In this Work Life Play Decade Anniversary episode, I explore the topic of purpose. Many people are not clear on their purpose-one unifying reason they exist defining they are here. That’s very normal. In this episode, I share how to create awareness of moments and experiences when we are On Purpose or Off.
I’m proud to share these little gems with you. I know they will help you live more fully in your adventure, explore a well-lived life and find more meaning in your daily experience.
A decade ago
I began podcasting in 2012 with borrowed equipment, no training, with a simple idea “I wanted to explore.”
I experimented with one tiny step, then the next. Back then, there was no map to How to Podcast. With trust and boldness, I booked my first two guests before I knew how to record or publish an episode. I should have shared this with my guests. Ha!
Compelled to explore beyond the map of my life experiences, expand my mind and heart, and curate stories of good humans. That’s as far as I knew. With hindsight’s wisdom, I borrow Parker Palmer’s explanation for “Why did you do it?” “This is something I can’t NOT do, for reasons I’m unable to explain to anyone else and don’t fully understand myself, but that are nonetheless compelling.”
You’re listening to a decade of exploration. The fruits are beyond just inspiration, but transformation for myself and many of you. Enjoy, experiment, and keep going. It’s worth it.
Episode: Paying attention to being on and off purpose
So you don't yet know what your life purpose is, why you are here and what you are here to do. Try paying attention to the moments, the conversations, the ways you feel On Purpose. Here are a few small On Purpose practices that help me experience purposeful living and leading.
I'm like WALL-E the Pixar Robot. My family giggles, but I pick up trash everywhere I go. I value caring for the planet and our home instead of stepping over debris in parking lots and trails. I kneel and clean as I go about life wherever I am. I'm On Purpose when I'm participating in restoring the planet's beauty.
Imagine how beautiful our world will be when 7.9 billion people care for our home.
Here's another On Purpose practice. I put down my phone when going through a check-out lane at a store or in a drive-through. I choose to honor and engage the human being before me. I believe Saint Paul "we are God's workmanship" we human beings are valuable, and I dignify the Divine in them by giving one another our full attention.
This way of operating in the world applies with senior executives or a customer service rep; I'm On Purpose when I'm dignifying every human.
Imagine how we will treat one another when we believe all human beings are valuable.
We will find ourselves Off Purpose, for moments, maybe for weeks and years, ignoring and running the risk of eventually forgetting what we value and believe.
The poet David Whyte worked with a group of particularly thoughtful managers, looking at how we sacrifice our personal desires (Off Purpose) on the altar of work and success. One of the women in the group shared a handful of haunting lines:
"Ten years ago…
I turned my face for a moment
and it became my life."
With grace and curiosity, pay attention to your compass needle. Notice when you've traveled many miles without checking your instrumentation. Regularly ask yourself, "where am I? how am I? where am I heading?" It's much easier to make regular minor adjustments than waiting too long.
You'll be surprised to discover that after paying attention, strengthening your awareness muscle, making two-degree shifts, "what's my purpose, what am I here to do?" becomes easier to dance with. It won't be about having the correct answer anymore. You'll speak about the way you live, work, play, and love.
Stay alert. Choose being On Purpose.
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