It is the soul’s duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master passion.That’s a quote from Dame Rebecca West. In 1947, Time Magazine called her, “indisputably the world's number one woman writer.” Clearly, Dame Rebecca followed her soul’s duty, or, to put it another way, her purpose in life.
Lately, I’ve been revisiting my purpose. That’s because I recently read or heard something three different times. Usually, when a message comes in 3’s, it’s from your higher self or a higher place. The something that I read/heard three times was simple: When you are on purpose, the people, resources and opportunities you need naturally gravitate toward you.
Back in the early ‘90’s, I was in a marketing workshop for actors where we all had to complete several assignments designed to help us discover our purpose in life. The teacher (a producer and follower of Scientology) used Cher as an example of someone without purpose. She had won the best actress Oscar for Moonstruck and then just went underground for several years. He reported that she had become overwhelmed and unable to work (at that time) due to the Oscar win. How could she possibly top that? The producer claimed that, if Cher had been conscious of her life purpose, there would be no need to top the Oscar win. A purpose is something that is never completed.
The assignment in that class was challenging and stimulating and it was definitely inspiring to hear each other talk of our newly defined ‘purpose.’ There were purposes like: ‘to educate and inspire,’ ‘to empower others,’ ‘to uplift human consciousness.’ Then there were more ego-driven ones, like: ‘to inspire others with my fame and success,’ ‘to become so rich that I never have to borrow again.’ Through the work in this class, I discovered my purpose was, ‘to help people laugh.’ At the time, I was getting cast in a lot of sitcoms, doing comedic leads in theatre and funny commercials. It felt right.
Now, I’ve retired from acting, I love to write and still enjoy helping people laugh, but not in the same way, so I’m not entirely sure about my ‘soul’s duty.’ Thinking it might be time to revisit this assignment, I unearthed the notes from that long-ago marketing class and am re-defining my purpose. Maybe it’s the same as it was then; maybe not. Because it was so much fun (and easier) to share the process with others all those years ago, I thought it might be fun to share it again, via this blog.
So, if you’re interested in defining (or redefining) your purpose, here are the steps that helped me.
WHAT IT IS:
1. Your purpose is something you love to do so much that you’d do even if you didn’t get paid for it.
2. Once you discover your purpose, it will be like hitting a nerve. You might even cry.
3. Your purpose is something that automatically serves others.
HOW TO FIND IT:
1. Set an oven timer for 20 minutes. Write or type everything that comes to mind – everything you love to do. Keep writing even when you want to stop.
2. Write or type your earliest memory(ies); ask a parent or loved one what they remember the most about you as a toddler.
3. What things do these two lists have in common?
I’ve been inspired by all the blogs I’ve been reading where everyone is naming and claiming their goals for the new year. It seems to me, if one is to be successful in achieving one’s goals, then it helps to have a strong foundation first. Like a life purpose. So, if one of your goals is to get a publishing contract this year, then why? How does that serve your purpose? If everything will fall into place when you are serving your purpose, then that uber agent, grand publishing deal, literary first prize, whatever, should come with greater ease, once you have defined your ultimate purpose.
Good luck, and please let me know what you discover!