Purpose is a very abstract and elusive concept. What does it mean to have a purpose? Are we born with it, or is it created? How do we know when we’re living in alignment with our purpose? And most importantly, what can we do to live more purposeful lives? These are all very valid questions. When we have a sense of purpose in life, we feel more positive, fulfilled and at peace with ourselves. Rather than living in a survival state, we can understand that life is so much more than just existing. Today, we’re going to dive deep into the concept and give you some clarity.
What not living from your purpose looks like.
For men with a strong sense of masculine energy and a need for action, it feels painful to be disconnected from their purpose. It can feel as though you’re adrift at sea, going through the motions to just get by. You could feel numb, stuck, or apathetic. You could find yourself working long hours, filled by the adrenaline of doing but lacking any feeling of fulfillment. You might constantly question yourself — what am I really doing? Or you might have an inner critical loop that’s telling you that you should feel different. Your decisions are more likely to be motivated by shoulds — “I should do this” and your reasoning will be logical, but it’ll also feel very constrictive.
The Problem with Purpose
It’s rare that a person was taught how to tune into themselves and know what their purpose is. We were all asked what we wanted to be when we grow up, but nobody ever asked us why. Why do you want that job? What excites you about that job? We were never taught how to connect with our purpose, just a particular occupation that sounded good at the time. Men, in particular, struggle with understanding the why. Everybody asked men what they wanted to be or what they wanted to achieve, but nobody asked about what gave them fulfillment. For men, the focus was on becoming a good provider, not on finding something that fulfilled them.
What happens if we never nail down our purpose?
We feel a deep regret.
When people reach the end of their lives, they commonly question if they really lived life well and in alignment with what they wanted, versus what society expected of them. If we don’t get aligned with our purpose, there can be a sense of deep disappointment and regret that we didn’t live to the fullest, and this kind of ultimate reckoning is something we want to avoid on our deathbed.
Our relationships suffer.
When we’re disconnected from our purpose, our relationships also begin to suffer. We stay surface level with people and lack a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in our lives. We can feel a sense of impotence in marriage or our job.
We get addicted to things.
If we live out of alignment too long, we start to numb out and develop different levels of addiction in order to cope. It could be something as seemingly insignificant as social media, to drinking and taking drugs, or getting addicted to porn or sex, anything to fill the void of emptiness that our purpose in life is supposed to fill.
Why do we get stuck when it comes to purpose?
We go outside, instead of within.
We block ourselves from our purpose when we rely and listen to what other people want us to do. Going to other people for advice is something us humans do regularly. We feel as though we need the support and guidance of our friends and family to make decisions. But if we continue searching outside ourselves for answers rather than within, we’ll find ourselves doing what everyone expects of us, instead of what is best for us.
We think purpose is a static concept.
Another barrier that can disconnect us is treating our purpose as something static. Every day on this earth we are immersed in new experiences that constantly evolve us and who we are. We should be checking in with ourselves and questioning, do I feel aligned right now? By checking in with our intuition, we have the ability to understand that our purpose can flow, develop and change overtime, and understand in an embodied way that our purpose is an ever-evolving dialogue.
We approach it from a formulaic perspective.
We can also block ourselves from our purpose when we approach life like a formula. It’s one of the masculine gifts to calculate life as a step by step equation, but this doesn’t work for purpose—it is unfortunately not formulaic. This isn’t to suggest we shouldn’t have milestones, but that isn’t all we need. We also need the ability to follow our intuition and question if we feel aligned, pivot in the moment and move forwards without a plan.
We don’t do the inner work.
When we try to find and address our purpose, we also need to remember the underlying defences and strategies that can get in our way. If we haven’t done the inner work and still carry traits like people-pleasing, a harsh inner critic, or a need to control everything, then those subconscious tendencies will get in the way of our alignment. They will manifest into our life and often lead to self-sabotage. It is just as important to do the inner work as it is tapping into your intuition.
How do we connect with our purpose?
“When we are living from purpose, we don’t do things because we should, we do them because we choose too.”
Intuition is key.
The first step is having the awareness and the ability to tap into our intuition. The problem, however, is that many men were never taught to listen to, or trust their heart, intuition or instincts. They were taught to be realistic, rational and logistical, only using the intellectual-mind, and not tapping into their body-mind, or heart-mind in their decision making.
Feel the body-mind.
Notice your bodily sensations when you think about certain parts of your life. Do you feel grounded, lit up, like your body is a resounding yes, or is there a sense of clenching, smallness, and constriction — the natural signs our body exhibits when something feels off. Is there fear? Is there numbness? Is there excitement? Is there peace? By growing the connection we have with our body we can begin to tap into our intuition easier.
Become Aware of Your Blocks
We also need to be able to tend to the blocks within ourselves. Sometimes, we feel as though we are moving with alignment but an inner uncertainty presents itself. Tend to that part of you and uncover why you might be feeling fearful. We don’t need to completely get rid of these parts but we do need to heal and tend to them. By doing this we can integrate these inner complexities to better discover ourselves.
Develop Your Healthy Self.
Lastly, we need to develop our healthy self, which is a term we use here at COR. The healthy self that is the part that makes up your whys and holds your emotions, fears, actions, survival strategies, and your defence mechanisms. Our healthy self is what can witness and hold all of that, and stay present with it all. When we look at our purpose from our healthy self, we know we are aligned.
So I want you to ask yourself: What do I value? What is important to me and feels fulfilling? What lights me up? If I sacrifice an old me, what makes it all worth it?
Once you can answer these questions, you can look into the actions you need to take to feel aligned with these feelings. You will have the ability to continue to check in with yourself, questioning how aligned you feel in this moment.
Let us help you
Our Men’s Immersion Weekend is focused on connecting you to your healthy self and healing those parts of you that can get in the way of you living in the fullest expression in your life as a man. If you’re a man who’s feeling sluggish, stuck, numb or just going through the motions in life then this weekend is for you. We would love to help you. For more information, click here. We look forward to hearing from you.