The last two weeks of the year always seem to be the most introspective for many, and an opportunity for us to assess our larger purpose. As we retrieve the goals we set at the beginning of the year, and create the list for the coming year, we often skip an important question in the process:
Why Am I Here?
I have just completed “The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence,” an extraordinary book by one of my favorite teachers, Dr. Deepak Chopra. Lately, I have encountered several coincidences that defy explanation. Imagine how surprised I was when Amazon recommended this book to me last week. A most unusual coincidence on top of a sea of coincidences.
There are many essential messages in the book which are relevant to our roles as business leaders that I can’t explain in a single column, but will share over the next several months. One of the messages centers around our sole purpose for being, and the link between our deepest desire, our intentions, and our destiny. It helps us get to the heart of why we are here. As business leaders, if we are not connected to our highest purpose, how can we achieve our potential for ourselves and for our organizations? How can we lead others?
“You are what your deepest desire is. As is your desire, so is your intention. As is your intention, so is your will. As is your will, so is your deed. As is your deed, so is your destiny. Our destiny ultimately comes from the deepest level of desire and also from the deepest level of intention. The two are intimately and intricately linked.”
That is an intense statement. How do we define our deepest desire? And if we don’t know it, how can we get to where we are supposed to be? How do we reach our destiny? It’s so easy to lose sight of the “why” behind our daily deeds. When we lose connection to the “why,” weariness and hopelessness creeps in. We often work in a reactive mode, answering phone calls, emails, and the needs of others. We envelop ourselves in deadlines. Every day that we go to work, we are slaves to checklists. What is our larger purpose behind it all?
Chopra’s book provides several thought-provoking exercises to help us get re-acquainted with our deepest levels of desire and intention.
It helps us address these questions:
- Who am I?
- What do I want for my life?
- What do I want from my life today?
- What and who must I intentionally attract to fulfill my destiny?
I will share one exercise with you here that will start the process of re-connecting you to your purpose. (The context of this exercise is business, but you can apply it to other aspects of your life.) You will need paper and pen, and 10 minutes of complete silence and uninterrupted time.
Ask yourself, Why am I here?
Write down the first thing that comes to mind. This question is open to many interpretations, so jot down whatever thoughts it triggers. Don’t worry about the writing itself. Don’t worry about complete sentences, grammar, spelling, etc.
Pose the question again: Why am I here?
Write down a new response.
Do this twenty times. Keep looking for different ways to interpret the question so that each answer is unique and speaks to a different facet of the question.
Now look over your responses. What do they tell you? Do you see any pattern or progression in the answers? What does this tell you about how you see your life?
Here are some of my answers from my exercise:
To help others achieve their potential
To strengthen the confidence of emerging entrepreneurs
To provide jobs
To role-model work-life balance for other women
You can see your life as a series of external and internal events, but you can also learn to see those events as connected with each other and with something more purposeful.
When you do that, you will begin to see your life as an opportunity to share the special gift you alone can bestow upon the world. That’s one answer to the question of why you are here.
Having this kind of clarity of purpose will help you focus your intentions – and help you build a growth strategy for 2014 that is truly meaningful and purposeful…. That extends way beyond tasks. Imagine a strategic plan in which every goal is tied to your destiny.
In future columns, I will provide additional exercises to help you further define your life’s goal by tapping into the answers that already exist within you. This is the path to achieving synchrodestiny, a concept that Chopra created. Synchrodestiny requires “gaining access to a place deep within yourself, while at the same time awakening to the intricate dance of coincidences in the outside world.” In business, this is the blueprint for authentic leadership.
May 2014 be your year to discover and live your purpose, build a path of intention, and make quantum leaps towards achieving synchrodestiny.
Happy New Year.