In our book and in or work there is an intentional double entendre in the phrase ‘living on purpose.”
Living on purpose is both complicated and simple.
It involves many “both—and” dyads.
It involves the ability to listen to the call from the world, and to hear the subtle voice deep within your heart.
It involves being fully present in the moment with daily intentions, yet it is best served with a long view and an ability to allow life to unfold.
Some people spend years sitting in lotus position seeking to learn to live fully in the moment, yet I have worked with many young men who live exclusively in the present and unless they find a purpose beyond the moment they serve only their immature ego and are dangerous to themselves and others.
John O’Donohue writes, “When you open your heart to discovery, you will be called to step outside the comfort barriers within which you have fortified your life. You will be called to risk old views and thoughts and step off the circle of routine and image. This will often bring turbulence. The pendulum will fix at times on one extreme and you will be out of balance. But your soul loves the danger of growth.”
Living on purpose involves being in touch with the uniqueness of your abilities and desires. It is lonely work. It takes time.
Purpose, processes, evolution, and meaning, are so intertwined that by necessity the self-discovery journey takes you along winding paths where it is easy to get lost and discouraged.
Although you may have a best friend or confidante you can turn to, it is often difficult to mix friendship with the level of transparency and safety required to go deep.
For many, the best approach will be to seek out a coach, counsellor, wise mentor, or a combination of people that you can access personally and professionally.
George Bernard Shaw stated the goal of living on purpose this way: “This is the true joy in life—being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one… being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
It may take many workshops, retreats, explorations, false starts, disappointments, and experiences to step fully into your purpose. Keep exploring.
You were born to make a difference.
There is genius within seeking to live on purpose.