What does it mean to live your purpose, and how do you know when it’s happening?
Many people think of life purpose in terms of answers to questions, such as “why I am here?” or “what I am meant to do?” or “who am I meant to be?” Actually, your purpose can be divided into four distinct aspects: essential being, essential doing, your life mission, and the wisdom you are meant to share with the world.
In another article I wrote about the being aspect of purpose and how it is the basis of authentic branding. The most compelling branding is based on expressing the radiant qualities of your essential being that are unique to you. (See Solopreneurs: Draw More Business by Branding the Essential You.)
Here I’ll discuss the second aspect of purpose, your essential doing. You are naturally gifted at facilitating a certain unique impact on others around you. You’ve done it your whole life without trying, and certain people are drawn to you because they want more of what happens in your presence.
When you focus your work in a specialty that expresses your innate essential doing, rather than trying to serve a broad market, your business will be transformed. Identifying your innate transformational gifts will enable you to do the work that brings out your natural best.
You will draw the clients and collaborators that you are meant to serve, you’ll love doing it more than anything else, and you’ll be able to charge more for it because it is your best work.
If you reflect back on your life, what have you always catalyzed in others? It could be to bring harmony where there’s conflict, or clarity when everyone else is confused. Perhaps you were always the one who initiated new fun adventures with your childhood friends. Were you the natural healer or the default mediator in groups that you joined?
I’ve always loved the creative process of helping entrepreneurs grow a business that nourishes them and expresses their essential self. But when I was trained how to use meditative inquiry to get detailed information about my purpose, I learned that I bring clarity and flow to those that have a mission but don’t see exactly how to fulfill it.
When I went to confirm this part of my purpose by reflecting on my life, I remembered that as a child I had often taken charge of the household when my mother was sick. Then the mission was something as simple as getting dinner on the table. As a software lead engineer, I steered the team to keep on task and on schedule to fulfill our mission of delivering the most elegant tools possible.
As a business and leadership coach and consultant, I help my clients discover exactly what they want to create and what steps they need to take to fulfill their calling. We look at inner and outer obstacles to restoring the sense of flow and balance in their work. The process is designed for entrepreneurs and leaders who know they have a contribution to make that feels like a mission in these challenging times.
Now that I’ve narrowed my niche, it makes it easier for potential clients to know whether or not I’m the best fit for them. It’s easier for me to refer out those who aren’t. Meanwhile, I’m in heaven doing the work that I love the most.
And being in heaven is what it’s really all about, isn’t it? Having precise purpose statements allows us to remind ourselves of who we are when we forget, and to be purpose-directed rather than demand-driven in life.
Ultimately what matters most is the experience of living on purpose — the joy, passion, fulfillment and synchronicity that lets us know that we are making a contribution in alignment with our deepest nature.