I see, hear, and read so much about “being in your purpose,” and inevitably, this topic arises in my workshops and during coaching sessions. This is another way we suffer in a stream of thoughts.
Thoughts such as “What is my purpose?” or “I have to live out my purpose!” or “I’m not in my purpose!” invite self-doubt and diminished self-esteem, leading to suffering. It’s important to distinguish between your purpose and your role.
Understanding Your Role
It’s time to relax and drop the heavy baggage about your purpose.
We play various roles in our lives: executive, doctor, parent, child, friend, engineer, volunteer, etc. When we let go of the overloaded term purpose, we are equipped to have a more intelligent conversation about our role on this planet, how we want to contribute, and how we want to spend our time.
OUR PURPOSE IS TO WAKE UP AND LOVE EACH OTHER – AND AS A HUMAN SPECIES, WE ARE BEING INVITED TO EVOLVE.
With this context, smarter questions can be asked, such as:
What roles do I currently hold?
What new roles do I want to take on?
How do I want to contribute to society for the good of all?
Your Roles Will Change, Evolve, and Grow
Roles are changing, and they are forever vulnerable as we continue to evolve and grow in society:
Gender roles are changing. No longer is the “man of the house” expected to be the main breadwinner, and no longer is it expected that women will stay at home. Similarly, men can tune in to what they most want rather than be forced by society to provide for a family.
Trucking industry roles are changing as self-driving trucks have been invented. Individuals now must learn computer skills to drive trucks remotely when they exit the highway.
Advertising roles are being affected as the way the world uses ads is being reinvented. Social media is evolving exponentially as a means of marketing and advertising.
Stock traders are being replaced by technology engineers so computers can more accurately perform calculations that previously took people countless hours.
Artificial intelligence is in its infancy, so we cannot predict its impact, but we can surmise it will have a significant effect on the roles we play in the world.
The role of parent changes over a lifetime. At first, offspring are dependent upon their parents, but as children grow up, the dynamic of parent-to-child must change to adult-to-adult in order to maintain a healthy relationship.
Don’t oversimplify or diminish the importance of choosing roles. They are necessary, and they are how we function in societies: employment roles are how we earn money and provide for ourselves and others; the roles of mother, father, mentor, elected official, etc. are how we collaborate in the world and communicate.
It is when we identify our purpose with a role that comes and goes that we find ourselves dissatisfied, and we suffer. Also, and this is super important: THE ROLE WE PLAY MUST ALIGN WITH OUR VALUES, otherwise we are unfulfilled, hence the muddled, confused internal conversation = “I have no purpose”.
The same applies to your company or organization – the purpose is still to wake up and love each other. You can ask the same role-related questions of your company—
What role do we want to play?
How do we want to contribute for the good of all?
Is our current role becoming outdated?
Defining and Understanding Purpose
Finally, if we take a look at the websters.com definitions for purpose, we find:
noun = the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.
verb = to set as an aim, intention, or goal for oneself
Now, let’s apply this…
Two of the many roles I play are Conscious Leader Facilitator and Volunteer For A Nonprofit. These roles change based on circumstances and context; therefore, I am “wearing different hats.”
But my purpose – to wake up and love each other – never changes, and I can stay true to it no matter which role I am playing. I eliminated my former role as Wall Street Executive years ago, but it wasn’t an existential crisis, as my purpose never changed.
As soon as I review role versus purpose with my clients, with participants in my workshops, and with my friends, it’s as if a light goes off within them, and they immediately relax. When we start to entangle our roles with our purpose, we provide fodder for the mind to complicate matters on something that is quite simple.
Let go of this baggage!!!
Listen to my teacher, Gangaji, talk about purpose here: https://gangaji.org/radio/view/?id=105
Read more about roles versus purpose in Chapter 28 of my book, Evolution Revolution.
My book Evolution Revolution: Conscious Leadership for an Information Age is your handbook on awareness and consciousness. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 28, Wake Up to Our True Nature – The Truth of Who We Are:
“Inevitably, what we are all seeking is peace, freedom, and love. The significant betrayal is we tell ourselves we must do something to be peaceful, to be free, to receive love. The truth of who we are is peace, freedom, and love. Our true nature is pure being-ness and consciousness.
Experiences, thoughts, friends, relationships, jobs, our bodies, the weather, all come and go as phenomena. We are that which does not come and go, that which is always here—pure awareness and consciousness. At any time, we can directly open to what’s always here. When we identify with what comes and goes, we suffer.” ~Abigail Stason, Evolution Revolution.