I’m not so sure.
I’m actually starting to get a little… well… pissed off at being told by experts in entrepreneurship and leadership that if we don’t have an ultimate purpose, a calling, we’ll just flounder around pretending to offer our hearts while actually being ineffectual and never reaching the critical mass of communication needed to cause a shift in consciousness on the planet.
Every time I hear I apparently need to “find my purpose”, “align with my purpose” and/or “live my purpose” to be abundant, happy and successful, I feel a creeping, malignant darkness enter my mind—a sense of doubt, unworthiness and fear.
Frankly, I get depressed.
I don’t know if I believe I have an ultimate purpose. I’m not saying I don’t have one. I suspect it’s already happening whether or not I believe I’m on the “right” path anyway. I’m just intimate with the existential concerns affecting all us thinking, breathing humans open to knowing truth; namely, that life is inherently meaningless.
I was told recently when I met a well-known visionary leader that if I want to monetise my purpose it has to be clearly defined in common terms and equate to one or two words: teacher; speaker; healer; writer; entrepreneur; artist. etc. If I want to be happy and make money doing what I love, my “purpose” has to look like something, be immediately recognisable and fit neatly into one of several, pre-defined boxes—that my target market currently wants, needs, is actively seeking and willing and able to invest large amounts of money in.
Purpose is not a feeling.
Purpose is not an inner experience.
It’s an action and I need to clear my subconscious, process my resistance and remove any blockages preventing me from taking said action—to be successful, abundant, change the world, etc.
My rebellious heart screamed “Nooooooo!“
I expected something more profound from this genius, expert and wildly successful man. I wanted a conversational adventure into realms not previously considered on the narrow route to understanding “purpose”. I’d come across these teachings before… Primarily from entrepreneurs speaking to a more conscious, heart-based audience selling programs designed to help us “find our purpose,” “live our purpose” and/or “align with our purpose”.
In the most silent part of my being, I find nothing is needed.
That is purpose. Done. Nothing I can do to improve upon it. Purpose has, in fact, already been met by the simple fact that I am alive.
It seems shallow to cage “purpose” in the world’s terms after an especially beautiful yoga class, anchored in the present moment, feeling connected to all that is.
When we’ve had an experience of being beyond, contented heart blown open by love and measuring success with grace-filled tears for the abundance given so freely, it’s ludicrous to believe that’s not enough, that we’d be happier if we had a purpose—that we should in fact bundle that purpose, call it some funky name, write a snazzy sales piece and send it out to a database of 20 000 people along with a smoking hot offer.
When self-doubt beckons, I question if my multi-dimensional angel wings have hindered me on the path to creating abundance. Because of this, I’m less motivated, determined and driven to push in my business. I’m not seeking happiness and contentment at some future point when I’ve achieved whatever it is I’m here do and have accumulated “enough” of everything to never have to think about money again.
The common teaching is that if I’m “living my purpose” then there won’t be any suffering, doubt or fear. There will only be the universe affirming my abundance and showering buckets of bliss and glorious surprises down upon me.
I have already experience this state—almost everyday in my practice. It’s available regardless of what I’m doing in the world—writing an email, washing dishes, speaking to a friend, scratching my nose—this state looks like anything happening in the moment. It has no purpose whatsoever; it just is.
The only time I feel conflict or pain is when I think that’s not enough, when I believe I “should” be doing something more with my life or that I need to “find my purpose”, “live my purpose” and/or “align with my purpose” to be fulfilled.
We don’t need to know what our purpose is or whether or not we have one—that’s a lie. A convenient, prettily packaged and powerfully life-changing one perhaps but still a lie. Purpose is anything we want it to be in the moment. We make it up as we go.
For now I’ve found my one word: Love.
Right there’s all the happiness, abundance and success I could ever want.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Alicia Wozniak/Editor: Cat Beekmans
Photo: Seth Sawyers/flickr