How easy is it for you to get distracted? To deviate from your current plan or path and land up somewhere you weren’t intending, especially if it is a long term goal. Like when you go into the shop for milk and bread, but come out with everything but the milk and bread… It is just as easy to deviate from your life purpose, BUT it isn’t as obvious or sudden as a slap in the face. When you aren’t connecting with your purpose anymore it sneaks up on you, presenting as a sense of unease or disillusionment, maybe you aren’t experiencing the same sense of happiness or you gradually become aware that a part of you is lacking.
“The secret to success is constancy to purpose.” – Benjamin Disraeli
The problem many people face is that once they have identified their life purpose, they think that’s it – they’re set for life. The reality is though, that you need to check in regularly with yourself to be sure that you are remaining on purpose and in alignment with your core values, because as you grow and mature, your values may change, your direction in life may change, and so may your life purpose. Habitually revisit the questions asked in my blog on how to find purpose to see if your purpose has evolved with any of the developments in your life.
It’s not like we intentionally wake up one morning and say I’m not working towards my purpose anymore. Sometimes we are unknowingly set adrift by an event or a decision made – like accepting a promotion at work. At first it seems amazing, but then the hours and the stress start adding up, the tension at home starts mounting as you are available less for your family… the little niggle in the back of your mind that you aren’t so keen to go into the office rears its head. First an extra snooze here or there, then a general reluctance to get up in the morning, then the dread of Monday coming around again and the guilt you feel when tucking in your sleeping child after a late night at the office. It takes time but eventually you realise that something just isn’t right anymore… and you ask yourself how did I get here?
Ask yourself these questions regularly to see if you are deviating from your purpose…
Is it just a niggle or is it something more?
If you are going from day to day with a general feeling of unease, unhappiness or disillusionment you need to identify what is causing it, sooner rather than later. Is it something missing from your life or is your job getting you down? If you identify the cause(s) you can work towards correcting it.
Is my purpose still fulfilling me fully?
For some of us we may outgrow our purpose or our purpose may outgrow us (as in the case of children when they move away from home – you still love them and see them, but your house is emptier, and your days are quieter), you may be left with a gap that needs filling. Be aware that any big life changes will need a review of your purpose and also remember that you are a complex being and that you require all your boxes ticked – very few of us will find complete fulfilment from only one thing.
Is this worth the sacrifice?
Sometimes we get involved in a project which fulfils us. It drives and ignites a fire within us. But the problem is that sometimes these projects come at a high cost. You may spend every free moment thigh high in grant proposals for your charity or be required to leave home for extended periods to be on site. The problem with doing something you love is that it is too easy to get involved too much… it’s hard to say no when it’s your purpose. The drain you feel may just be that other areas of your life are suffering because of of your commitment. Try to find balance across the important areas of your life.
By Debbie Taylor