Something is missing if your purpose doesn’t inspire and compel you to make a difference in the lives of others.
A wise person once said:
“You have within you the knowledge and wisdom to overcome personal struggles and inequality. Love and accept yourself without conditions, and you will be loved and appreciated by others.”
No, that wasn’t written by some self-help guru. I wrote those words in early February 2020, as part of an exercise to draft my purpose statement from a 30-day intensive transformation program run by my coach.
The next day, I wrote an email to my coach:
"I feel very underwhelmed by my purpose statement, but I don’t see this as a failure. Answering the questions for this exercise was insightful, and I saw numerous patterns throughout my life.
For example, when I reviewed my answer to the 3rd question, “What is it you’ve always wanted, needed and secretly hoped that someone would say to you and why?”, I clearly saw the nature of my purpose. Part of my answer to the question was, “I wish I had been told that I was okay. That it was okay to be gay and to look at other men with desire. That there was nothing wrong with me for being who I was born to be. I got choked up writing that and even pasting it here.?
What is the purpose of sharing my purpose with you?
Wisdom comes from lived experience combined with self-awareness, compassion, humility, vulnerability, open-mindedness, and understanding of the human condition.
We often think of wisdom as something associated with an older person or someone who is highly educated and in a leadership position. Occasionally, that’s true, but you can be a wise person at any age so long as wisdom is an intersection of the human-hearted characteristics mentioned above.
I think this is why I love coaching so much: it is about helping another person experience more freedom. It is a process that helps you get clarity, focus, and direction to transform your life for the better.
Part of my skill as a coach comes from what I am mastering within myself — this becomes part of my wisdom. When you teach what you are learning while you are still learning and mastering a subject, you are creating new neuro-associations that reinforce your understanding and mastery of what you are learning. This is an important path towards wisdom because it reinforces lived experience with application and practice, which I further noted to my coach:
"To grow up in my formative years (the 1970s) believing that there was something wrong with me, that there were no visible gay role models at all has certainly created behaviours of self-protection, fear, and shame. I have been writing and podcasting extensively about these topics over the last two years.
It fucking sucks that anyone has to grow up oppressed or having to closet their true self. The harm that did to how I thought and behaved over the years has been an issue for me; an issue I have worked on for decades to resolve. But I also know that this is my gift. I see the world through the perspective of my life experience and I continually seek to better understand what that means and to overcome any unconscious blocks."
Having a clearly defined purpose provides insight and wisdom.
Soon after writing my purpose statement, I realized I had been making similar statements for some time about what I coach about: acceptance. I realized that what I do as a coach is what I’ve been doing all my life. So, I refined my purpose statement to read,
When you freely love who you are, you can freely create the life you want.
It sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Yet, every time I say those words aloud, I feel the power of that statement. Think about it: What does it mean to freely love who you are? It means you love yourself without conditions, and in that self-love, you accept yourself for who you are.
Thus, the wisdom of having a purpose statement is to know what drives you, and what compels you on an emotional, compassionate, and even human level. Wisdom, in part, is the continual contemplation and self-awareness of how true you are living in alignment with what your purpose means to you.
If you don’t believe in yourself, who else will?
This might sound harsh, but no one will ever care as much about you as you do. That’s not the same thing as saying, ‘*No one cares about anyone else*.’ Rather, we all have our lives to take care of first before we can support someone else.
This doesn’t mean that ‘*freely loving who you are*’ is always easy. Wisdom requires acute and conscientious awareness of your situation in life, recognizing that you are not trapped by your experiences, perceptions, or beliefs. You are not a rock; you can always change, and you can always get up and move.
Sometimes we might believe that it is outside circumstances that limit our freedom, like society, prejudice, racism, religion, the government, and so on. However, if you don’t believe you can be free, then your limitations are internal and that will restrict what you can do and how much you can develop as a person in your life.
The greatest source of freedom comes from within.
You could live in the most oppressive regime, but your freedom ultimately lives within the perception of who you are. Freedom starts with freely loving who you are without conditions for the quality or quantity of the love you express for yourself.
Freedom is the perception and heart-felt understanding that who you are is now.
Loving yourself freely, at this moment, is what grounds you and provides the foundation for moving forward. Loving yourself is the act of affirming who you are without judgement from yourself or anyone else.
Do you know what your purpose is?
Your purpose can be found in your lived experience if you obverse your past through a lens of self-awareness and acceptance. When you live in alignment with what’s most important to you — like your values and beliefs — you will tap into the wisdom of what you already know about your own life. This will make living your purpose natural, compelling, and exciting.
If you don’t know what your purpose is, or if you don’t feel excited and motivated by it, I can help. My purpose as a coach is to help human-hearted creatives cultivate their purpose and potential to experience more freedom, peace of mind, and acceptance. If you want to wake up every morning, excited to be working on what most excites you and fulfilling your purpose, let’s have a conversation.