Finding Purpose on the PeripheryOct 03, 2019
I spend a lot of my time working with people to explore their purpose in life. When it comes to purpose many of us are waiting for some kind of sign or a lightning bolt idea of what our purpose is in the world.
From my experience, this way of discovering your purpose is far from a guaranteed method. I believe discovering your purpose is a process of returning to who you have always been and to what you have always loved and using this to guide you to be of service to others.
I am more interested in the little breadcrumbs that lead us to our purpose rather than the big lightning bolts. Our purpose is something that often evolves over time, it is a process we refine through our life experience. Purpose is the art of connecting the dots of joy and meaning and discovering how everything ties together.
To connect the dots, you must know your strengths and know what we are passionate about. I invite you notice the little things in life that you gravitate toward – this is where you find wonderful insights about yourself.
What do you do outside of your day job or your role in life that brings you joy?
Where to you lose track of time?
What would you love to learn?
What is something you used to love doing but don’t do anymore?
When I look back I can see that my purpose was always there, it was just on the periphery of my life (i.e. the edges of my life) rather than centre stage. Even way back when I worked in investment banking in London, I use to run little self-development circles in my living room. I would bring in people to speak or I would talk, or I would just listen. These little events on the periphery of my life actually built the foundation to later start women’s circles, group workshops and eventually 7-day retreats. They even led me back to the corporate world to teach about mental wellness.
Why do I share this story?
I share it because I want to emphasise that your purpose can start as something very small – simply doing what you love – and that it can sprout in ways you never imagined. If you are working in a job that you don’t love, in a career that doesn’t give you meaning or perhaps you are returning to work after a break, then start by looking at what brings you joy on the periphery of your life and do more of that.
If you want to start discovering your purpose, dedicate time to things you are passionate about, collaborate with others, start doing more of the things you love. Maybe it is a creative project, photography, a charity event, a course you have been thinking about taking or gathering like-minded others to discuss ideas.
Whatever it is just start in a little way and drop the first breadcrumb that could lead you to the living your purpose.