I have pondered this often. Read about it extensively. Observed it with my coaching clients. And played crash-test dummy with myself along the way and this is what has been revealed to me.
When we are most happyBelow are some of the conditions that typify when we are most happy, based on a lot of research and observation:
– when we are being ourselves
– when we have a degree of autonomy or control over what we are doing
– when we are being creative
– when we are challenged to a level that stretches us (but does not snap us)
– when we make a positive impact on another person
– when we connect to something bigger than us
– when we are doing something we are good at
– when we are in the present moment
– when we are doing good
– when we are being true to ourselves
– when we are aligned with our values
– when we trust that life is for us
Do you agree?
It seems like a lot of stuff to tick off, but I find there is an overall purpose statement that encompasses most, if not all of these. Are you ready for it?
My take on the purpose of life
Here is what I believe is our purpose in life:
To fully express the most authentic version of ourselves, in a way that also serves others.
Now let me expand it out for clarification.
What does it mean to ‘fully express’?
This means to be creative, courageous and tap into your full potential. It means to hold nothing back. To fully show up. To move through fear of others opinions. To dig deep. To stretch yourself. To do your best. To challenge your inner preconceived notions about your potential. To liberate the power that resides within you. To tap into an energy that is much bigger than you could imagine.
What about ‘most authentic’?
Firstly, no one else has even your tiny fingerprint, so you are unique like none other. This you is the you under all of the (others) beliefs you have picked up over your life. This is the you with a unique talent, skill or gift. This is you being 100% in alignment with your values. This is being true to yourself. This is not about copying someone else, but learning from them and then applying it to you and who you are. This is you deciding how you will show up. This is you saying ‘no’ to things outside of your values and that don’t light you up. This is you as 100% YOU.
Is it all really about service?
The first service I believe is to yourself. And funnily enough you serve the world (and those around you) best by being your unique and authentic self.
There are numerous teachers that suggest the size of your bank account is proportional to the amount of people that you serve. If you are low on funds, you need to ask ‘who can I serve in an even better way?’ This may be serving an employer, a customer, a client, a project, or business partner.
Joseph Campbell was a mythologist, teacher and writer who at one point read for about 5 years straight about 8hrs a day. He read all he could find on myths, legends, religions, and history (Star Wars was actually based on his teachings). He came up with the idea of The Hero’s Journey. It starts with a journey, followed by lessons, challenge, trials and tribulations, deep learning, and perhaps success and understanding. But the journey is not complete until you share what you have learned with others. I believe the journey becomes heroic not from overcoming adversity, but by sharing your knowledge to increase the quality of other peoples lives. it is not about being a mater, it is about being a great human being.
My final words
I like to think the purpose in life I have come up with ticks all of the boxes for increasing happiness. If you are not convinced, go back and read the list of things we are doing when we are most happy and see if they are all met when you are fully expressing your authentic self in the service of others.
This life is about being YOU. Peeling the layers back on the beliefs others have given you. Letting go of stories that don’t represent the you at your core. Having the courage to show up as yourself and not care what others think. Bringing to the light of day, that little project or idea or creation, that you have always wanted to share, but held back out of fear or rejection. Just throw it out there. What is the worst thing that could happen?
So are you living a life of purpose? And if not, just take a little step in that direction. Or maybe take a step back to get perspective. How could you show up more authentically? Who could you tell exactly what you think (in a way that won’t get you locked up or put in a straight jacket ;-))? Is it time to give the world more of you? HELL YEAH!!!!
Now if you have any comments or insights you would like to share, head over to the Blog, or jump on my Facebook page to continue the dialogue (and pick my mind).
As always, if you want a hand expressing the best YOU, then consider the possibility if you worked with me for 3-12 months. Hmmm…the possibilities…. If you are interested; just reply to this email to find out more or check out www.CarlMassy.com.