In our last blog, Jane shared how her Soulful Purpose guides her choices. But how people know what their soulful purpose is?
My journey to discovering my purpose began during a rather difficult period in my life. I was around 40 when I left the corporate world and started my consulting business. The first three years seemed to go fairly well, building a network and finding new clients. And then I hit my first significant snag, a downturn in business.
Being new to the world of entrepreneurship, this downturn threw me for a loop. Though I have had setbacks and difficulties before in my life, while working for a large corporation, my income was was always secure. Now it wasn’t. I never imagined how this would effect me. The uncertainty and unpredictability of income weighed heavy on me. It caused me to question whether I had made the right choice to go into consulting. It called into question whether I could fulfill my role as provider. It sent me into a deep dark place where even my role as a man seemed to be called into question.
During this dark period, I delved into the question, what have I been doing with my life, what was my life all about? As I kept asking and listening inside myself, I began to see some patterns emerge. I realized that throughout my life in the business world, I felt a great sadness seeing how business drained the life out of its people. I was surrounded by really wonderful people who seemed to be living like the walking dead. They went through their lives working to make ends meet, to provide for their families and maybe with a little luck have something left over. They were not vitalized and alive in doing what they were doing.
It was then that I began to get a strong sense of what I was to do with my life. I realized that I had to do everything I could to transform the workplace, to change it from a soul-sucking machine to an energizing environment that supported and honored the dignity of the human spirit and ignited its creative spark.
This purpose has continuously guided me for the last two decades. It led me to write the book The Living Organization. It gave me the strength to overcome my fear and become a public speaker. It consistently informed the work we do at Quantum Leaders. It even guided Jane and me to merge our two consulting efforts into one, seeing how our individual soulful purposes were so related and complimentary.
One thing experience has taught me: finding your purpose is not an easy process. It is rarely as easy as answering 10 questions like, “what would you do if you had all the resources you ever needed?” and ”what would you do if you knew you only had 2 months to live?” It often takes reflection on one’s life patterns, looking deeply into what excites one’s joy and passion and what makes one sad or angry.
Once you know your soulful purpose, the reason you were born, you gain a clear sense of direction and know how to navigate through life’s complex choices. And as challenging as it may be to discover one’s purpose, living life true to that purpose can be equal parts bliss and challenge.
More to come…