Conscious people bring their best selves to everything they do, and have the courage to challenge others to be good human beings – with their families, work teams, and communities. Living your purpose allows you to merge doing good with achieving your goals whether you are a teacher, a parent, a business leader, or a politician. An irony of human life is that we all possess a higher purpose, yet many of us have no idea what it is. Have you ever asked yourself, “What is my purpose here? Am I meant to do more with my life than take care of myself?” So how do you discover your higher purpose?
Tapping into Your Innate Wisdom and Humanity
If you can look at yourself in a mirror, then you can tap into your innate wisdom and humanity. Your accelerators like hope, faith, confidence, and optimism, will help. Your purpose will be your gateway to engagement and motivation and the overarching driver for action. It will give you energy to move forward and free you to make your unique contributions in the world. And remember, when you act with higher purpose, things will generally turn out better.
Ultimately, purpose is the connection between what we do and why we do it. Surveys show that three out of four executives report their principal driver in life is the belief that their work has purpose and meaning. This is about being bold and stepping up. If we want to be conscious people and conscious leaders, we really need to personify and champion our purpose.
To Find Your Purpose – Ask Yourself these Questions:
- What do I love doing and what am I passionate about?
- When do I feel most alive?
- What are my natural talents and skills?
- What do others say are my special abilities and qualities?
- What values am I most committed to and when do I feel best about myself?
- What would I change in the world if I could?
Lead with Your North Star
Aside from the sun, navigators believe the most important star in the sky is the North Star. It’s a humble star, not shining very brightly but always there and reliable. If you find yourself lost on a clear night without a compass, the North Star can be your best friend. Metaphorically, the North Star represents our higher purpose. It leads us to take action and make our own lives and the lives of those around us better. But if you are not keeping your purpose consciously close to your mind and heart, it is easy to get lost. Getting lost in our accelerating and disruptive world is not hard to do.
Conscious leaders are driven by fundamental, undeniable principles. These principles are deeply ingrained in us, shaped over a lifetime of development and introspection. They serve as a moral compass, an internal guidance system that has honesty and fairness as its magnetic north. At its heart is being a grounded and conscious person. To follow your North Star, you need to be vigilant and aware of the changes around you. At some point, all of us face conflicts between who we are and what we do. This is a wandering moment—a time when you need to pause and engage in an internal conversation about who you want to be in the world. The more conscious you are, the easier it is to remember your purpose and manage through these contradictions.
Intentions lead to Actions
To bring your purpose alive, you must translate it into deliberate action. Everything starts with your intent – your internal drive to act. Intentions can be both positive and negative. Regardless, they influence everything we do. Positive intentions are kindness, service, or excellence. They add value to peoples’ lives. Greed, jealousy, envy, and fear fuel our negative intentions. When people are driven by these ghosts, we are often selfish, spiteful, protective, or detached. The goal is to know the inner truth that drives you.
Even when we think they are hidden, our intentions can be seen or felt by others. That’s why we need to be aware of our own intent before we act, and check ourselves for any lurking hijackers that can produce unwanted consequences. Sometimes we step up with good intentions and even then, bad things can happen – like perfectionists who are motivated to produce a good product, but whose behavior can feel too controlling to others. Or a hard-driving boss committed to success, but who unfairly criticizes or assigns blame to members of his team.
When you assert yourself and challenge the status quo, or change something, you are telling the world that you are taking personal responsibility for your life and actions. So own your intentions, speak your truth, keep agreements, and practice integrity. Your right intentions will lead to right actions!
Live Your Higher Purposeis part of the Step Uppractice in our book CONSCIOUS: The Power of Awareness in Business and Life. The other practices are Go Deep, Think Big, and Get Real.