The path to purpose

It’s a beautiful day outside. The sun is shining, a soft breeze rustles the trees I can see through my office window.
In the last 48 hours I haven’t looked much. I’ve had meetings, phone calls, pressing deadlines, conversations getting coffee, unexpected submissions to write, exercise, food, family and sleep.
The trap of.
I am reminded of the Crosby Stills & Nash song, Daylight Again.
When everyone’s talking and no one
Is listening
How can we decide
That is a song about war, and about the past watching our choices in the present, and so shaping the future.
Or that’s how I interpret it.
I know that having a purpose, being clear about why you are here, is easy for a select few, and damnably hard for many.
I know that many of you have a belief that you are here to do something, but like a word on the tip of your tongue you can’t find, your sense of purpose nags but doesn’t clarify.
I’d like to suggest to you that purpose emerges because we understand its function to community, not just ourselves.
Whilst choosing to do or not do something will always be your individual right (whether you execute it or not), collective purpose is the backbone of community.
It is the source of energy for collaboration. It builds trust.
I don’t have to like you, or like what you ask me to do necessarily, but if I believe in the purpose and I believe you are acting in the interest of that purpose, then I have a higher likelihood of joining you or doing what you ask me to do.
Purpose also emerges over time, mostly.
It isn’t the hand of ‘god’ touching you in the dead of night saying ‘my child, go and do X and you shall prosper’ (that would probably scare you so much you’d never sleep again).
It’s a very significant part of your brain sorting what you do, what you like and don’t like, what works and doesn’t work, towards a series of choices, that accumulate to an intention.
It is always important, fundamentally so.
If you seek purpose with others, it is the journey that counts.
Even when it fails it’s rewarding, because in the process of failing, you learn the power of the journey.
No purpose, little learning.
Small purpose, day by day, learning emerges.
One day you are doing something that matters to you, and more importantly, to the people around you.

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