«There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why (Purpose) – William Barclay»
From the quote above, it would be observed that for the first great day -the day we are born- we have a zero percent participation in the process (we did not need to do anything to make sure we were born), but for the second great day -the day we discover why- the process is a hundred percent dependent on us (we need to consciously seek purpose).
I’m yet to see anyone who discovered their purpose without participating in the process and/or by asking another person to help them search for it.
For a very long time I was haunted by the question, what is my purpose? and each time I read books, listened to teachings and audio books about purpose, the subject topic was mostly centred on the benefits of purpose and not necessarily about how I could find my purpose.
I had an idea what my purpose could be as I knew the things I loved to do and the things I could spend my time doing if money was not an issue, but like we stated last week, ‘The answer to the question is not some vague picture of what you think your purpose is, but a well articulated and clearly written down description of what your purpose actually is’, and this exactly was what was missing in my life at that point in time -I had no clearly written down description of what my purpose was- I was actually purposeless (gist for another day).
This gap pushed me on a quest to finding purpose, which by the way is first of all a spiritual journey before anything else, and while there were a lot of materials available on the subject topic, the exercise below was what led me to the treasure I was seeking -discovering my purpose.
The Purpose Exercise:
A. This exercise may last for 30-45 minutes but it will bring you a successful future and cause you to live.
B. This exercise should be carried out in a quiet environment where you can achieve maximum concentration, (a time of 10pm and upwards would be ideal, basically a place of quiet)
«The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil – Thomas Edison »
C. You should have your writing materials close to you while carrying out this exercise.
i. Take 5 minutes to think about your life and the destination it’s headed for, if it continues in this direction.
ii. Take 3 minutes to debrief your mind of previous thoughts and dwell on NOTHING. (If dwelling on NOTHING is proving to be an impossible task, you can try focusing on the individual alphabets of the word instead -N.O.T.H.I.N.G- this worked for me)
iii. Dwell on things you’d like to spend your time on that would be of benefit to the world. With a pen,take down the thoughts that come to you. You should spend a considerable amount of time on this task and it is encouraged that you write down the thoughts that come to you until there is nothing more to write.(When you write down your purpose, you will know as it will strike you and connect with your core – don’t stop writing at this point, keep writing until the juices stop flowing.)
You can finish reading this post before returning to the ‘purpose exercise’ (as this is exactly what I would have done) or you can pause and go through with the exercise before continuing with the rest of the post. Whatever method you finally do decide to adopt, what is most important is that you participate in the exercise that has produced result not just for me but for the tens of people I have personally introduced it to in workshops and retreats, not mentioning the several thousands of people who have access to it on the internet where I first saw it (I searched for the author of the exercise so I could credit him/her but was unable to locate any).
If there’s one thing you’ll benefit from the ‘Purpose Exercise’, it would be that you would have spent time getting to know yourself much better which by the way was listed in the Entrepreneur as the number one personal development habit from an exclusive list of three that successful people pursue.
That you have stayed up with me to this point has nothing to do with my writing skills but it’s a testament of your desire to develop yourself and to lead a successful life and I can assure you that you’ll meet that desire by participating in the ‘Purpose Exercise’ and if you already know what your purpose is, the exercise will bring more clarity to your mind, helping you discover routes through which you can live out your purpose.
«Your Purpose must affect the world you live in positively»
As a fulfilment of a promise I made last week to reveal what the purpose of the ‘good doctor’ turned out to be, I’ll close by saying that he discovered he was supposed to be inspiring lives through music -and yes he could sing and play the piano- and modelling young people through teaching -our ‘good doctor’ thus became a fulfilled musician and teacher and made much more impact in the lives of not just his community members who could only visit his clinic but the bigger world around him and yes, his name is not Tony Cicoria.
«The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away -Pablo Picasso»