If you read my last blog you know I just had a life-changing trip to Nicaragua. Well, maybe not life-changing, more like life-clarifying. Here’s what I mean:
My purpose with my work as always been evolving. As I learn more about myself and what I truly feel called to, my purpose seems to sharpen. My most recent understanding of why I’m here on this earth is to help people live authentically and find their passion, and support them as they live it, moving through any obstacles that come up along the way. One thing that had been missing was my “Why”. Why do I do this? Why is this work important to me? Why do I feel the call to do it? Knowing your “why” is crucial because it is the driving force that generates daily movement and the manifestation of the vision you hold for yourself and the world.
Nicaragua was the key that helped me unlock my “Why”. There I witnessed suffering, and although I’ve seen similar situations before, this time was different, for reasons that I cannot yet explain. My experience there got me thinking about suffering, and if and how the work I do in any way helps to alleviate it.
I am acutely aware that there is a lot of suffering in the world, suffering that could be alleviated. Yes, there is a lot of good being done in the world. It’s amazing, inspiring, and beautiful. And yet, the suffering, the pain, the violence, and destruction continues. The answer to why this is is complicated. You can look at politics, economics, sociology, all the -isms of the world, and more. The causes are complex and intricate, and addressing them requires that all parts must come together to create the solutions we need. This task feels overwhelming, and personally, I often feel completely inadequate when I think about how to end suffering and what my role is.
We each have a piece of this puzzle though. We each have a part that calls to us, that stands out among the rest. That is our purpose. And what stands out to me is those who comparatively speaking, live a life a privilege and yet they suffer. Those of us who have all of our needs and then some met, but struggle with frustration, depression, stress, feelings of inadequacy, and on and on. All of what blocks us from fully becoming who we are meant to be in this world.
So if we are not homeless, starving, or lacking any other basic necessities, why are we suffering? Our suffering stems from dissatisfaction with what is and feeling incapable to or unworthy of change. We don’t like our job or our co-workers. We are unhappy in our relationship. We’ve been fighting with our family since before we can remember. We don’t like how we look and how we feel. We think we are too busy, too broke, too unlucky to have what we truly want (if we even know what that is).
This is the story for many of us, and it’s not serving us well at all. I’ve found purpose in help us tell a new story. A story where we were clear on our piece of the puzzle. One where we answer the call and take action based on that which excites us the most. Imagine if we lived truly as who we are and not what we thought we were supposed to be.
In my heart, that vision reveals to me a world of people living on purpose not just so they feel better, but so they are fulfilling the role they were meant to play. For some that would look like supporting veterans at home, for others that may be feeding children around the world. Others would be building buildings, and others would be maintaining those buildings. All these and other services are needed, and there are people out there born to do each one. And by “born to do it” I mean they are exceptionally skilled at it and love doing it.
Unfortunately right now we have too many examples of those who want to be serving veterans building buildings instead. We have maintenance workers that would rather be feeding children around the world. There are hedge fund managers that would rather be gardening and telemarketers who would rather be an astronaut.
In our current reality we, as a whole, are not functioning at full capacity. Think about your body as an example. You have several parts to your body from the small to the large, each designed for a specific function. We consider ourselves to be healthy when each part is doing what it was meant to do. Now imaging that your big left toe was always told growing up that if it wanted to be successful it needed to be a heart, that the heart was very important and gets lots of attention. So it kept trying (and failing) to be a heart. Meanwhile, the heart decided it wants to be an appendix because it didn’t feel worthy of all the attention that the heart is supposed to get. Trying to imagine this is quite amusing. The big toe pulsing, thump-thump, thump-thump, as you attempted to walk down the street. The heart trying to hide and be as useless as possible. The functioning of the body would dramatically decrease and would for sure get sick if not expire.
The body that is the human race, and all of life (and all matter in my opinion), is no different. Each once of us serves a function for the greater whole. Our suffering begins when we try to force ourselves into a different function, and when we suffer, the whole body suffers. If I’m building buildings instead of serving veterans like I’m called to do, I suffer, and the suffering of veterans I’m meant to serve is extended.
When we are on purpose we function better, and so do those we serve. The the ripple effect continues to all those we meet. Have you ever met someone and just by how they act they love what they do and find purpose and meaning in it? Do you leave them feeling depressed and depleted? Probably not. You leave them feeling inspired. It’s contagious. When I see someone on purpose, regardless if our purposes are related or not, I’m more likely to feel it’s possible for me follow my heart as well. It’s as if they have given me permission to look beyond what I’ve been told my whole life and instead look into my heart. And the more people that follow their heart, that serve in the way they were designed to serve, the healthier the whole world will be.
So that is my “Why”. I help people discover and live their purpose so that together we can heal the world. It really is that simple.