Today’s episode. 101 Things I wish My Dad Taught me. Episode 38. “Anything you can accomplish is not your purpose.” Is bought to you by the universal law number 5. The one and the many.
you have many visions and many goals and many hopes and many dreams but you only have one purpose. I always imagine a tent with a centre pole and at the top of that centre pole all the ropes come down to earth. That centre pole is, at the very top, your purpose.
the difference between a goal and your purpose is that you will never fulfil and achieve your purpose. It is the quintessential never ending story. There is always more people to help, and if you think about it, for everything you do good there is something bad that comes from it and so the process cannot be based on accomplishment of the finite destination but rather understanding the process of living it.
recently we spoke about freewheel. The idea that some people will obsess with outcomes and others will obsess with process toward those outcomes. Most conspicuously this is revealed in a walk in the Himalayas when we come to what can be for many people and insurmountable physical challenge. Under those challenging and stressful circumstances people revert to their default process for dealing with life’s challenge. Some obsessed with the destination and throw quality of the moment to the wind. Others become obsessed with the process and forget where they are actually going and get lost. Combining Innerwealth and outer wealth we use both processes.
we therefore understand that before a problem can be solved we must take the helicopter view of that problem to put it in context to a larger situation. Our process in Innerwealth is the use of the emotional shower. But there are many ways to do this. If we get the overview of the problem we are working on then we will never forget the reason why we will be working on the problem. Your purpose is a huge answer to both the overview and the solution of the problem. All of our problems in life, all of our challenges in life, can be reconciled with an understanding of why we are in a argument with our purpose. When we go off purpose whe attract calamities disasters and humbling circumstances to put us back on track. But we don’t stay there for long. Sometimes we just get back on track when another temptation to avoid discomfort or take a problem out of context creates an opportunity to go sideways.
if your vision was to climb Mount Everest, your purpose might be to celebrate the human spirit. There are many mountains other than Mount Everest to climb and so your vision, having been completed, will need to be refreshed and either decide to climb Mount Everest again or another mountai but your purpose to celebrate the human spirit has not been completed. There is always another mountain to climb and there is always more opportunities to demonstrate the beauty of the human spirit. If your purpose was to make the world a safer place, and you did amazing work to help organise a safer city, those that would make the city unsafe will come up with new ways to intimidate the world and therefore the purpose of making the world a safer place can never be accomplished but you can unconditionally give that gift.
in Yesterdays episode there was a quote that said something along the lines of if you are going to give a gift give it fully so that even if somebody rejects it they are free to do so. This is the identical situation with purpose. If you do what you do in your life because it is your purpose then you have to be prepared to except that not everybody will except it, some will reject it and you, but that’s the beauty of purpose, you give it unconditionally.
a young man hanged himself from a tree in a park nearby my home. He was a very loved member of the community, had a good business, was loved and respected. The idea that somebody would take their own life in this way shocked everybody. But his decision was based on the ending of what he thought was his purpose in life, which was a relationship. To this end he can be a teacher to us. If we are so confused that our purpose in life has a finite ending, and something goes wrong with that journey, we will experience the same pain of this young man, even though we may not go to the extreme he did. The idea of having a purpose is to contextualise our relationship rather than focus on it as a purpose in itself.
after my first marriage failed, sabotaged, ended, crashed, concluded. I went out searching for a new relationship to replace it. There wasn’t one because the naivete that had allowed me to surrender my being into the arms of another human being had been smashed. I was now a wiser person and you may say that wisdom was gained through bruising, but it was the only way I could learn what I needed to learn about my purpose. Before the crash I would have said to you that my life purpose is my family. I would have justified my hard work, my irresponsible behaviour, my late nights, my burning ambition to build a multi million Empire, my hard work maintaining our acreage at Warrandyte, it would all have been justified by the fact that everything focused on the well-being of my family. Even my dalliance outside of my marriage was justified by my purpose and responsibility to my family. And like this young man who became our teacher in his behaviour in the local park, I suffered enormously. I even went very close to joining him. And that is why our purpose can never be achieved. It gives us something to live for when something we are attached to is broken.
it may be hard to imagine, but I went from an engineer with a factory in Melbourne, with real hard-working heritage, with a nuts and volts approach to every day life, to travelling the world speaking to all different diversity of humanity about spirituality and consciousness. That rise, from the back blocks of the outback, to a global thought leader standing on stage guiding thousands of people, came within an enormous challenge to my ego. My ego was way too small to handle this rise to stardom.
I did all manner of things to attempt to walk in these new shoes, including spending a fortune buying new shoes, spending a fortune buying fancy clothes, travelling business class, staying in fancy hotels, dating fancy people, I did everything trying to raise my inner sense of myself up to meet the work that suddenly had come through hard work into my life. But I honestly felt like an impostor. It was like I had been cast in a movie and I was playing the role of somebody amazing, but, at the end of the day, would take off the make up and be, outback, back block, Mildura, Chris.
that disparity between the work I was giving the world and the life that I believed I was worthy of at some authentic level might not seem like a big problem to those who are envious of the income and the travel that I was doing. But every single night I put my own head on my own pillow and I had to deal with a fear of being revealed. I felt like somebody someday would stand up and say “you don’t know what you’re talking about.” Which was quite ridiculous given that I had spent my whole entire life studying the topic that I was talking about, I’d travelled far wider and broader than any other person standing on stage on this topi, and therefore I had earned the right to speak about it. I never spoke in language of grandeur of me but of the grandeur of consciousness and living human potential.
although I had long spoken about and helped people find their sense of purpose in life I did not recognise how my dilemma was the consequence of not actually living on purpose. Something finite had crept into my vision of being a global thought leader, professional speaker and I had begun to think I could actually change the world. Those words are great to speak, but if you begin to believe that you can make a finite and forever conclusive change in the world then purpose has become a goal. The longer this dilemma challenged me the more I began to realise that living a purpose was more associated with my absolute intention. That I could be speaking about these topics as long as I didn’t attach myself to a finite outcome.
praise and applause is a magical feed system for my ego. As I stood on stage and would get standing ovations for my speaking, applause and praise for the changes I had made in peoples lives, I held on to that praise and applause as some form of measure that I was chipping away at a marble block and that the more I did the work I did, the more applause I got, the subscribers and fans I got, the closer I was getting to an end goal. In other words I started to focus on the mountain top as if it were the achievement of some form of purpose. But I realised in the end to live with myself and feel worthy of this opportunity I needed to focus on my process. To make sure my intent was clean and it was my purpose. Everything changed when I measured what I did by the degree to which I was clear in my intent and detached from my ego. The more this happened the more joyful I became. The more I focused on purpose and shared the same information, the more I enjoyed presenting, and therefore the more the audiences and retreats I ran, enjoyed and received the information. In other words, my communication became more inspired.
Most of this story took place over 20 years ago. Which for me is a small chunk of time. But I guess over these last 20 years living on purpose has become automatic for me. And therefore when I write these articles and I share some of this information it reminds me that maybe I’m taking what I do automatically for granted. Every morning I wake up knowing that I am on purpose. I have a clear purpose. I don’t need to read it any more. But for 15 years I read it 3 or 4 times a day. I carried it in my pocket on a piece of paper, it was my screensaver on my laptop, it was on my bathroom Mira, it was really really hard to remember it. The purpose itself was easy but to remember that my next step, my next action was driven by purpose and not by wealth creation or ego was really hard.
so easily I would slip back to old default habits of thinking. That thinking was extremely self-conscious. Especially when on stage and I felt self-conscious I would become almost self defeating in an environment that I needed to be the opposite. It was easy to remember my purpose on the aeroplane or in the hotel breakfast area, but under pressure and on the stage that whole idea would evaporate, and I would revert to being ego Chris. But now it’s automatic. Nothing takes place in my existence without some connection to my purpose. When I am unwell I know I have lost connection to my purpose or have gone to low priorities in relation to that purpose. When there is flow and things are building I know I am on track on purpose. The feedback systems that I recognise in my life, I don’t associate with self improvement but rather, the ability and the willingness to live my purpose.
Going back to the metaphor of climbing Mount Everest, or my other favourite mountain Ama Dablam, if you map the path of an individual who is climbing up that mountain they go around and under and over and up and down and around and up and down and under and over and around and up and down in order to get to the top. So if it is 4 km from the bottom to the top as the crow flies it is probably 40 km of journeying through the crevices and rockfalls to get to the top. If we take this as a great metaphor, our lives, lived emotionally, become 40 km of journey to travel only 4 km of life. Many of us obsessed with the 40 km because they call this experience. But when we reach the top, the summit, and look back we realise we could’ve actually achieved this summit in only 10 km of journey. If there was a way to get from the bottom to the top, and do it in 4 km, we would of course do that because much of the journey is uncomfortable and painful. And that is the reason we hold a purpose. It saves us journey through unnecessarily discomfort, calamities disasters and humbling circumstances. Who needs that?
in closing, your purpose is unique to you. It is something that a teacher, coach, Guru or trusted Mintor helps you find. Traditionally your purpose was handed to you by such a person. But in our modern era we shy away from being handed things on a platter. But if you would really love to know your purpose, and you are being coached by me, I can hand it to you. The only challenge will be your acceptance of it. And you may wrestle with that for a lifetime or surrender and accept. Which ever way you choose, your purpose is really an important part of life, and it helps put family, work, health, finances, spirituality, social contribution, mental in context. And this is a powerful part of living.
That’s the end of this episode.