We all have a purpose, either we believe it or not. When we find it, or rather, when it finds US, magic happens. Like it did to me. Living a purposeful life doesn’t mean it is all dandy and a non-stop ride to fairyland. It simply means you find value and growth in your experiences, and you feel in sync and flow with life. It feels like freedom and home. The search is over, the drive and enthusiasm come natural towards your life.
Not living your purpose? If you have a corporate job that you are ok with, but it was never your dream, and your life feels dull and mediocre, you are not fulfilling your purpose.
What do you have to do to allow a purpose-driven life? To find it you have to let go of what you already believe, and why you are not living it. I remember an old story, told to me about Bruce Lee, where he was asked what he knew about martial arts. He held up two cups, both filled with water. He said; “The first cup represents what you know about martial arts, and the second cup represents what I know about martial arts.” Then he said; “If you want to fill your cup with my knowledge, you have to empty your cup of your knowledge.” This is such an amazing insight that takes us back to the basics of this book. No more bullshit. Not only untrue, or perceptions and programming need to go, but everything we ever believed. In order to fill our cup with the valuable lessons of life, and to find our true purpose, we need to empty our cup of what we already believe we know.
“Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I need to listen to my life to tell me who I am.” — Parker J. Palmer
Mark Manson talks about the do something principle, leading to the understanding that passion comes from action. “When you want something to change, change something”, is a commonly known motivational phrase. I use it all the time, it makes sense. Every change requires action, in one form or another. But, don’t we need inspiration, motivation and passion to take action? Isn`t there a need for inner motivation? If you need inspiration to take action and inspiration comes from action, then where do you start? It sounds like a catch 22, and it is. This is when you do something. By moving the energy, you move towards an outcome. By simply doing, you are creating a flow of new opportunities and understandings about yourself and your path. Finding your purpose is a search that requires you to be active and awake, honest and true. You cannot think your way to your purpose, you have to act your way to it.
Your purpose is what makes you tick. It is what triggers your bliss, your enthusiasm and your love for life. When you find it, you feel at home, valued and seen. But the thing is, it is deeper than that. You see the crap that has been holding you back and you call the bullshit and negative self-talk that might have been with you forever. We all have a purpose, or several, but it might not be what you expect. It can be very different from what you have been living your whole life. Believe me, I know.
“Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you’re alive, it isn’t.” — Richard Bach
So, if you are not living a life filled with passion and direction, enthusiasm and meaning, you are not living your purpose. If you are looking forward to vacations months ahead, believing that work is something you do for money only, you are way off target. When the weekends are looking like candy, while weekdays are simply dragging you along, you are not living it. You might like what you do, but there is no real passion and purpose. Do we all have to be so passionate you might ask? The short answer is yes. It is natural to be healthy, enthusiastic, happy, passionate and loving life. Most people are not, but that does not mean it is not our true mission. What makes us feel purposeful and full of life, is very different, yet the feeling is the same. It does not matter what it is, but there is something that will spark your inner fuse, and light that fire. If you never felt what I am describing, keep working towards it, as it is there. Some of us go through half our lives sleeping, not having a clue that there is a way to live that fuels you every single day. Many will live their whole lives without ever even thinking there is such a thing as a life purpose. The subconscious false beliefs, the clutter, drama, and stress, is a complete deal breaker. When we are fear-driven, ego-driven and power-driven, no purpose will show itself. It will try to, but our vision is too blurred to notice.
Purpose gives a sense of meaning — a sense of understanding a small part of what this magnificent creation is all about. When there is meaning, there is less confusion, frustration, fear and overall negativity. When we feel meaningful, we feel safer and more content. A hole has been filled and a thirst has been quenched. From being prisoners by our subconscious beliefs, our constant thinking, ego-based disconnected lives, we hunger for that deep meaning of life. The constant search for reason and fulfillment. The hunger is valid, as the lies and deceptions we have lived through have starved our soul from being able to fully express itself. Any lack of expression will harvest a sense of constipation, imprisonment, and unhappiness. We need to fully live our truth to be able to embrace all of life. It is not supposed to be complicated at all, quite the opposite. It is supposed to be life, living, creating and experiencing. Nothing we do, say, think or believe can mess up anything, really, but we can absolutely step up our game by owning our true purpose.
Follow the voice of your inner child:
Children are honest about their interests and passions. Until we hold them back by trying to make them all fit into the same box, they are proud of their every endeavor. Until we poor our insecurities and false beliefs over them, they express their true purpose. Willingly and freely they show us what makes them shine and blossom when we let them. As long as they feel safe, they will unfold their soul’s mission. Remember when you were a small child. What did you like to do? What made you happy, and what did you want to do when you grew up? Children will often follow in the footsteps of a parent, uncle or family member when they show honest interest in their profession. The learning has begun. They are open and teachable. Not that a child cannot have the same passion as a parent, but often the admiration of the adult as a role model will influence the motivation greatly.
Look back and observe how your life unfolded and changed. Did your interests shift suddenly? Did someone tell you something about what you liked to do that made you stop? Some loved to dance but stopped because of someone telling them they were too fat. Maybe you wanted to sing until your sister and her friends laughed at you. Most of those who have followed their dream, their passion and their longings have done so despite what others have said, not because of.
Your purpose can be multiple:
There is not a sign or a tablet in the heavens with your name on it, that has one single purpose named “jackpot.” You are not singled out for one particular task, and nothing else. I believe we have many potentials, and for some even multiple purposes at the same time. The search should never be for anyone single purpose, but rather for it, whatever it is. If you are good at several things, you are blessed, if you love to multitask and have a passion for a series of activities, you are blessed also. Never try to single out, and thereby discern anything that brings you joy and enthusiasm, and never override the language of the soul.
Be open to everything that gives you joy and inspiration. Embrace all of it. If you love to sing, sing more and louder, and if you love to ride your bike, ride more and longer. The rest will unfold as you follow the lead. You will notice that you are not the only one affected by your enthusiasm. When we touch upon others and lift them in any way, we are on the path of truth. Confirmed by our surroundings.
“As we cleanse our entire being from useless and disempowering nonsense, it becomes easier to hear what we have to say.” – Hilde Larsen
Lead from the heart:
Listen carefully to your life. It speaks to you through your emotions, your thoughts, and your feelings. We are never clueless, always guided by our inner compass. By staying in our brain, by thinking and analyzing with our mind, it gets harder to hear the answer. It comes from the heart. Although we need our brain to write down our lists, to remember and to resonate, the less we think, the closer we get to the truth. Your brain will try to play some tricks on you, to discourage you. The subconscious might have some unfinished business and remember some untrue beliefs. It is not trustworthy like the heart. Meditate every day to open your heart space and at the same time quiet the mind. Listening to the heart is the same as listening to the passion
Our heart will lead us to guide and help others, and I believe this is a part of any true purpose. People that have found their place in this world are often known as givers. They happily share what they know because they also know that assisting a fellow human is a part of the whole mission. Together we grow, and there is enough to go around. By reaching out to someone you are showing gratefulness and appreciation. That in itself will create more to be grateful for. We are not separated, only detached. By paying it forward you are stepping into the energy of pure intent, and nothing will be more fulfilling. Giving really is receiving.
Stepping outside the drama:
Be the observer. Step out of your own head, your everyday life, and take a critical look at what is going on. How are you spending your time? What pisses you off, and why. Who pushes your buttons, and why are you involved in any drama? Try to see a larger picture patterns and beliefs. Sometimes it can be a good thing to simply hit pause and step outside for a minute. Sit down, detach yourself and observe. Do it every day. Practice not getting emotionally involved in your day. Not alone, not around people. Life is not happening to you. You are creating it.
Give yourself the permission to search behind the scenes. Your purpose might not be far from where you are. Sometimes all that is needed is some decluttering and some reorganizing, and everything falls into place. Perhaps you are doing what you really love, but with the wrong people, or you need to redefine some or your boundaries. You might believe that what you already know to be your path is not sustainable. That is not something you can support yourself and your family doing. If that is the case, work on releasing those false beliefs, and look for those that have already done it. If you can`t find anyone, search for those who have done something similar, and be a pioneer. It takes dedication and work, so give yourself time to work yourself into the new and fulfilling path. If it was easy, everybody would do it. Easy is overrated and sometimes confused with effortlessness. No real effort is needed when you are in the flow of your heart and soul, but it might not be defined as easy.
Once you follow your truth, life becomes effortless.
Ask and it is given:
Find your journal and claim it for your life purpose. The most important book in your life, and aboutyour life. Write down these headlines and do some freestyle writing. Don’t use your brain too much, but let the pen do the work. Write from your heart. There is no right or wrong. Nothing has to be politically correct or parent or spouse approved. Everything is allowed, sensor free. Step out of your thinking and let it flow freely and instantly. For each topic, write the first three sentences that come to you. Repeat every day for one whole week. Let your inner knowing come forth, as you force the subconscious mind to reveal the hidden truth. Let your heart and soul connection with your true self.
• What are you good at? We are all good at something. You don’t have to see yourself as a master or an expert, yet, but find something that you know within your heart that you are good at.
• Do you have a hobby? If you don’t have one now, you might have had one as a child or a young adult. Maybe you have had an interest that never amounted to any real hobby, but you still have a secret passion for the topic. Maybe even more than one.
• What makes time stand still? Have you experienced losing yourself in something to the point where time vanished and nothing else mattered? When we are in our zone, we block out everything else, due to a deep focus and engagement.
• How can you serve? How would you be able to help others? What do you have to offer that would benefit someone in need? Is there anything the world needs right now that you believe is important and interesting?
• If you had all the money in the world, what would you do? If money was not an issue, what would you spend your time doing?
• What would you do the last year of your life? This is a typical question and will, of course, reflect on the need to spend time with our loved ones, but some interesting things might come forth from asking yourself this.
• What did you dream about doing as a child? Write down anything that comes to mind. Small, big, no limits.
Listen to your life, it is bigger than yourself. Listen to your dissatisfaction, and what others tell you about you. Your life has a purpose for others, why is that? Get to know yourself and listen closely.
Our purpose is to find our purpose, to live it and to share it with others.
Let it flow:
Here is another exercise for you to have fun with. Let your purpose come forth. Get your journal and set the alarm on 3 minutes. That is all you need. Sit comfortably and write nonstop. No thinking allowed. This is called intuitive writing. Write down everything you would do if you could start all over. If you go a whole new lease on life, from early childhood, what would it look like? What would you do, where would you be, and who would you be with. There are no limits here. Not about money, time, age, gender or family. Use your imagination freely. Nothing is too small and nothing is too extravagant or large. This is your dream world. Focus on you, on what you would do, what you would spend your time doing. Do this for ten executive days, then read and see what you find. Maybe every day you write something similar, and maybe there are some things that stay the same. Look for the common thread, you will find your clue.
I will not “work” another day in my life:
When I found my mission, my purpose, my whole life changed. I pursued a trait that reflected what I was good at, or one of the things I was good at. At least that is what I was told growing up. Without having one true passion, I believed that since I had the skill, it would have to be my path. My heart was never consulted. I had several interests and paths I could have chosen. I was a decent piano player, loved everything about music, and danced for years. I was also a gymnast but ended up as an Interior architect with great success. The success that contributed to stress and ill health. I worked hard, not passionately. I stepped up to my responsibilities, from being determined, well taught and proud, not because of my inner drive. I used my stubbornness, skills and, ability to persevere to succeed as we often see it. I was not a complete stranger to my passions, I just never followed them from my heart. I never prioritized my heart callings, they were always cluttered by my life´s teachings. When my life was turned upside down by illness and pain, it was very clear that what I was doing was not supporting my soul purpose. My whole life was not supporting my true mission.
From true purpose comes balance, not stress and disease. No sickness can live in an alkaline passionate and enthusiastic environment. Self-love and compassion will not allow it. My whole life fell apart, and from the ashes, I found my true path, and all the blessings that come with it. I was brutally awakened, through losing everything that I knew as my current life. My business and career, my health, my ability to move, my hobbies and my friends. I went through HELL to Inspired, and am now doing what I love, feeling more enthusiastic about life than ever before, and the last thing on my mind is a vacation. My job is my passion and my mission. It is my true calling. It fuels me, and it inspired me. Sure, there are days that takes a lot of effort and determination, and yes, every single day keeps me learning and growing. What it does not do is drain my energy.
I am true to myself, and therefore I take care of myself.
I do what I love, therefore I love what I do.
I follow my heart, as I know what following the mind will do.
It is a trap. Don´t fall for it.
By Hilde Larsen