I love self-help books, experiential retreats, and connecting conversations. There is something in my deepest core that embraces the process of a man going from feeling shame, or anger, or resignation about himself and his life, to feeling strong, steadfast, and sure about who he is and what is his purpose. The internal power that surges across this differential, through the body and then out into the world, is mind blowing to witness. And for the man himself, it is life altering. I believe this kind of strength and power only comes to the man living in his purpose.
Some men are lucky enough to be doing the work they love in their careers, living in their purpose each day. These men work hard, just like any other guy, and instead of being exhausted they are rejuvenated. These men look forward to doing it all over again when they wake up. This is the power of purpose in a life. A power that feeds and nourishes.
Is your life being nourished? It’s a no bullshit question, and you owe yourself an honest answer. Do you have purpose in your life that feeds and rejuvenates you? I’m not asking if you have responsibilities. I’m not asking if you have a busy schedule. Most men I know have plenty of both. Most men I know are good men who get their ass up every morning, work hard to earn some bucks…maybe a lot of bucks…to pay for whatever it is to take care of themselves and their families.
Still, if I ask them if they are living in their purpose, I often get a blank look, maybe a litany of things they do, or an honest, “I don’t have time to figure it out” reply. Herein lies the disconnect…what we do each day can be done better, easier, and in a more fulfilled way if we make space for living in our purpose.
This doesn’t mean you have to quit your “day job”. It does mean it is beneficial to take the time to figure out your purpose and express yourself in it as often as you are able. Express that thing that only you can offer to others, to the world, in the way that is unique to you.
I believe a man goes through a process to discover, and then live fully in his purpose. Richard Leider, founder of Inventure-the Purpose Company, wrote an article titled The Three Stages of Purpose. The process, or three stages, in the discovery of purpose as he outlined in his article resonated with me.
Stage One– Uncovering Your Purpose by Focusing on You
Regardless of where you come from, what you have been taught, or what is expected by others, you have a desire to know who you are and what is authentic about you. This is the YOU at your core without all the external noise and voices. For me Stage One is that moment when you discover what is true about your being and how that impacts what you want to be doing.
Welcome to awareness and your authentic voice! You may also be welcoming angst, or maybe fear, because what you are doing may not line up with your new found being. It wasn’t with me, and it took several years of researching, refining, re-doing, and re-trying to get into my “purpose groove”. Decisions have to be weighed, choices need to be made. At times it was a hard ass road to walk.
Stage Two– Discovering Your Purpose in Meeting the Needs of Others
I believe this is when the power surge starts to buzz through the body. Finding your outlet, your method, your avenue and your venue to exercise your purpose for the benefit of others reinforces your sense of being. When this happened in my life, I experienced a stronger drive to do, or act, within my purpose more often.
And I found this also to be true: Living each day ignoring your purpose makes life feel heavy, burdensome, and out-of-sync. Activity without purpose eventually drains your energy. You can do it, but the itch that is only satisfied when scratched with purposeful living stays present. It would show up in my head as this thought…”What am I doing with my life?”
Stage Three– Rediscovering Your Purpose for the Sake of Everyone
Each of us has a unique purpose. When you feel your purpose connect to the unseen, the spiritual, and the whole, then your purpose is rediscovered in new ways. In this place the energy cycle becomes circular. Energy expended living your purpose is replenished with energy received being in purpose.
I’ve had moments of this awareness, being present in my purpose and I’ve felt the flow of energy leaving and returning as I connect in purpose through the lives of others. People I know or people I don’t, it doesn’t matter. Life is a continuum of connection and touch points. When I am operating in my purpose, I am intimately part of the flow of life, my best potential is being utilized, and the satisfaction, peace, and knowing I feel is worth all the effort to get here.
How important is purpose for your own life? Where are you in the process of discovering your purpose? What steps are you willing to take to live more in purpose? Can you imagine what kind of world we might create if each one of us lived in our purpose just once each day?
The possibilities are as varied as they are endless.