Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Purpose and a Personal Mission connects

First of all, let me apologize for all the spelling errors in my last post -- IDK, I must have been in a big hurry.  I have corrected them, so now it should be far easier to read and I feel better! :)

Purpose -- Why does it matter?
I have touched on this topic before, but it keeps coming up in my conversations, so I want to revisit it.  Specifically, many people have shared that they don't feel they have discovered their own purpose.  Let's talk about it again. 

I suppose purpose could be defined in many ways, but most of us think of it as job or career related.  Forget about that.  Let's discuss the bigger idea of why you are here at all.  Forget about setting goals and your daily work -- that is all pretty well set in motion, isn't it?  Most of us operate in the area of survival -- which means we are constantly working on meeting our own needs.  Purpose has a larger context.  Discovering your own purpose has a MUCH larger context. Huh, how about that?

According to the dictionary, purpose is defined as intention, determination or resolution.  OK, let's take a look at intention.  If your purpose isn't driven by career or responsibilities, what does intention have to do with it?  Take this sentence and substitute the word intention for the word purpose:  My purpose in life is to be as kind as I can be. The word intention moves purpose into the action arena, as in, "I intend to be as kind as I can be in my lifetime." There is a big difference -- the word purpose is quite foggy, while intend is direct and distinctly declares, "I will do this".   Substitute the words determination and resolution in the same sentence:  I am determined to be as kind as I can be in my lifetime.  I resolve to be as kind as I can be in my lifetime.  Do you see how this works? 

Purpose can be a much larger concept than job or career -- "My purpose/intention/resolution in life is to build/sell/create/develop/ as many widgets as I can -- doesn't quite resonate the same does it?  It doesn't speak to individual passion, strength, capability or hope. 

“I don't want to live. I want to love first, and live incidentally.”  -- Zelda Fitzgerald

If your purpose isn't driven by career or personal responsibilities, what is there to drive it?  Do you operate at the level of need, or are you looking at a bigger picture? Are you living consciously?  Living consciously is living at a different level of self-awareness.  I think we get to a new level of awareness (where you really know who you are, what you stand for and what you want) when we are willing to ask ourselves difficult questions and have the courage to find the answers. Why the heck are we here, anyway?  I can safely say, "It ain't for the widgets, people." Smiling.  I kinda like what Zelda had to say. 

Our jobs come and they go, so do houses, cars, clothes, jewelry, Manolo Blahniks and other tangible things.  Discovering our purpose very often moves us from the goals of meeting our needs (survival) to the idea of how we want to be as a person, as in be-ing.  And, the funny thing is, once you really find your purpose and live according to it -- most things fall into place -- the rhythm of your life changes and the beat of it is in accord with your own heart.  Finding your purpose involves learning, stepping out a comfort zone or habit and looking at a larger picture than the mirror in front of you.  You can discover your purpose, but it takes some effort.  For me, I spent hours in thought, boiling it down, writing and writing. I developed my own mission statement.  The whole process gave me a clear path for action (everyday) and helped me determine my purpose. Want to hear it?

Here goes, DCR Mission Statement:
To live in the now with courage; fill my own life and the lives of others with love, compassion and strength; leave this world a better place for having lived in it.

One other thing before I sign off...our whole lives people have been telling us our purpose or supplying us with their idea of our purpose.  We see it and hear it continually in everything from advertising to the unwanted opinions of others.  Think for yourself; decide for yourself.  Love yourself and have great courage.  You are capable.

With respect,

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