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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Does Your Ship Ever Leave Safe Harbor?

A sundial in the shade and
a ship in safe harbor -- what do the two share?

Neither are serving their true purpose. Both of these things may be the most elaborate and expensive of their kind, but without their animating engines, the sun and the mechanical power plant, neither is capable of working efficiently.

This reminds me of people. Many fine people are displaced. With good intentions and solid skills, they prefer to wait and let some "bolt from the blue" motivate their purpose in life. Let's face truth: Very seldom does this lightning happen. Unless people seek meaning, they remain "safe" in existence but "useless" in operation.

Famous American author Jack London once said...

"I would rather be ashes than dust; I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot; I would rather be in a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow than in a sleepy and permanent planet; the proper function of man is to live, not to exist; I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them; I shall USE my time."

Did you ever consider that in order to find your life purpose, you likely have to live your life purpose first? Wow, now that seems like a dumb, contradictory statement. Yet, consider that you live your life with each precious second. Are you waiting to "become" something you should be actively processing? Many seem to anticipate this magical, transformational event occurring that will make them feel happy and content with their lives. They wait and wait and wait and...nothing occurs.

In other words, you have to take the initiative to present yourself in such a way that other people will "get you" or begin to understand your unique contributions. You must make a commitment that satisfies you, and you must dedicate your efforts to its completion.

Beginning to walk your own path of purpose, with its many winds and turns, allows you to discover your soul. Just remember the walk may be difficult and long. And, it may involve overcoming old fears.

People who hesitate exploring their purpose often know what stops them from being passionate and what keeps them from knowing what they really want to become.

The main thing you need to learn is how to remove those fears, the obstacles that block your progress so that you can know yourself. How can you find significant purpose unless you better know yourself?

What obstacles prevent you from being you? You may not know exactly what to do, or you may be afraid to show your true self to others. Perhaps you have a good idea about your purpose but you feel you lack money, time, information, or skill to achieve your goal. But, your mind can transcend these limitations as you begin to activate your purpose because you confront stumbling blocks instead of avoiding or sidestepping them.

Yet, finding purpose does not mean conquering all your foes and building your gigantic ego. Instead, it means using your intelligence and strengthening your heart. Your life purpose likely lies in your heart in the form of a dream. You must build a vision from that dream to maximize your own personal talents.

Deborah Brown, a noted personal coach and motivational speaker, reminds us: “It may take trial and error before you get it right. Mistakes are a great way to uncover your purpose because you have the opportunity to find out what you like and don't like.” You also modify your approach to problem solving as you learn your personal strengths and limitations. Failure, just as much as victory, allows you to become a seasoned person developing your purpose. (Deborah Brown, “Top 7 Questions to Ask to Find Your Purpose in Life,” Christopher M. Knight's Top 7 Business, November 10 2000)

What about your old mindset? Society dictates that your number one goal should always be providing for your basic needs. This is a powerful reason to choose your life's occupation; however, it will never provide the fulfillment that you will receive if you walk in your life's purpose.

You soon learn that you can only achieve meaningful purpose by helping others.

Brown says, “You know you've found your purpose in life when it doesn't revolve around you. It's not the bigger house or the shiny new car that will make you happy. These are just goals, but they are not a substitute for your purpose in life. Your purpose in life will bring you happiness and true happiness comes from contributing to other people's lives and making a difference for someone else. We were put on this earth to help others, and that is the greatest gift of all.”

Gary Zukav, spiritual teacher and author of four consecutive New York Times bestsellers including The Seat of the Soul, says you must remind yourself daily of the following:
  • You are a soul first and a personality second.
  • You are worthy. You are not on this Earth by accident. You have a reason to be here. There's a difference between accepting that in your mind and accepting in your heart.
  • It's not an "it" that you're looking for—it's your life that you're living.
  • You are here to create an authentically empowered life. There is no guarantee you will do it. It's up to you.
(Gary Zukav, “Finding Meaning and Purpose in Your Life,”, 2012)

Zukav believes the human soul needs the four following things:

1. Harmony. The perception of power as external that separates nations is the same that exists between individuals. The love, clarity and compassion that emerges within the person that aligns themselves with the soul is the same that will bring harmony to other people's lives.

2. Cooperation. We are together because we want to be together, not because we have to be. Realizing together, co-creations emerge.

3. Sharing. Share what is important to you—not possessions. Give yourself.

4. Reverence for Life. Reverence is a level of protection and honor about the process of life so that while a person is maturing toward the journey and through the journey of authentic empowerment, he or she harms nothing.

How do you know you have successfully discovered your life purpose? Many exercises and publications are said to help you develop it, but I believe your gut gives you the backup you need to proceed with confidence. You will feel it in the pit of your stomach. It's something that feels so right that you can't imagine doing anything else. And, you will feel "high" when you're doing it. You will feel this way because you have cradled and practiced upright principles in your dedicated service to others.

Mark Twain once said...

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Tara Sophia Mohr is a writer, coach, and personal growth teacher who simplifies the entire process of finding purpose. Mohr breaks it down in the following:
“Here's the truth: Your purpose is to bring more love to this earth. It is to heal where there is brokenness. It is to bring light where there is darkness. It is to restore sanity where insanity reigns, kindness where fear has taken over.

“Yes, there's this other, secondary thing -- the thing we normally call purpose. A calling or resonance with a specific project or a particular way of bringing light into the world. That's actually the manifestation of your purpose, the form it takes at any given time. That form will change, and if you are open to it, you'll begin to feel the wonderful fluidity in how your purpose shows up in different ways in your life, over time.

“There is your consistent purpose - embodying love, bringing light, bringing healing -- but it flows through the unique prism of your changing circumstances -- your time, place, resources, personality, personal experiences, sources of inspiration.

“When we focus our attention on wondering about the manifestation, looking for the concrete details of how our purpose will be realized, we get off track. It's as if we are trying to grow petals of a flower, instead of planting a seed, and then watching as the flowers grow.”
(Tara Sophia Mohr, "How to Find Your Life's Purpose," Huffington Post, July 6 2011)

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