Let me invite you to take part in a little exercise. I’d like you to come with me and follow my instructions for a couple of minutes. I will ask you some questions and you should spend some time thinking through each one after another. Each time you finish reading a question, close your eyes and feel what comes from within. Don’t rush.
Take your time for each question and allow yourself to really sense into it. Have a pen and a pad of paper at the ready to take notes of what comes up.
Please find a chair, sofa, couch or anywhere else that you find comfortable. Sit up straight, uncross your legs and ground both of your feet flat on the floor. Slowly roll your shoulders back a couple of times and find a comfortable position to sit. Take a deep breath through your nose and hold it one heartbeat longer than you otherwise would before releasing all the air through your nose back down to earth. With it let go of all your tensions. Repeat this another two or three times until you feel fully relaxed...
... so here are the questions:
So when you are ready, open your eyes, re-emerge from your deep relaxation and take a look at your notes. What did you come up with? How was the experience? How many times have you thought through these questions before?
‚I never ask myself what I really want, I just do what I need to do, I am like on autopilot’.
When a colleague of mine and I recently took a leadership team of a clients through these questions (on top of some others) using guided visualisation, their insights were, though touching, very common to what we experience with other clients: ‘I’m too busy, I never take the time to think about these kinds of questions’, ‘those are such big questions that I can’t answer in that way, it’s too difficult but you’ve got me thinking’‚ ‘thinking about these questions has released a desire from within’, ‘this has put me in a reflective mode and that feels really good’ or ‘I never ask myself what I really want, I just do what I need to do like I am on autopilot’. There were many pauses and silences during the debrief as people were in a very reflective mood. We could feel we had entered a space that had hit home for all of them in one way or another.
These are the questions that kick off a session in which the client takes a look at themselves and their purpose as a leader. If you were to look at the definition of purpose, you’ll find it down as “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists”. So why am I here? What is it I want to do with my life? Some really big questions I must admit.
Yet imagine how powerful we could be if we aligned what we desire for with what we actually do, and not only as leader. What if everything we ever did was geared towards our overall purpose?
How about if we really live our purpose? How much happier would we be? How much more authentic? How much less time would we spend on autopilot? How much less energy would we waste on things that are not important to us? How much more balanced we would be?
Many reasons to explore our purpose, don't you think?
My own purpose statement is “to give people the time and space to connect to themselves and with others”. I didn’t hit on it straightaway, but it evolved over years and years and I am convinced it has further to evolve yet. It’s a life journey, if you will.
Recently I added a part which is very meaningful to me, “to bring balance into peoples’ lives”. What’s interesting is that as soon as I was clear on my purpose, the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. My purpose statement served as a guiding compass and led to a new project in my life: running renewal retreats helping people getting back into their energy balance. I cannot tell you how energised and excited I am. That’s totally me.
So all in all my purpose helps me to consciously choose what I put my energy into and if it’s not feeding into my purpose, I try to let go. It doesn’t always work that easily I must confess, but I’m getting better.
So to sum up what happened next with the leaders at our workshop: they all felt totally inspired to dig deeper and develop their own purpose statement. We will see them again in a couple of weeks time and then go from there. It’s great to see they’ve already embarked on their purpose journey, though.
Now how about you? You might have started your journey already and come up with a statement of purpose for yourself, or perhaps this is the first time you’ve ever thought about it explicitly.
Share with me on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn or send me an email at email@example.com. I’d love to hear about your story.
Let's inspire each other, let's nourish or energies.