You Don’t Need To Know Your Purpose In Life

Posted on November 6th, 2010 by Colin and is posted in Growth

                                                                  You Don’t Need To Know Your Purpose In Life                                
Is your zest for life or passion for work diminishing? Do you feel there is something missing? Are you not sure what your purpose in life is?

Many people I coach feel stuck and dissatisfied. They know what they don’t want but they are unsure as to what they do want. Some are paralysed as to what to do next.

What if there was a simple and fun way to navigate yourself to a purposeful life without knowing what you life purpose is? What if you had a way to move quickly to what you really want? What if there is a way to bring more enjoyment and fun into your life starting today?

Well, I believe there is and we don’t need to KNOW what our purpose is but we are required to recognise and follow what brings us “smile on!”

Let me explain…

Last night my wife and I watched the movie Grand Torino staring Clint Eastwood. Clint plays Walt Kowalski, a grumpy, tough-minded, unhappy an old man, who can’t get along with either his kids or his Vietnamese neighbours. As time goes on, he gets to know them, and forms a special bond with Thao, a young Vietnamese teenager who’s under pressure from his gang member cousin. I won’t spoil the ending if you haven’t seen it but it’s a tearjerker!

There is a scene in the movie where they are standing in Walt’s garage. The conversation turns to the number of tools Walt has accumulated over the years.

Thao looks around at all the tools hanging up on the tool racks and says, “There is so much shit packed in here!” Walt replies  ”Well, every tool has its purpose, everything has a job to do.”

As I watched that clip the sentence, every tool has a purpose, really got me thinking.

The Little Hammer

Lets suppose, for this exercise, each of those tools in Walt’s garage has a consciousness and a soul. They are little beings!

Firstly, consider what would it feel like to just sit on the tool rack at the back of an old dark garage for weeks and months and not be used for anything?

Worthless, disconnected and restless?

Then, imagine, Walt comes along and picks up the little hammer and uses it to do a small demolition job. The hammer is elated. Being held, being wielded, being used to break up some old plasterboard. At the end of the day the hammer is beaming!!! He can’t wait until tomorrow. Another day of being used and needed.

In the following days he is used for a number of jobs, straightening a piece of metal, breaking a stone in half, knocking a table leg back into place, hitting a spanner to loosen a rusty nut, smashing off an old piece of plumbing piping.

Each time he is used it give him pleasure but he feels its not enough, something is missing. He is busy, he feels needed but there is a lack of fulfillment! Feeling confused the hammer believes it’s more action that’s needed.  I just need to do more of the same he thinks. Yes, more breaking, bending, banging and smashing. This is surely the solution to his lack of fulfillment.

You Can’t Get Enough Of What You Don’t Really Want!

More days are filled with hitting things but he can’t get enough of what he doesn’t really want. His zest for life begins to diminish. He can’t understand why he is so dissatisfied and stuck? He doesn’t know what to do next!

Then, one day he is used to hit a small picture nail into the wall. Whamo! His little hammer soul lights up. He gets an energy surge that’s different to what he has experienced before. It feels deeper and lasts longer. He feels alive at last!!!

Navigating a Path Towards More Passion and Purpose

He now understands what he was true purpose is. What he has been put on this planet to do. His true purpose is to hit nails. Everything else he hits pales in comparison to hitting a nail. Now he knows what his little hammer soul was searching for all along.

As he gets used more and more to hit nails his little life begins to be filled with joy, energy, passion and purpose. He is now the bright light on the tool rack.

What Energises You?

Using the analogy of the little hammer we can navigate our way into a more purposeful existence by paying close attention to what energises us. I call this feeling of aliveness and vitality ‘smile on’ energy.
This feeling of ‘smile on’ is a powerful inner guide that will navigate us to a life that’s filled with more joy, love, vitality and purpose. Our ‘smile on’ is our wisdom that guides us to where we really want to go. The life we love.

Choices Choices

Life is a constant stream of choices or choice points. Some are big and some are small. As Tony Robbins says, ” Our life is shaped by the decisions we make.”  Once we start to make choices and live our life based on what brings ‘smile on’ we will be guided to more possibility, passion and purpose.

Today, tomorrow and every day start noticing what choices bring you ‘smile on’ energy. As you go through the day keep asking yourself, “Does this choice bring me more smile on?” Or, “Am I more drained and smile off?” Just keep following your ‘smile on’. Whenever it feels energising, follow it. Where does it lead you? Now what can you see? What’s the next step that’s ‘smile on?’ And the next? And the next? You get the idea!

The Goal Of All Goals

The primary goal, to move into a more purposeful life, is to make ‘smile on’ choices. Although this is very simple I know that doesn’t mean it’s easy! Still, it’s worth the effort and your life will be profoundly and positively impacted as your true path and purpose unfolds before you very eyes!

Each of us is unique. Your ‘smile on’ will lead you to the life you love.

It’s time for you to find your ‘smile on’ and follow it.

I’ll leave you with the wise words of Harold Whitman Thurman:

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go for that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

If you’ve enjoyed this post please give it some Facebook love and leave a comment. Let me know what you think.

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 6th, 2010 at 9:38 pm and is filed under Growth. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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    Take a look at some of the responses we have had to this article.

    1. Nov 11th

      I love the way you think Colin!
      It’s so refreshing to hear a coach refer to “feeling your path” so many suggest that we should have SMART goals and purposes and yet whenever is life that “clear cut”? You and I both know how life can deliver unexpected events, life isn’t clear and there isn’t a specific way to approach it. We are all different. There are many paths up the mountain and we find our way by sensing. I love the idea of having a sense of direction rather than a clear specific, mapped route. Where is the pleasure in knowing exactly where we are going? Surely the pleasure is in the exploration… SMILE ON

      Thanks Colin.

    2. Colin
      Nov 11th

      Thanks for dropping by Ian. Yes, I agree, the pleasure if definitely in the exploration. Lets stop searching and just start exploring using “smile on!” The path will be revealed if we trust it! cx

    3. Dec 16th

      Hi Colin,

      I completely agree that too often people fall into a rut of inaction as they don’t necessarily know what their passion is or what their life purpose is. Your article reminds of a great quote that I have displayed in my office to constantly remind me about moving forward despite periods of doubt:

      ‘We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.’ Frank Tibolt
      .-= Brenton Russell´s last blog ..Creating Your Lifestyle Design Vision Board- My Personal Example =-.

    4. Colin
      Jan 6th

      Hello Brenton. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Just had a look at your blog… love it! What a great title – Uncork your mind. Great looking vision board. I’m a firm believer in creating vision boards. Keep up the great work.

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