Our blogs exploring the quality of “purpose”

purpose

Finding your inner rebel

We are far more familiar these days with the concept of purpose and connecting our own personal lives and our work lives/organisations with something that has deeper meaning and which feels connected to a higher ideal.

We may find that having contemplated and arrived at the sense of that purpose and maybe even articulated it in a succinct phrase, we are imbued with a warm feeling, a sense of rightness. Getting to that point may have felt like quite a journey in itself – the wrestling and inner wrangling to shed the layers of conditioning to uncover what really makes our heart beat and connects us with our soul. And what’s important to remember is that this is a great place to start but it is only the start of the journey with purpose.

Living our purpose requires another step. It requires us to locate our inner rebel. That part of us that is willing to confront and change anything that is out of alignment with that purpose. On a personal level that may be letting go of a habit, it might be about stopping buying from a favourite store because it no longer fits with our focus or values, or it could be about spending our time differently, away from mindless TV for example, to enable us to fulfil the fire burning within us toward the greater good.

For organisations finding this inner rebel can be a supreme challenge. The level of inertia and ‘stuckness’ runs deep and is of course institutionalised. Living on purpose as an organisational leader often requires tough decisions and a willingness to confront and rebel against conventions. Take the clothing manufacturer Patagonia. It let go of its most profitable product line because it no longer supported the focus, ideals and purpose of the business. This takes courage and a willingness to fly in the face of convention.

The style of our inner rebel will be different from others’ – we each have our own unique way of expressing our rebellion. But whether we are loud and shouty or quiet and stealthy, cultivating that inner rebellion and the courage that goes with it is the only way to truly live our purpose. The world is waiting for us…what are we waiting for?

Lorraine Flower

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Serving our purpose

‘To exist just for yourself is meaningless.  You can achieve most satisfaction when you feel related to some greater purpose in life, something greater than yourself.’  Denis Waitely

Waitley’s words, for me, capture the essence of our human journey, our calling to be in service of creating a better world for all, serving the greater good. This is both a big and compelling responsibility.

To fulfil it we must invest in the work of getting clear on our individual soul purpose for how we can best serve and then in the work of living that purpose.  When our purpose is clear so is the way ahead.  We can consider all that we do – our thoughts and actions – in the frame of the bigger vista, of making a positive difference, making the right choices and setting the right intention behind right action.

When we’re aligned with and living our soul purpose the power of our passion is perfectly directed. Our heart, in all its glory, is engaged fully in the work.  Our connection with our actions, with others and with the world are transformed to an entirely different and more impactful level. And we’re illuminating the possibility for others to step more purposefully on their own path too.  What greater service could there be?

Trudy Worth

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The elusive nature of purpose

Although the exploration of purpose has become a more familiar practise across a diverse spectrum of humanity for both individuals and groups, it remains an elusive thing to fully grasp.

Speaking personally I have had moments where I have been able to activate a purpose for myself and/or my organisation and truly feel it as a deep sense of DNA together with a knowing that I am living it. At other times I can read or repeat the words and they can seem quite flat or two dimensional.

Connection with purpose can feel ephemeral and requires constant and consistent work. Work which involves regular checking in with ourselves about the nature of life, our world and our part within that system, organically evaluating how we show up. It requires the committed development of a reflective or meditative practise within which we can open ourselves to ‘data’ coming from a higher or more expanded consciousness. This consciousness connects us with principles such as the interconnectedness of all life and a deeper understanding of love – love for self, life and all living things – inclusive love.

Within this expanded consciousness we can get a completely new perspective on purpose and perhaps see that the language we have crafted to describe our purpose, whilst important and helpful, is still only part of the story when it comes to knowing and therefore living our purpose. We also, through this expanded consciousness, have the opportunity to get ever more subtle interpretations of the purpose and the barriers that may prevent its livingness within us or our organisation.

Perhaps also, everyone’s purpose in life at the most fundamental level is simple, universal and yet also exceedingly challenging to live day-in day-out, (and here my ego can sometimes struggle because it wants the expression of purpose to be unique to me)…and that is to love universally, inclusively and with joy.

Lorraine Flower

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Changing our world – calling on the ability to persevere

‘Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.’  Samuel Johnson

There is surely no greater work in this life than pursuing and living our soul’s purpose to make a positive difference in the world and contribute to the greater good of all by being all that we are destined to be.

Each of us has our unique route to delivering our purpose through what we do and how we show up, yet we all likely need to be able to draw on similar qualities and attributes to support us in our journey, especially in more challenging times.

And, of all the qualities we need one that I find plays a big role is perseverance, particularly when the pesky personality gets in the way and starts prevaricating, throwing up unhelpful habits, or encouraging us to stray from the course of what we’re here to do and be.

The dictionary defines perseverance as ‘continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure or opposition’.

Like all qualities or attributes that come to us less easily, our ability to persevere grows with practice.  Each day we can engage in that practice…by committing to and completing our reflection or meditation, no matter how busy we are or whatever else is going on. Knowing ourselves from the soul perspective enables us to find the ways forward in our goals. This includes ensuring we check in with our purpose and how we’re doing. And it means setting the personality aside and connecting with our higher self so that new insights can come in and be integrated into our way of being.

In doing so we’re continuing to develop the consciousness to more fully connect with our purpose and the strength to persevere in living it.

Trudy Worth

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The electric feeling of being ‘on purpose’

As I write this I am feeling very buoyed and energised. In this moment (and for some hours now today) I notice that I am experiencing a deep and strong sense of purpose. I feel almost giddy with the power of it as it pervades my being.

If you were to ask me to describe the actual purpose, it would be unlikely to flow out as a ‘save the world’ oratory though the connection with all kingdoms (their beauty and their current plight) in our world is very much part of the feeling.  And whilst I do have two or three phrases to describe my ‘purpose’ it really depends on who I’m talking to as to how that gets expressed.

The truth is that at its core, my sense of purpose is almost ethereal in its nature and when I’m truly ‘connected’ it almost doesn’t need any language or phrases because I am living it – I am on purpose.

The feeling is certainly one of being purposeful – of doing something that in some way matters. It’s also a strong sense of ‘flow’ – being in the moment and trusting that it’s the soul or ‘higher wisdom’ that’s in the driving seat rather than the personality. The work feels simultaneously easy and ‘important’ and ‘world or life changing’ if that’s not too grand. And that’s it too…it does feel grand but not in a pompous, look at me way, more an adding my gifts kind of way.

When we tap into our talents and we put them to work in support of our sense of purpose the feeling is truly electric. Imagine if we were all able to connect more and more of those periods of being on purpose – what a world we’d be creating.

Lorraine Flower

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Building a cathedral

In days gone by people began building cathedrals that they never saw finished.  The work passed to subsequent generations until it was complete.  The initiators and builders were undoubtedly driven by a purpose, giving themselves to the work.

Today each of us has our own unique purpose…our North Star that guides us through our journey in life.  Sometimes it is obvious to us; we discover it early and embrace it.  For others of us there’s more work involved to uncover our purpose and discover the flow that comes with living a life on purpose.

Yet isn’t each unique purpose an individual aspect of our purpose as a whole, to contribute to a better world for all, to create a world of right relationships?  If we take this as our North Star, returning to it when faced with tough calls, difficult decisions, challenging circumstances it helps us consider more than just local issues when we decide and when we act.

Living and leading in this way is about helping to create a future outcome we may not see as well as contributing to a better world moment by moment.

It is like being the builder of a great cathedral – not a house of religion but in this case building a better world for future generations.  Our efforts may be adding to the ‘foundations’ or the ‘walls’ but completion is far into the future and the work of coming generations.

Connecting with this collective purpose is what keeps us on course and inspires us to persevere, reminding us that we’re building something worthwhile.

Trudy Worth

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The marriage between love and purpose

The older I get and the more I reflect on my personal purpose the more I am coming to realise that in many ways as human beings we may all in fact have the same core purpose – to express love in every moment and with every fibre of our being.

As I write this I know that it’s both as simple as that and as tough as that. Of course the detail of how and where we live our lives and the roles we play all add dimensions to the particular context within which this purpose is fulfilled. It could be within a family, within a profession, the arts and so much more…and it matters deeply that we find our metier because that enables our passion and our talents to be expressed to the fullest effect as we live our purpose. We could perhaps say that it helps us to unlock the doorway to our love?

And yet, at the core…isn’t it really all about love? Love defined as will, wisdom, truth, compassion, care, kindness, courage. Love that is both uplifting and challenging. Love that propels us toward the expression of our truth which is at the core of purpose. Imagine if every person on earth was truly committed to living through love as their core purpose in life how that would change the nature of existence on this planet.

I’m not trying to suggest that other expressions of purpose aren’t significant – they are vital because they help us to find our relationship with Life.  They help us to make sense of the talents, experiences and inner power that we have and how we contribute to the beautiful, complex whole that is our world. But isn’t loving the ultimate purpose?

Lorraine Flower

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You know when you’re in the presence of someone who is fulfilling their life’s purpose in the work they do, the passion and energy they bring to it and the sense of joy that emanates from them.  It is as if they’re connected to an entirely different and higher energetic source.  And of course they are for our higher purpose is the purpose of the soul…an expression of a deeper and higher passion focused on making a difference for the greater good.

And so it is a privilege to work with leaders in helping them to uncover their purpose, to see the switch flip when they connect with their passion and the realisation that they can bring this into their daily work.  I had a powerful reminder of this in some recent group work.

In introducing the notion of purpose and asking them to connect with, then talk about what it is about their role that they feel passionate about the energy levels rose significantly, the room lit up and each one of them found a different, more fluent, more connected voice.  They were speaking from the soul rather than the personality that gets caught in the convention of how we should be at work.

The conversation about everyday ‘tasks’ was transformed into a more purposeful mapping of the way ahead on the changes they are leading with their teams and the passion they felt for this journey.

It was a humbling reminder of the power of purpose, and of making sure I stay connected with my passion for what I am fortunate to do each day and to let soul speak.

Trudy Worth

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Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.’ William Jennings Bryan

I was out walking alone today, marvelling, as I tend to do, at the beauty and variety of nature that is present in our world. During the walk I came across a small very pretty lake, quite hidden from the main walking route. I stopped for a moment to take in the vista. The water lilies were just freshly out, the new green shoots of the reeds reflected in the perfectly clear water, as did the rhododendrons and pine trees.

After one or two minutes I set off. I realised as I did that I was conflicted between staying there longer, in the peace and splendour of the lake or getting on with the walk. What was I choosing? The purpose of walking for me is to get exercise. Why walking rather than say, the gym? Because I love to be in the fresh air and nature, as well as discovering places I’ve never been before. This brought me to thinking about purpose and how it determines the choices we make. In the scheme of things, this choice was unimportant (appreciating the beauty of lake versus getting my exercise) but I had chosen my course of action based on the purpose.

I then asked myself, why was getting the exercise more important than taking time to breathe in the peace at the lake. My immediate reaction was that I need to stay healthy so that I can be strong and in service of others. In turn that feeds my purpose of enabling people to share some of the joy our world has to offer (even through these troubled times). And that feeds into the higher generic purpose of acting for the greater good of humanity.

How often do I, or you, question choices in this way? How often do we check how we behave and the things that we do are aligned with our purpose? In my case, probably not often enough. Yesterday for instance, I chose to turn the television on instead of calling my friend back. I woke up feeling bad about that this morning and, that I was not meeting my own values or purpose.

I know that when I do check and align to purpose, my resolve is greater, I have a sense of fulfilment and balance and my connection is deeper. I don’t know what my destiny is, or even if I have one, I do know that when I make conscious choices aligned with my purpose I feel like I am achieving something.

Kaaren Brook