Living Your Passion
Through Life Purpose
The first key to living a passion-filled and financially successful life is to guide life from the perspective of what brings the most joy. The general definition I use for life purpose is what we love to do that makes the world a better place, or somehow contributes to the lives of others.
The other practical side of the equation is that life purpose, once identified, must be channelled in a way that fulfills a need. I don't go along with those who say "follow your bliss and the money will follow." If you follow your bliss, you may become blissful but not necessarily financially successful ... unless your bliss fulfills or creates a societal need. What we are aiming at here is to take what one loves to do that makes the world a better place and position it in the marketplace in a way that it creates financial success and leads to what I like to call vocational ecstasy. There is no more rewarding experience related to life purpose than being paid extremely well to do what you love.
When referring to life purpose, what I mean is not a job or any kind of activity, but a basic intention that can be applied through any job, vocation, or activity, and at any moment. When I ask people what their purpose is or what they love to do that makes the world a better place, I often get a response like, "I am a book keeper but what I really love to do is write." My next question is, what is the most profound experience, feeling, or realization, you would like people to have as a result of experiencing your writing? The answer may come back as inspiration, healing, a sense of power, a deep feeling of love. All of these answers fit into this definition of purpose because they are general enough that they can be applied at anytime.
The most revealing question in the Living Purpose Institute's life coach training program that is used to develop a life purpose definition is "What quality or guidance did you not receive enough of as a child that you wish you had more of?" And the follow up to that is "How does it feel when you inspire the experience of that quality or guidance in someone else?"
The simplest way to develop a life purpose definition is to take the word that most represents the quality or guidance that you didn't receive enough of and use that word in an action statement starting with the word "I". This works remarkably for about 98 percent of the people who have done this process, which is in the thousands. I didn't receive enough acceptance, so my life purpose is "I empower people to accept themselves exactly the way they are." If I didn't get enough love, it could be "I help others to feel loved" or "I open people to love". If I didn't get enough safety, "I assist others in feeling safe." One other helpful hint—keep it short—definitely ten words or less, and seven words or less are even better. Generally, the shorter your definition, the more powerful.
What is remarkable about recognizing the gift in our childhood deficiencies is that if the quality or guidance that we didn't receive enough of is what inspires us to create it in the world—to fulfill our purpose—then it is not a liability. It is, in fact, our greatest asset. As Robert Bly, the great poet said, "My wound is my gift to the world." Isn't it true that we tend to think that what I didn't get as a child, what I am healing, or what I have struggled with all my life, is what is holding me back from achieving my greatest goals? I absolutely know that I would not be as good at empowering others to accept themselves if it weren't for the lack of acceptance I felt in childhood. It is what I have struggled to develop for myself all my life, what has led me to develop the Life Purpose Coaching Formula, and what has driven my passion to succeed at the work that I love. It has made me an expert at self-acceptance, just as you are an expert at the quality or guidance that was lacking in your childhood.
If what you have felt is your greatest block is really your greatest strength, then nothing can hold you back from realizing your full magnificence. It means that you don't have to get over anything to succeed except the belief that you have to get over something. Isn't that a freeing realization? This flies in the face of almost all self-help information which would have us believe that we must get over something in order to reach our greatest success.
Once a life purpose definition has been developed, it is recommended that it be used as a mantra to create a consistent intention to fulfill it in the here and now. Two dynamics that occur in the practicing of this strategy:
- We touch our passion and power in the deepest way possible. We step into the most powerful presence that we can possibly be in any moment. The experiences we have while in this state are the greatest clarifiers of direction—how to fulfill one's purpose in increasingly direct and successful ways—how to live in vocational ecstasy;
- We create opportunities that wouldn't otherwise be realized. There are countless times when I have walked into a room and asked the question, "How can I empower others in this moment?" and an opportunity to serve in some meaningful (and often very lucrative) way in the future presented itself that wouldn't have come up if I had not had that clear intention. I have witnessed miracles occur in the lives of others who have practiced this strategy consistently.
There are three things that lead to one's greatest magnificence: (1) Apply your purpose consistently in the here and now; (2) Have a grand vision for your life; and (3) Have a practical plan for how to arrive at your vision. The plan will change as you take the steps, and all you really have to know is the first step in the plan, because each step taken will clarify the most effective successive steps. Live Your Passion as you take the steps to realize your greatest magnificence! You deserve to live in vocational ecstasy.
Patrick Harbula is founder and director of the Living Purpose Institute, Thousand Oaks, California, and author of The Magic of the Soul: Applying Spiritual Power to Daily Living. Call him toll free at 1-866-204-2261. He will be appearing at the Centre for Positive Living www.cfplsaskatoon.ca, Saskatoon, 614-11th Street, E., on Sunday, Feb. 25 at the 11 am service and offering a workshop from 1-5 pm on Live Your Passion: Life Purpose Here and Now. For more information call (306) 975-2022, visit www.livingpurposeinstitute.com, and see display ad on page 33 of the 12.5 January/February
issue of the WHOLifE Journal.