Take courage and do what make sense to you! Period.
1. What’s a purpose?
Define: purpose /ˈpəːpəs/
noun: purpose; plural noun: purposes. the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. “the purpose of the meeting is to appoint a trustee”
Do you have this in your life?
When I started writing this sort of book, I felt like shit. Mainly because I wasn’t aware of my purpose. That one or two or three things that moved me. Also, my working environment wasn’t either filled with a good sense of purpose.
And what happens when you don’t have it? Like I said before I can summarized it in a three words sentence: feeling like shit. There were some long lasting:
• Physical pains; back, arms, head, etc.
• Bad sleeping
• Sunday -monday, tuesday, wednesday, etc.- anxiety
But the worst of all was the sadness.
Sometimes, I would get up at 7.30 a.m. after having had my 8 hours sleep, but feeling tired and sad. Sad, because I didn’t have anything interesting to do; sad because it was Monday; sad because I felt nothing. I was definitely, depressed.
I started asking myself some questions I learned in therapy and realized I was missing something. I was lacking on purpose. Something that is beyond me and that defines my doing in ways that is motivating and that impacts me on daily basis. So, I decided that my first step, to getting out of that feeling, was to come up with a new definition of Doing.
2. What’s the new definition of doing?
Physical or mental activity engaged with the purpose of satisfying the very own need for recognition and usefulness, by addressing human needs through products and/or services developed passionately. By bringing into service the; creativity, dreams, experience and energy necessary, for humanity -as a whole- can positively transform its current state.
You can argue with me that this would be a very good new definition of work too. As work, is also a doing, we will use it indistinctly. (I must say that this definition is based -and paraphrased- on the Work definition given by the ILO)
If we start to analyze and deconstruct it, piece by piece, we get to the very purpose of this writing. Let’s see:
I. Physical or mental activity engaged
◦ One of the most important abilities we have as humans is that we can Engage and we can perform actions at will. So, the potentiality of every one of us is contained into our physical or mental energy.
II. With the purpose of satisfying the very own need for recognition and usefulness
◦ As I explained before, the reason why or for which we perform those actions is a purpose. I think that common -to all- purpose is the need for recognition. I understand recognition as the acknowledgement of existence or the possibility of oneself to define an identity through what one does.
III. By addressing human needs
◦ If the need for recognition is only used to define oneself, is called Ego. Is we add the humanity to it, is called Personal Growth. Us is a concept where you and me are connected through purpose. But it can also be linked…
IV. Through products and/or services
◦ … by developing new ideas and transforming them into reality. The economical outcome of doing something is called products and/or services. So, there is also a way to materialized purpose by, not only actioning someone, but also through the creation and generation of tangible or intangible solutions.
V. developed passionately.
◦ The examples of passion are there; Einstein, Jobs, Musk and of course each an one of us when we have something to be motivated about. Sir Ken Robinson refers to it as The Element. Which, by the way, is a very good book. My feelings of being in the element, is that time passes by with a sense of profound change in thyself. When I play music or write, everything makes sense. To be passionate, you must have a purpose!
VI. By bringing into service the; creativity, dreams, experience and energy necessary,
◦ In the Ontological Coaching discipline we talk about gifts. A gifts is a naturally given ability or talent that “must” be placed at the service of realizing the purpose. Creativity, dreams, experience and energy are the essence of your gift. They are unique in each and everyone of us. The form they take, will depend on how you canalize them through your doing.
VII. for humanity -as a whole- can positively transform its current state.
◦ The big part. As we said before, the need of recognition to define oneself only, is calles Ego. When you transcend that matter and start placing your gifts toward the fulfilling of the purpose, there is no way to get lost. If YOU can positively change, you will impact your surroundings.
Every one of us can generate a great impact by placing our gifts at the service of our purpose. Our doing will become a sort of path. Every path has a destination. In this particular case, transform yourself and your environment. For me, that’s a very good purpose.
A healthy doing, comes from discovering a way to canalize yourselves impetuosity from a Self-perspective, toward an Us perspective, which, in my vision, is consciousness development.
Ken Wilber in his extraordinary book The Integral Vision, also explained this through the AQAL model and the four quadrants. By saying that consciousness is a path and a spectrum. To develop consciousness, we must work in ourselves by incorporating the interior, exterior, individual and collective forces.
So, I think that the AQAL model for our new definition of doing, will be something like figure 1.
The red spot in the middle, is the Purpose. As we can see here, it becomes the driving force of the doing process. If every action has personal recognition, that places my gifts at service for a higher collective vision by developing a collaborative solution that positively impacts us all; finally, there is an answer to one of my favorite personal questions; what for? The answer is, again, purpose.
3. What’s a strategy?
define: strategy /stratɪdʒi/ a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim. “time to develop a coherent economic strategy”
When you have an actual situation that differs from the desire one, you have a gap. To meet that gap, you need a specific set of actions -or doings-. That set of designed and organized actions, is what we call a strategy.
How to design this strategy? First of all, you need a what for answer. What is the main objective? What is the purpose of going from A to B? This generates engagement, as everyone understands the “idea” behind it.
When developing a strategy either in a team or alone, for it to work, you must persuade and seduce yourself and others to move toward this new direction and to perform some specific actions. How much time does it takes to convince yourself of some new behavior? Will depend on how good the what for question is answered and how much sense it makes to yourself and your peers.
How many times we were on some family trip, where the parents -or adults- set up the destination, the activities, etc., and found them boring. Why did that happened?
Because it didn’t make sense to you. You weren’t involve in the designing process of the activities that were going to be performed.
At work and in life, the same happens. When your boss or yourself as a boss -or leader-, are unable to define the specific strategy that integrates all that we’ve discussed until now, everyone feels lost. They don’t understand the what for or the why of their activities and de-motivation makes its appearance.
On the other hand, when people understand the purpose of what they are doing, commitment, effectiveness and efficiency sky rockets and something new comes up. That is confidence/trust.
4. What’s confidence/trust?
To answer this question, let me first define confidence from the ontological perspective; the judgment we make about others but also about ourselves, in the domains of:
- Reliability: credibility.
- Competence: skill set.
- Sincerity: coherence between the committed and what’s done.
- Involvement: active presence.
Then confidence as judgment, may be founded or unfounded, depending on the “evidence” or grounds we have of its validity. It is a phenomenon that depends on the history and our experience in the world, like many other judgments we have in our repertoire. Therefore, the question that fits the drawer at this moment is: how the judgment of confidence, I have about myself (and others), was -and is being- built?
One of the many ways we can establish a healthier relationship with the environment and with ourselves, is to observe our judgment on confidence. Many authors have mentioned the simple fact that without trust (confidence) our economic and social systems wouldn’t work; applied this to the person, without a well-founded judgment of confidence about ourselves, our own system doesn’t work.
The key elements of this matter are the following:
In order to give, the necessary meaning to the actions, either in life or at work, discovery and personal development go hand in hand. It is impossible to establish creative and constructive links -by defining a purpose-, without the clarity of how it is that each of us (in a team, family or individually) relates to its context and individuality.
The precision and empathy, when defining the path or strategy, to close the gap between the actual and the desired state, is vital. Without them, there would be no possibility of establishing trust. And without trust, the purpose is impossible to achieve.
What to consider as myself?
The definition of what covers the being of oneself, is very much a philosophical question.
But for me, it’s very important to set some basic concepts:
- Me, as I refer to myself, is the need for recognition.
- I, as I refer to myself performing doings, is the ability to move toward my needs.
- Therefore, me and I, embody the potentiality of accomplishing a purpose.
Is important to mention, from the Ontological Perspective, the body, language and emotions performs a sort of dancing which defines -kind of- who I am and determines which actions can myself carry out according to the judgement of confidence I have.
The coherence between this three elements -body, language and emotions- builds up the being of oneself. Understanding this connections, provides us a very interesting framework for us to enter in the depth of personal growth.
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However, something very important is still missing here; how can I really know what kind of physical or mental activities I would like to engaged with…
[the purpose of satisfying the very own need for recognition, by addressing human needs through products and/or services developed passionately. By bringing into service my; creativity, dreams, experience and energy necessary, for humanity -as a whole- can positively transform its current state]
…if I don’t know myself?