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Ep. 29: Another Purpose

Wait - you mean you haven't

saved the world yet?

You haven't mastered patience?

You don't have your dream job?

You're not helping the homeless with food or housing,

and haven't yet been successful in _________?

Yeah, that's what it looks like sometimes.

So, this is Part 2 of that book I told you about:

The Power of Meaning.

Part 1 was about Belonging.

(But then I had to pull over for Boujee.)

The Power of Meaning by Emily Esfahani Smith.

There's four legs to her table of having a meaningful life.

Not a happy life.

A Meaningful Life.

As we grew up, we (hopefully) were a part of

something bigger

that created a structure to which we belong.

Let's call it a yurt.

My over-arching yurt was religion in a

non-religious family:

part-time orthodox religion that was not practiced at home.

So I've got my yurt over here for church

and a yurt for school,

and, of course, the invisible yurt for sexuality

which was super-present in print, stores, school, and on TV.

As kids we are herded to our yurts, back and forth, day after day.

There's a moment, sooner or later,

where we ask ourselves:

What's the point?

Wait, why am I doing this?

It's a totally legitimate question -

nothing has gone wrong when we ask it.

Many answer the question and do find their Whys for

keeping their yurts.

Totally fine.

The fear of leaving the yurt


Because the brain yearns for Belonging.

Purpose is just, truly, What do I want?

When you and I were born, we literally fulfilled our "purpose."

Our only purpose is to be alive, to be human.

Check. We did that. So now what?

Emily says our individual purpose is tied to

who we are

and what we value.

Our purpose "fits our identity."

Maybe that seems elemental. As in elementary school.

Was that obvious to you?

It was not obvious to me.

Purpose had to do with gender.

Purpose had to do with body parts.

This was not just in the church yurt, it was alllll the yurts.

The feeling that I was encouraged to have: submissive.

Which meant:

what others think

is more important

than what I think.

What others want

is more important

than what I want.

And: it wasn't safe to want something else.

Today's Deep Breath: here's a practical juju nugget, a collective Next Best Decision.

If your purpose was fulfilled the minute you were born,

what is important to you now?

I'm creating a class that asks this question, among others.

Because there are a lot of people,

not only women,

who have never truly asked.

The first step is to get to know yourself.

Just pay attention. To You.

Pay a little less attention to what others think

(this will feel uncomfortable)

and pay more attention to what you think.

What if 'what you think'

and 'what you want'

ends up helping others?

And reboots you in the process?


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