What’s it really all about, anyway?
One of the most powerful sources of energy is passion. When we are connecting to our most important values and purpose in life, our passion and energy seem boundless. The most compelling source of purpose is spiritual, which is what happens when energy is derived from connecting to deeply held values and a purpose beyond one’s self-interest.
What is meant by spiritual in the context of this article about energy is a higher order of thinking that includes ethical and moral reasoning and connection to purpose beyond oneself. When we define purpose to include those values and motivations that are more than self-serving we tap into a very strong source of energy.
However, it is never easy to discover what exactly our higher purpose is. For most of us, our motivations are hidden from our awareness in the realm of the subconscious. Although we may have a sense of our true values, it is usually only after a life-shattering crisis that we become more interested in discovering what is really important for us. This requires the sort of exploration and questioning best done with a trusted coach or mentor.
The Quest for Meaning
There comes a point in most people’s adult development when they ask themselves, “What’s it really all about, anyway?” The search for meaning is one of the primary quests of philosophers, theologians, and scientists. Few of us are satisfied to be ordinary. The drive to achieve is a means of escaping mediocrity and boredom. We want to be the best we can be.
Yet, if we are to be the best we can be, we must narrow the field a bit. We can’t be great at everything. When asked to describe what gives life meaning, many people hesitate, hem and haw, and respond with generalities and platitudes. “Taking care of my family” and “being successful at work” are typical answers.
Since we so often lack connection to our deepest values and firm beliefs, we are easily distracted or knocked off balance when we face challenges and difficulties. We need a strong, clearly defined sense of purpose in order to hold ground when storms come.
Tapping into Unlimited Energy
Purpose is a unique source of energy and power. It fuels focus, direction, passion, and perseverance. It becomes more powerful as it moves from being negative to positive, external to intrinsic, and from self to other. People can be motivated by material gain and external praise, but they feel much more passion for those activities that satisfy internally. We derive more pleasure and energy when we freely choose and focus on what we most enjoy.
To truly tap into maximum energy and power, we must connect to a deeper sense of purpose that is beyond our own needs and desires. There is no question people will work long and hard to get ahead, to get rich or famous, and to win admiration. But there is always a price to pay. It seems that people are willing to sacrifice much more when they are driven by a higher purpose that includes serving others.
Discovering What Really Matters
Clarifying purpose takes time and reflection. A coach can guide you through questions to arrive at what is really most important to you. Deeply held values fuel the energy on which purpose is built. When you know your true values, your code of conduct becomes clear. While the pursuit of power or wealth or fame may all be sources of motivation, these goals are external and fill deficiency needs rather than serve intrinsic needs for growth and development. Values have intrinsic worth in that they provide a source of inspiration and meaning that cannot be taken away from us.
Here are some values that have been universally admired across cultures and religions throughout history: Integrity, Generosity, Courage, Humility, Compassion, Loyalty and Perseverance.
Here are some questions to explore with your coach to help you define your true values:
My purpose in life is to help others find their life purpose. I delight in working with those who strive to learn before it is too late what they are running from, and to, and why? I have a few spots available for September coaching. Call me right now.