“Living a life of purpose” is a phrase that I often come across, it seems like a very popular phrase nowadays, but what does it really mean? How do we actually DO that? What is our purpose in life anyway? Living our purpose is easier said than done!
You may see your purpose as the work you do, the career you have built, or maybe the family you are raising, the relationships you cherish, etc. But remember that none of those things can really qualify as your purpose if you somehow feel empty, or feel like something is missing…
Your true purpose in life is your mission, that what fills your life with joy, strength, fulfillment, confidence, and true excitement. This mission lies at the core of your being and it is the very reason you exist, and yet it can seem very elusive at times. How do you find it?
Here is an interesting new concept I read about recently and gave me some clarity on this topic: There seems to be many layers of purpose around our lives, and in order to get to the core and to the deepest truth of who we are and what our mission is, we first need to shed all the layers that cover us, one by one. This shedding process is like a slow unfolding that cannot be bypassed if we are to find our true purpose.
All these layers are superficial layers, and by that I do not mean they are less important, but they are more “external” to our being. Because of the fact that the layers need to unfold, there is an inevitable factor of constant change in order to unveil the truth, in order to reach our essence. You must be willing to change everything in your life in order to move from one layer to the next, and this change is often feared and resisted.
By fearing and resisting the inevitable change, we can get stuck in the process and we can stay stagnant in one of these superficial layers for the rest of our lives which is the same as living a mediocre life devoid of true purpose, no matter how much money we make or how perfect our family life looks like.
Every job, enterprise, career, relationship in your life will serve its purpose; but you may have to move on in order to grow, and that means you may be faced with difficult choices like: completely changing careers, divorcing your spouse of many years, leaving behind a secure job, etc. I am giving the examples of the major changes that will create the most fear and resistance; but there are many other small or not so small changes that still need to be dealt with every day.
The good news is: the journey is more important than the destination, so all these layers of purpose are meant to be lived fully, because they are part of our purpose, the problem is when we feel something is not right, when we feel something is missing, but we are not willing to look deeper, when we are too scared of what we will find and we decide to just stay in the safety of the known, we simply decide to numb our feelings, to distract ourselves with meaningless acts, and by doing so we block the process of unfolding and ultimately our process of growth and fulfillment.
Living our purpose goes hand in hand with living with presence, so if you are present, you are living a life of purpose, it is as simple as that, because that presence will clearly direct your life’s unfolding one step at a time. This is the most important thing to remember because only if we live with presence we will indeed find our true mission.
By living with presence we will be able to live every layer fully and we will have the clarity of letting go when the time has come to let go. After completing one layer, we might not know what to do next and that can be very scary but if we live with presence we will find the guidance, the vision, and the next path to take.
Also, if we live with presence, we won’t be “using” anybody or anything for our purpose, but we will be giving our best every day and in every way. So there will be no victims nor damage in the paths we leave behind, no matter how hard it may be to move on.
At the time of transition though, you will need to pay close attention to connecting with your inner wisdom, by finding stillness to fully BE with yourself, clearing your head of thoughts, and avoiding filling your days with meaningless distractions that will take you away from that connection (ex.: watching tv or using alcohol to numb your feelings)
If you are living your life without purpose (or without presence), you are not living fully because you are not really present. Not being present means you are living in the past or in the future (you are either ruminating about the past or projecting into the future,) you are not giving your full attention to what is going on in the moment, to the people you are with, and to the situations that unfold in front of you.
Our lifetime is a constant process of unfolding layers and it is easy to resist this process, to fear it, but the only reason we fear it is because we are stuck with the expectations or commitments of the past, or we are projecting into an uncertain future and imagining negative outcomes.
So the answer to finding and living your purpose is simply to leave with presence, to pay attention to the moment and to let go of the past and the future, completely let it go. In the richness of the present moment you will find clarity, your will find joy, and you will find peace, and your purpose will unveil.
If you wish to read more about presence and purpose, I have listed below a few related articles and books.
Have a great week!
Be Present in the Present
Your Senses, A Gateway to the Present Moment
Every Ending is a New Beginning
Living the Life of Your Dreams
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
The Way of the Superior Man (written for men)
Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential