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Let Purpose Be Your Guide

By Claudette Rowley

We live in a "should" culture. We bow to the "shoulds," pay homage to the "ought tos" and enslave ourselves to the "have tos."

We listen to the wrong voices. And by doing so, we neglect the voice of our life purpose - the voice that really has something to say - something exhilarating, passionate and expansive. At the beginning of this new year, I urge you to listen to your voice of purpose. I encourage you to understand its power, and recognize that your purpose is the best guide. When people and circumstances swirl around you like autumn leaves in a strong wind, your purpose is your internally grounded constant compass. If you listen to its direction, it will show you exactly where to go.

Despite the power inherent in living our purpose, there's a cultural message telling us it's optional. Not true. If you choose to live without purpose, you'll probably be dissatisfied, if not miserable. Your life will feel off kilter and you'll live according to shoulds, ought tos and have tos. This is your choice.

But to imbue life with any meaning, joy or satisfaction, you must live with purpose. Yet why do some of us perceive that purpose is optional? Consider the following erroneous beliefs:

  • Focusing on life's purpose, or on yourself, is selfish or a luxury. You are supposed to get a good job with benefits and stay in it (even if it kills your spirit) until you retire.
  • If you try to identify your purpose, you won't find it.
  • If you do find it, your life will drastically and painfully change.
  • The landscape of known pain seems an easier journey than the territory of the unknown.

Honor yourself by learning your purpose. Reconnect to passion, notice what excites you and energizes you. Get rid of those things, people or places that drain your energy. Stop tolerating. Stop settling for less than what you deserve. Clear a path for purpose.

As you fully engage in the "want tos" in your life, pieces of the purpose puzzle will start falling into place. Purpose often reveals itself quietly - you probably won't be struck by a lightening bolt. Your purpose may assume a singular form, or it may be multi-faceted. Its shape is its shape and it's the reason you're here.

Use this year to uncover your purpose and embrace it with a vengeance. Break out of the "have to" box, bust open that bag of "want tos" and listen to your voice of purpose. You'll be glad you did - and so will the rest of us!

Copyright © 2006 Claudette Rowley
Claudette Rowley, coach and author, helps professionals identify and pursue their true purpose and calling in life. Learn more at Claudette

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