One of my all time favorite quotes is by Mark Twain and it goes like this, "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." Wow, makes you want to take a deep breath. To me, Mark Twain is talking about purpose and the fact that every one of us has one.
If we apply the definition of purpose (which states, the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists) to our lives then indeed it seems to be telling us something. It's basically saying that we exist for a reason and that reason is our purpose.
I must say I agree with Mr. Twain. I love the idea of purpose and actually designed a course dedicated to guiding people through the process of discovering their own path called Rock Your Purpose. It's an idea that was birthed from my own journey of connecting with my purpose.
How I see it is that when we look at the people who inspire us, there's a good chance it's easy to spot their purpose. Gandhi, he had a purpose. Oprah she has a purpose. Justin Bieber, okay he just wrote a song called Purpose. That's different. The point is if one person has a purpose then we all have a purpose. Yes, even Justin Bieber.
There is an eloquence in this idea of purpose but also some pressure. The idea that we all have a unique design that is dedicated to our life is a lot for any one person to hold. With great power comes great responsibility. And if this sounds familiar, it's the same problem Spiderman had.
In yogic and Hindu tradition this is known as Dharma, which can be described as "that which upholds the cosmos." Our dharma is first about discovering our own deepest truths and then using these truths, gifts and talents out in the world. Deepak Chopra tells us to "explore all the things that makes our heart sing and enable us to make a life not just a living." But how exactly do we do this?
First, we need to let go of the idea that we have to be anything other than who we already are. Who we are and how we are meant to express our gifts are already deeply embedded in our framework. In my experience this is what the yoga practice is really about. It brings us home to these truths that we were born with. But when we search for these answers outside of ourselves or let someone else's opinions sway us, then we move further away from this truth.
Next we need to be confident. This is a main ingredient to fulfilling our life's true plan. Chances are there will be people in our lives that just don't get it. They will resist, they will try to pull us off course and sometimes they will leave. If we aren't confident we can easily be swayed. Here is the thing, when we are in alignment with our purpose we can scare the crap out of people. It can hold up a mirror showing other's insecurities and fears. So even if they don't mean to, some may try to push us off course. So confidence is a must.
And then, we need to practice presence. In his book A New Earth, Ekhart Tolle says we have both an "outer purpose and an inner purpose." Our outer purpose is the one I have been speaking about here. It deals with the outer world and how we connect to it in a fulfilling way. It can change with time and circumstances. But our inner purpose remains constant. It is "to be absolutely present in whatever we do and so let our actions be guided and empowered by awareness, the awakened consciousness, rather than controlled by the egoic mind." It is in this presence that we are already fulfilling a piece of our destiny, a piece of our truth.
While it may seem like we have to have a great big plan as to how we will fulfill our life, this isn't the case. In fact, sometimes having a plan can get us in trouble. Most of the people doing big and impactful things in the world most likely had no idea their lives were going to unfold the way it did. Which brings me to our last ingredient. Trust. We must trust our path. We must trust our purpose. We must trust in our own abilities. In this trust we can let go and surrender to the beauty of our own precious purpose.
Want to discover more about purpose? Check out my free purpose training by clicking here.