Finding Your Life’s Purpose: Overrated?
Looking For Your Life’s Purpose: Have You Had Enough Yet?
The Quest. The purpose of one’s life. The unique way we can finally be of the ultimate service to humanity and breathe a sigh of relief when we find our niche, our nest, the place we will know and own as ‘My Life’s Purpose!’ (Sorry; it really did warrant capital letters…)
So what’s wrong with that? What’s so terrible about looking for the reason you’re on the planet? Actually, there’s nothing terrible about it; as I always say, it’s just a choice. However this particular choice creates something that really gets me frustrated: waste.
What does looking for your life’s purpose give you?
I have personal experience of this particular energy and actually gave up creating my life for years on end in the search for my ‘true purpose’. I have a sister who is phenomenally artistic and as a child it always seemed to me that my life would be much better if I could find my thing. As I got older, this became less about finding my thing, and more about hoping to make sense of this crazy world and to figure out where I fitted (if indeed I did fit). As you may have guessed, I never did fit in anywhere. Does this sound familiar to you?
It’s certainly a common theme amongst just about every client that I work with. It requires an immense amount of time and energy to be in a state of constant judgement about everything: does this (activity, spiritual practice, job, vocation) make me feel the way I’ve decided I will feel when I’ve found My Life’s Purpose? You may also notice that it has a similar quality to the belief that when we find the ‘right’ person, our soul mate, we will feel validated, life will be easy and we can stop looking. Could The Life’s Purpose be as insidious as the fairy tales where we all live ‘happily ever after’?
You may also notice a particular quality that matches with the idea of ‘happily ever after’: it is in fact an ending of a chapter rather than the beginning of a new one. Energetically speaking it is a STOP sign and a definition and limiting of you. As well as being a Creativity Coach, I’m also a Qualified Teacher and The Life’s Purpose is in line with a Carol Dweck’s theory of a ‘fixed mindset’. It encourages perfectionism, comparison and is the opposite of a ‘growth mindset’ (2006). A growth mindset stimulates curiosity, passion and a spirit of adventure. So what else is possible here? Am I advocating that we drift aimlessly about, feeling uncomfortable and not contributing to the world?
The Age of Choice
Dain Heer, the co-creator of Access Consciousness has coined a phrase: the adults of consciousness. When we’re being a mature adult, we know who we are, we’re happy to make choices and decisions without the need to get it right or perfect, and we know that we can profit from everything, no matter how it turns out. If we’re less than happy with the outcome of a particular choice, we can glean whatever information we can and then choose something different. In other words we profit from EVERYTHING; good, bad or indifferent.
If we’re willing to try our very best at everything we choose, and be willing to profit from it, then we can expand our contribution to the world a hundred fold. Can we ever make a mistake? Is this in fact an end to crippling perfectionism?
So What Else Is Possible?
It is my firm belief and experience that each person has something truly unique to offer the world, just by being them. That each person has their own unique brand of creativity that they are already being and the whole time they’re looking for it in externals, they’re completely missing the one thing that would bring them peace, joy and expansion. In fact, they are missing the gift they truly are for this world.
The discomfort that drives people to find their one true purpose is in fact the discomfort of all the places they are not being truly themselves, it’s also everywhere they are negating the essence of themselves. I absolutely love this definition from the How to Become Money Workbook:
“Creativity is the vision of your life and the work that you desire to do as the essence of you, as the soul of energy’
So what does it mean acting ‘as the essence of you’? It means that every thought, every action and every choice begins with what is fun for you, what brings you joy and is light and childlike. I can tell you what it feels like: waking up in the morning full of enthusiasm and ideas for all the different things you’d like to do, full of plans to make a difference to the world; just because you can. It means connections and chance encounters strewing your path that lead to exciting adventures. No longer tied to fitting in with someone else’s version of what it is to be effective, creative and useful, you are free to explore you and find hidden delights and gifts that you never knew existed. Your unique creativity is not something that needs to be learned or gained, it has always been there and when you acknowledge it, life becomes so much ease.
Finding Your Niche
This does not mean that you need to be a creative ‘type’, nor limit yourself to one thing. I know that there are a million things that interest and excite me. However, for me, living as the essence of creativity has meant that I have a bird’s eye view of my life and noticed the common thread in what brings me joy. This is in mathematical terms reducing it to the lowest common denominator: its purest, indivisible form. I take all of the things I love (singing, writing, acting, connecting with people, getting myself out of stuckness, getting others out of stuckness, creating new projects, products, events) and look at what binds them together. What is it about each of these things that give meaning and depth to my life?
Most importantly, it means looking at the areas of my life and personality that I’ve decided I don’t like, don’t want and wish weren’t there. Behind each and every one of these is a gift I’m rejecting. As long as I’m refusing to ask: what’s great about this? I will never stop searching for qualities outside of myself to shore up who I am.
What I find useful as my niche (and, yes, it has to be useful to you or its going to limit you) is the concept of creativity. I’m an expert on it. I have been creatively blocked all my life and as a result I’m an expert on tools and approaches to release creative blocks. I’ve tried so many things and ‘failed’ so many times. So I’m a genius at fostering resilience to keep going against all odds. I’m weird and have never fitted in. This means I truly know how to be the leader of my own life and I know that I can’t trade this in fora comfortable life (I know because I’ve tried!)
What if you were never wrong? What have you been struggling with your whole life that if you would ask: “what’s great about this?” would be the key to your own unique creativity and a lifetime of fun and exploration?
I’d love to help you find your own niche! How easy could life truly be for you? Subscribe for my free ‘Five Keys to Your Unique Creativity’ and start having more fun right now!
Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Ballantine.