Continuing the topic from the last week’s article (“When Helping Others is Your Life Purpose“) let me discuss a little bit more deeply on what exactly is the ‘Life Purpose’. I was actually driven to continue to write more about it while thinking about a question that I received on one of the Facebook groups in response to a VoARadio talk that I broadcast couple of weeks ago on the Quantum Physics of Beliefs – Power of Intentions Part1 and Part2. The question was “How do you know if it is your intention or someone else’s?” In my response, I suggested to look at the classical meaning of the word intention – ‘to have in mind a purpose or plan, to direct the mind, to aim’ – and examine if it is indeed your plan/purpose to do something or someone else’s? But, then I realized that there is more to ‘purpose’ than just a plan. So, let’s delve into it…
LIVING YOUR PURPOSE
The original Latin meaning of the word purpose is derived from the word intention; (there you have it – intention and purpose go hand in hand) meaning that your purpose is there by (your) design and is something that you intend either consciously or unconsciously. When you intend for something to happen you are the one that makes it happen; it is not something or someone outside of yourself.
It’s been said that great minds have purpose while others just have wishes. At some point in your life you have probably asked yourself the question “why am I here?” Or “what’s the purpose that I am living in this world?” I think that most people with a healthy mind often ask this question and mostly at points in their lives when they are forced to take a time out. Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living and it is from examining our lives that we can look at it afresh and get a new perspective on why we are really here.
I believe that we all have a purpose for being here. There is a reason why you are here in this universe and that there is a specific role for you to fulfill. Even though this is a belief, I do think that anyone who is in touch with their spirit (or soul or inner self or whatever name you want to give it) will know that there is a part of you that long for more than just the day to day physical needs of life. We all dream for more and this desire, in a sense is fulfilled by your purpose. Your purpose in life is not a pre-assigned role, but rather a decision that you make as a result of introspection. There is no black board in the sky on which your purpose is written. There is however feelings and experiences that you long to experience while you are here and your purpose is what will cause you to experience, feel and be that which you long for on the deepest level of being a human “being.”
Most people spend all their lives waiting for “a sign” as to what their purpose is. They spend all their lives trying to find their purpose instead of just deciding and using the power of intent to make things happen. Mahatma Gandhi as a young man saw things he did not like in South Africa and he decided that his purpose in life will be to get equal rights for all. Later on, when he returned to India, his purpose transformed to liberating his mother India from Colonial rule and establish democracy and self rule for the people. These became the very reason for him living and even though his purpose lead him on a very rocky road, his purpose did not change. All this was born in a truly committed decision. His committed decision lead to a definiteness of purpose; something that did not change, despite all the odds being against him. He found a purpose that was much bigger than himself that gave him leverage to achieve the impossible.
With a strong sense of purpose you can achieve virtually anything. Purpose is what gives you the reasons for doing something. In life there is a big difference between what you can do and what you actually do and the results usually come down to your motivation. Motivation is nothing but having a strong sense of purpose; a sense of knowing why you do what you do. When people don’t know why they are doing something they will rarely do it and they will rarely stick with it long term. Purpose is the engine of human motivation. Purpose gives you the reasons why and with strong enough reasons “why to” you will find the “how to” – reasons come first and the answers come second as a result of the why.
Purpose therefore gives you power. It gives you the power to persist and take action until you succeed.
When you say that someone did something “on purpose” you are actually saying that he was responsible for doing it and that it is because of him that it happened. When you use your mind, your body and your emotions you have the ability to bring into being virtually anything on purpose. By intending for it to happen you can make it real. With a strong purpose you are able to tap into the unlimited resources that are within you; resources that become available because you feel compelled to make it happen. When it is a must you will find within yourself the resources to make it happen. When what you want is merely a wish, it is only a “should” that might only come together when it is convenient. Musts happen regardless of your circumstances or situation for it is your very purpose. It is your reason for being. Gandhi was able to change the way a whole nation thought and acted upon. With a strong enough purpose nothing can hold you back.
Discovering and living your purpose is all there really is for you to do in this life. It is like the axis of the wheel of your life and it holds everything in your life together. Your purpose gives meaning to everything you do and provides you with an inexhaustible well of resources to truly achieve whatever you set out to achieve or accomplish. The ironic thing however is that when you are on purpose all the “things and stuff’ do not matter as the feeding of your purpose is what you truly long for and it needs no external satisfaction other than the experience.
Great minds have a purpose and it is usually a purpose that goes beyond themselves; beyond what they will “get”. With their purpose they serve humanity. You can only find that much drive to serve and uplift yourself, but when you turn your attention to a cause much bigger than yourself you can find a purpose that has immense power to propel you to do virtually anything; even that which most people think of as impossible. The human spirit is truly one of love as we will do more for others than we will ever do for ourselves. When you find something that you can serve that goes beyond your personal gains you will discover that life’s greatest joys is in giving; in giving the gift that you are.
Dr Surya M Ganduri, PhD. PMP. is the Founder & President of eMBC, Inc., an international firm specializing in strategic and executive leadership development processes that Help People Succeed in an Evolving World. Dr Surya has over 28 years of business experience in management consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, process improvements, organizational development and youth leadership. For more information visit www.eMBCinc.com or contact eMBC, Inc., directly at (630) 445-1321.