Updated: Apr 20
What is Purpose? How can we find it? Can we influence it?
Why oh why
At least once in our lifetime the big question about the meaning of life and our role therein appears in our mind, leaving a huge spectrum of unanswered questions, ranging from universal to an individual level. If we are keen on finding out at least some answers, zooming into the individual seems like a reasonable start. What am I doing? Why am I doing it? Do I want to keep going? What am I supposed to do? What are my options? Is there a right or wrong?
This 'transformational zone' can be triggered by various instances like special and inspirational encounters, changing environments or relationships. They usually tend to affect our way of doing things and if experienced 'negatively', or not in tune with original 'plans', leaving us with a sense of unease or urgency, even when we are prepared to embrace #uncertainty.
Eventually, we have a choice: to do nothing (passive/drift) or to do something (active/shape) about it.
Choices and consequences
Suppose we choose nothing, nothing will change, until maybe one day life's rhythm catches up on us and somehow 'forces' us to adapt.
If Instead, we choose something, we enter a challenging journey. We start #reflecting about our past from a sense-seeking perspective. Along the way, different roles and identities we inherited throughout life come to surface. We start to recognise and maybe question recurring patterns of people, plots and (our) behaviours and reactions. We start to understand our triggers and think about alternative coping strategies. We start to apply 'what if' scenarios, slowly daring to influence the course of our life in our mind, at first, until we dare to take the first steps and practice new routines, making different choices and slowly integrating new insights, ideas and dreams in order to co-create new patterns together with life.
In the beginning, a projection of the future resembles a blurry image.
Along the way, we learn about facing our fears, the meaning of trust, the role of religion and the art of letting go. We become conscious of ourselves and our environments, we see the effects of our thoughts and actions and realise that we actually have a big influence on how life might continue to look like.
In the beginning, a projection of the future resembles a blurry image, as nothing seems clear and anything possible yet. This image slowly becomes clearer, maybe never crystal clear, but it's a useful 'mean - tool' to learn to appreciate the process - the journey - itself.
Purpose by design?
Once we become 'aware', we become responsible. Responsibility breeds anxiety but also empowerment. Anyone intending to engage on a purpose driven journey can mentally prepare for trial and error, change and strong emotions such as confusion, ups and downs. Learning to appreciate the message behind all these experiences with an open and honest reflection will help guide us through this process.
The biggest challenge is the first step, but where to start? What to consider? Why?
Values guided by Vision
Essentially, increasing insights into the layers of our identity lead us to the core, our values and believes. A glimpse into the future requires at least some kind of vision to start with. Both #Values and #Vision can serve as the building blocks of our journey and a (life) strategy that is connected to our core.
Finding purpose is a challenging task. Looking for it doesn't mean we are starting from scratch. Our #intuition ('something told me...' or 'it felt right...') has probably steered us into certain directions already. Our #context has probably given us certain cues about appropriateness of our choices, too.
Strategic Reflection with Sparks
As part of the values driven journey and in context of the bigger picture, which we wrapped up in our Contextscanner©, we offer value identification and visioning sessions. Whether you have never pin pointed a value code before or are in the process of revitalising your old one, these sessions are wonderful means to open deeper perspectives on actual 'motivators' 'drivers' 'lenses'...In combination with a glimpse into the unknown during our visioning exercise, we start shaping the parameters for a #purposedriven #strategy from within.
For you, your team or your organisation.
Here is what we have learned in our interactions so far:
* Our past - habits, priorities & lifestyle choices - can give good hints towards our current value & belief system
* Our future - a clear vision - can act as a guide towards required values & beliefs and give hints for potential shifts ahead if not aligned (trigger for 'change from within')
* Navigating between past and desired future can help to make sense of the present and design a value based and actionable strategy, in alignment with the core
Defining a purpose means shaping a future.