I wasn’t going to write about ‘purpose’. I’m not sure about the word. It seems to come with a certain energy when used in the context of our own individual purpose. A searching. A striving. A ‘something missing in life’. A focus on ‘me’ and ‘my’. A statement of life-less words on paper. Sometimes even an arrogance…along the lines of a subtle and mostly unconscious “I know my purpose so I’m more evolved than you”.

All of which isn’t very helpful in our call to wholeness and expressing the fullness of who we are.

But when I sat with it awhile, I realised I was focusing on ‘purpose’ as a individual endeavor, a personal and mental construct, rather than an expression of what we are here to do for the benefit of the whole, for the benefit of our workplaces, our communities and humanity, and merely putting the word ‘evolutionary’ in front of ‘purpose’ evokes a completely different feel. A feel that has a resonance and a collectiveness in it. A serving of others feel. There’s a huge joy in it too. An expansiveness. A bursting out and wanting to contribute and be seen. And so I accepted a purpose blog does want to be written. It’s jumping up and down for my attention. It wants to express through me.

And in a way, these words, ’express through me’, say much about my view on evolutionary purpose. A view that sees it as a gift wanting to express through us. A unique gift…waiting for each of us to accept and then express in our lives. This gift is our contribution to the world. We all have something to offer. It doesn’t have to be grand or news-worthy. All it has to be is true to you, an expression of you.

Gifts come in many guises. Some obvious. Some subtle. They can come as:

  • Your talents…what you are naturally good at…those things that come with ease.
  • Your challenges…the things you resist and find hardest in life and want to run from…but discover they keep coming back until there’s no more running to be done. In facing challenges we discover their gift to us and find the brightness underneath…the brightness of their role in our evolutionary purpose.
  • What really matters to you in life at a deep level…your desires and passions…the things that fire you up and move you to action.
  • What saddens your heart about the world…the things you see as wrong or missing…the things that move you to join in with others to create change.
  • Those things which open your heart and bring you joy…the times you feel most alive and connected and in flow.

In noticing these gifts our evolutionary purpose is revealed. We see the reality of what is right in front of us…what our life is actually telling us about our purpose.

This is different to ‘finding’ or ‘seeking’ our purpose. ‘Finding’ and ‘seeking’ both imply our purpose is lost and it’s our job to find it. They imply effort…a search…perhaps with a party of folk in tow and a few dogs…running frantically around and sniffing the ground. Imagine the scene. If I was your purpose in this particular vignette, I’d be running for cover.

So whilst, in our goal-setting goal-getting culture, we may slip into a mindset of finding or seeking our purpose, it can be counter productive. What if there’s no need to find and seek? What if our purpose has never been lost? What if it’s within each of us waiting for us to notice it, to re-connect to it, to allow it, to focus on it, to live from it? What if our life is orchestrated in such a way that things happen to support us in this noticing and this re-connection?

This living our Evolutionary Purpose (‘EP’ from here-on in for short) might involve a bit of/a lot of de-cluttering and ‘unlearning’. We might have to change some things about the way we live. We might have to let go of a desire for approval. We might have to let go of others’ expectations of us. We might have to let go of perfectionist tendencies. We might have to let go of unhelpful ways of thinking about our-selves, about others, about the world.

This living our EP might also involve welcoming new people into our lives…EP buddies…for mutual support and growth. We might start having EP conversations. We might attend EP Pow Wows. We can have some fun with this.

Writing this blog prompted me to look at my journals around the time I was focusing on the purpose theme to remind me of the journey I’ve been on. And my own experience is a gradual reveal, an evolving purpose. I didn’t have a eureka moment. My EP is only just becoming clear. And yet as I look back I see its thread throughout my whole life. It may evolve more. I suspect it will. Time will tell.

Sometimes we resist our EP. I know I have. Resistance can show up as wrong choices. Wrong choices are all part of the journey. We learn from them. When we make a wrong choice, life no longer feels right. No problem. We notice this and we circle back and course-correct. Sometimes we have to make mistakes to help us find our way home. And that’s ok. We take action and insight follows. It’s all part of living a life with EP.

As I draw things to a close here are some questions to ponder on. Focus on the ones you are drawn to AND the ones you resist. Adopt a mindset of lightness and curiosity.

  • What gives your life and work meaning right here, right now?
  • What keeps showing up in your life and work?
  • What are you most committed to?
  • When do you feel most alive and absorbed in what you’re doing?
  • What brings you back to you?
  • What do you do easily, effortlessly?
  • What do you want to create?
  • How can you start, in however small a way, to give your unique gift to the world?
  • What do others see in you that is special and which you take for granted?

I’d urge you to write your answers down. What do you notice? What threads can you see? Discuss your thoughts with your EP Buddies. Or with an EP Coach. Or with both. Ask for insight about your EP from wherever you believe insight comes from.

And now…by way of wrap up… the nutshell version of Evolutionary Purpose.

Let Go and Notice The Threads

Let Go…of the search for your purpose…the seeking of it can paradoxically keep it at bay

and

Notice The Threads…of your Evolutionary Purpose both in your life and work. Picking up on these threads and putting the spotlight on them allows your Evolutionary Purpose to unfold in full.

Let Go and Notice the Threads

Your Evolutionary Purpose is already within you…pulsing…living…waiting for you to notice it, reconnect to it and express from it. In living and working with Evolutionary Purpose, magic happens. Our overall feeling is one of fulfillment, gratitude and contentment whatever is happening around us. We are living our full expression, our Evolutionary Purpose.