Do you know who you are? Do you want to live the way you do right now? How do you want to be remembered?
At some point in life, we must answer these questions. Whatever you have accomplished, pause, breathe, and choose to evaluate or reevaluate what you are doing here on this earth:
What is your purpose? Has your purpose changed? Who are you? Has your sense of self changed? Are you making the impact you want? Are you making the world a better place?
What if we brought our mind and heart together as one? What would that look like?
Purpose, Intention, and Inspiration
It goes without saying that purpose relates to one’s beliefs and values, and it can mean many different things. In order to live a more meaningful and conscious life, it is important to understand that purpose is not about personal ego or fear and cannot be assigned by another. Purpose to some may mean a higher instruction from God or a spiritual calling.
Beyond any religious connotations, I see our purpose as being human and humane — being good and doing good in a selfactualized way. Purpose is what fulfills us and helps others: a source of joy and healing that keeps us grounded and motivated as we navigate the physical world. It is our life’s message or mission: what we wish to drive in the world.
Purpose is the choice to engage with all you have got, rather than struggle against everything you are not. Follow the path of least resistance. Focus on the strengths that bring you joy and bring value to others.
For you, perhaps purpose and happiness come from the ability to create opportunity for people or from using your strong skills to fulfill an unmet need. This is purpose. We do not have to cure cancer to live a meaningful life. Having a purpose is something we all aspire to, regardless of how big or small that purpose may seem to others.
It is imperative to remember that there are two different types of purpose. On a macro level, there is our life purpose, the reason we exist. On a micro level, there is the purpose of taking action with intention and ambition on a daily basis. We can infuse purpose in everything we do, even seemingly mundane chores like cleaning. A clean home creates an attractive and healthy environment in which to live, and a clean office is both of those as well as more efficient. A clean hospital saves lives.
You do not have to be an iconic leader like Steve Jobs to share your conviction and passion, lead a meaningful life, or run an impactful business. If you are contributing to the world in a way that makes you and others happy, and that gives you a higher purpose, you are on the right path.
A Stanford study found that the most satisfied people are those who have a sense of meaning in their lives, and that meaning is directly related to being a giver and working toward a higher purpose. A related survey found that employees who find meaning in their work not only report higher levels of job satisfaction and engagement, but they are three times as likely to stay with their organization.
The bottom line is, what do you want? This simple yet profound question is what I first ask my clients. They tend to say things like more money, success, partnership, or a vacation. The truth is, that is not really what they want. The underlying wish always boils down to one or a combination of these five desired outcomes (in no particular order):
- To be happy
- To feel a sense of belonging
- To be loved
- To live a life of truth and authenticity
- To be safe
Money will not help you realize your unknown deep desires. If you are not living your best life, with prana, passion, and purpose, then at best, money can bring comfort.
When I ask someone what their purpose is, or if they have found meaning in their life that is greater than their basic needs, what I am asking is this:
When you are on your deathbed, will you be able to say that you are happy with the way you have lived your life?
Think of passion as a flame that can be lit over and over again, as long as you have the solid (wood) foundation of purpose. People change, life takes unexpected turns, and flames die out but passion can be relit with purpose. When this occurs, you will never lack meaning.
Meaning, fulfillment, passion, and intention — these all give you purpose in your life. In the big picture, and on any given day, you must seek to get in touch (and stay in touch) with what provides you with these needs.
Excerpted from the book Pause. Breathe. Choose.: Become the CEO of Your Well- Being, ©2021 by Naz Beheshti. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.
Naz Beheshti is the author of Pause. Breathe. Choose.: Become the CEO of Your Well-Being. She is an executive wellness coach, speaker, Forbes contributor, and CEO and founder of Prananaz, a corporate wellness company improving leadership effectiveness, employee engagement and well-being, company culture, and business outcomes. Visit her online at NazBeheshti.com.