The journey to creating fun and movement in purposeful work
Sitting in on Nadia Waber’s “Rediscovering our Worth” session in March, I remember the first time when I deeply engaged with the notion of clarifying my purpose in life. I remember it vividly because it was a vulnerable moment to be in. Vulnerable because I had to strip myself naked of stories and excuses I was telling myself and really find that common denominator in all of my unfulfilling work experiences. And that common denominator was me. At that time, I had graduated from undergraduate studies and was employed in a job that did not inspire me. Each day the 9-5 circuit became longer and endless. It always amazes me why time refuses to move when you are caught in moments that you least enjoy.
Anyways, the universe must have been conspiring in my favor because it provided me with the friendship of a woman named Sabrina Ali, who having travelled her own path of discovery had found purpose in enabling others to find theirs. We talked most days for extended periods on what it meant to live an authentic and purposeful life. What it meant to tap into the abundance of pure potential that was within all of us. And what it meant to operate each day from a place of alignment with our purpose. Talking had its merits, but gaining value out of these conversations meant that I had to actively engage in the transformation I wanted to see. This takes me back to one of Nadia’s three thoughts, “the more you put in the exercise, the more you get.” And I was committed to put in to get more.
I was lucky in the sense that my purpose exploration was accompanied by a dear friend who had my best interests, who importantly had also experienced the same need for change, but additionally she had become a certified career coach and was creating MakeBelieve (read more), which meant that she had the tools on hand to guide my journey. Using a combination of FIRO theory (read more) and True Colors personality identification (read more) as a framework, she guided me pen and paper in hand to truly understand my personality, motivations, challenges, passion, fears and desires.
Through this reflective and introspective exercise, I came to the realization of three things:
- that I was not having fun in what I was doing
- that I felt stuck and my need for movement was not being fulfilled; and
- that my need to create was not being met
These discoveries of what I needed to feel motivated and engaged were highly important because in my ability to fulfill these personal needs was my purpose and contribution to society made clear to me. Answering the question “What is my purpose” was made easier when I had a better understanding of what made me feel alive. Identifying my need for fun, movement and opportunities to create by myself or co-create in collaboration with others helped me to focus and articulate my purpose clearly. And with articulation comes action. The Howard Thurnman quote holds much weight in its message of identifying your personal needs and honoring them in big and small ways– “Don’t worry what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and do that, because what the world needs are people who have come alive.”
So what do you think about coming alive?