Sunday, July 03, 2005

Do We Define Our Purpose By What We Resist?

Chatting with a couple of friends today, it occurred to me that one of the ways we find meaning and define our lives is to live in resistance to something we don't like. In other words it could look something like, "I'm not sure what I stand for, but I sure as heck know what I stand against."

I'm not convinced this is the best perspective from which to live one's life. If we choose to live from this stance, we will always be at war with someone or something. However, recognizing what we won't and don't stand for can provide a platform from which to discover what we do indeed find meaningful and significant.

For example, if I know I do not believe I need Big Brother watching over me, then I might also know I value personal freedom more than the restrictions of an ever-watchful government. Now I can ask myself, is my value of personal freedom core to my purpose here on earth?

If my resistance to the concept of Big Brother is intense, it might well be an indicator that becoming a champion of personal freedom may indeed play a role in my soul purpose. If my resistance is minimal, this core issue may be important, but is probably not fundamental to my mission.

Of course, being passionate about a concept like personal freedom does not necessarily mean that the foundation of my purpose is absolutely built on this premise, but it could. At the very least it deserves consideration.

More than once I have consulted with clients about the direction of their personal journey, only to discover what they were resisting the most provided a key to their true work. In my own life I have become quite upset when I hear someone claiming a title or credentials I know they have not earned. It grated on me, until I realized I have greater respect for myself and others when we actually deliver more than we claim - when we walk our talk, with the emphasis on the walking.

In time, this concept became fundamental to the premise of Soul Purpose. If we are living our purpose, we are making a difference in the world that is visible and credible. We have no need to exaggerate or brag because our actions speak loud and clear. In examining my resistance, I was able to uncover a value that was foundational to my soul purpose.