Sounds so easy. We are told “your passion is your purpose”. Yet we struggle so acutely with first of all finding our passion, not to mention then figuring a way to make a viable income doing what we most enjoy.
The first, obvious and critically tragic reason for this conundrum is that broadly speaking, our system, our societal machine, doesn’t support art, individuality or free enterprise, which leaves millions of people between a rock and a hard place, suffering miserably imprisoning survival criteria, unable to even think ‘passion’, let alone find time do what brings them pleasure.
Then the profound question: ‘What constitutes enoughness?’ is key. We are conditioned that ‘only more will make you happy’. Never enough money, stuff, beauty, brains, you name it. We unconsciously buy into this, while instead we might consider a re-calibration of the concept of ‘enoughness’.
When doing readings, what I offer by way of guidance is sometimes dismissed by the seeker as not being a perfectly appealing enough calling. During a chirology reading, clients seeking vocational guidance often expect some sort of orgasmic ‘aha’ bolt-of-lightning-style, perfect, blissfully loud-and-clear ‘calling’ to be evidenced in their hands.
For some people, their idealism paralyses them. They can’t deal with the 49% or so bread and butter grind that is part and parcel of nearly every job on the planet. Many people are all giants of academic and theoretical know-how yet they just can’t commit to the practicing of their interest. We do need to work towards the 1% tipping point criteria, to choose and hear the inspired inner ‘yes’ that makes a vocational choice worthwhile, that keeps us breathing our yes into it.
The hands really do reveal the environments we are best suited to. Many of us are highly versatile, while others are born specialists. The diminishing saying “a jack of all trades, and a master of none” implies failure and not good enoughness. Personally, I love being a jack of all trades, because enoughness is an attitude. Let’s reframe the meaning of the concept ‘life purpose’, especially for those whom for whatever reason can’t be ‘bigger, better, faster’.
To me, our ‘purpose’ is an in this moment state of inner being. A space of grace, acceptance and inner love. The Shambala Buddhism teacher Cynthia Kneen says: “Purpose is the soulful confidence that what I am is worthwhile” and “true success is measured by the amount of authentic happiness we can feel in a day.” Our purpose is merely a sensation.
There is a marvellous definition of optimal ‘life purpose’ from the authentic happiness pioneer, Martin Seligman. He defines three components. We can achieve a ‘pleasant life’ through pursuing enjoyment, a ‘good life’ of happiness and abundance, and a ‘meaningful life’, which comes with applying our strengths in service to something greater than ourselves. To have all three is to have a ‘full life’.