A colleague and friend sent me a wonderful book on finding your mission (À chacun sa mission) by Jean Monbourquette, a Jungian Analyst and spiritual leader. As I walked by the sea every morning for a week, I pondered his questions and worked through numerous exercises.
(By the way, I highly recommend any of his books if you are living through the loss of a loved one, a challenging time in your life, or are stuck at a crossroad, trying to find your purpose or wondering what to do next.)
All this to say, that one exercise startled me so much that I thought I would share it with you today. He asks the reader to identify not only what brings him or her joy and fulfillment, but to think about what the reader is most upset about NOT doing.
Usually this is something someone else has done that you feel you should of, would of, was about to, wanted to… DO! It’s that very thing you would regret not doing when you reflect back on your life’s journey.
What do you dream of doing, but haven’t yet?
Usually, I find these dreams on my client’s bucket list… and on mine too. It’s in the fuzzy future restlessly waiting to happen. While life speeds by, the list gets postponed with the ‘don’t have time’, or ‘it’s just a fantasy anyway’. No doubt we can all come up with many other such story lines. Let me offer 10 examples that are just still words on some of my clients’ curled up lists:
- Becoming a published author
- Owning my own business
- Winning a sports competition
- Acting in a play or movie
- Being a model
- Recording a song solo or with a band
- Holding my solo art exhibition
- Running a marathon
- Climbing Mount Everest
- Becoming an Ambassador for a cause
Do you have a dream of this type locked up in a drawer?
Do you still speak about the fact that Janet actually recorded the very song you had playing in your mind for 10 years, and Paul wrote the best-seller you were about to write. Are you smarting over the fact that Frederick got a gig as an actor when you were the best one for the role, and Ann started a business you were thinking of? And what about Jacques who walked the road to St-Jacques de Compostelle, and has been boasting about it since, grating on your last nerve every time he talks about it!
Find your purpose by shining the light on those dreams
Let’s try a different scenario:
- First, acknowledge the dream! Believe that you have a right to it! It’s there for a reason after all. So go ahead, shine some light on it!
- Next, identify 1 person, 1 resource, 1 action you need to take to make your dream happen. It only takes a first step.
- Finally, stay on the path long enough to see if this is really for you. Once you start there is often a momentum that builds, a second, a third step, and so forth. A dream takes on a life of its own, so keep persisting.
There’s more than one way to find your purpose
One of the so-called overnight successes were actually overnight successes. Folks prepared for months or years until the opportunity came along to get to the next level. Maybe you can self-publish first, maybe you can direct your kid’s school play, maybe you can film a small event, record a song and put it on YouTube.
The message? Start where you are. Which means that yes, you can accomplish your dream.
An idea on your mind lately? Let me know one step you’re willing to take toward making it a reality.