: engaged, interested, clear, trusting, fun…”
How about you? What would you like your purpose to be? Are you searching for that ah-ha or deep knowing to connect to your purpose? If you need a little help with that come over this way. It would be my honor to help guide you.