Life. Purpose or process?

James Gandolfini died this week…it was unexpected…he was only 51.  It came only a few days after I’d listened to a masterclass on ‘Life Purpose’ by my lovely talented friend Helen Evans…and it got me thinking…

I’m a process person, right?!  I love the fact that having process in your life, liberates you…frees you from worrying about the small stuff, and allows you to grow, to build, to be creative.

But I don’t want life itself to be a process.

I don’t want there to be limitations and restrictions on how we’re going to live our life…a mindset given to us in our infancy, that life works in a particular way.

…you go to school…if you’re bright you’ll pass exams…if you’re not bright you won’t pass exams; if you’re bright you’ll go to university where you’ll show how bright you are by passing more exams…if you’re not bright, you’ll go straight into a job; either way you’ll end up in a job…maybe have a career…if you’re lucky you’ll enjoy it…if you’re not, you can always have fun at the weekends and in your 4 weeks holiday a year; then you’ll retire…and, again if you’re lucky, you’ll get to do a few of the things you’ve wanted to do all of your life!  That’s the process.

Sounds crazy when you write it down…why would anyone fix this mindset on another person? But it’s the mindset that society, our teachers, and very often our parents, do impose on us, and we believe that this is the way life works.

A different friend (I only have the two) recently told me how much she’d love to be running a bar in a hot country, by the sea, living her life day to day.  When I asked her why she didn’t just leave her well paid job and go after what she really wanted, she replied that she would… ‘maybe in a few years’.

It’s such a normal answer, the way most of us live our lives…Daniel Priestley (in his book Entrepreneur Revolution) calls it ‘delayed gratification’.  We believe we have to meet a standard of some sort first…climb the corporate ladder, pay off our mortgage, set our children off on their own hamster wheel…before we can allow ourselves to do what we really want to do.  And all too often we don’t get to that self-imposed point.

Life is so full of opportunity…the world is so full of beautiful things and interesting people…individuals are so full of creativity, passion, joy.  Every one of us has something special to offer the world…a mountain of value…a purpose that is unique to us.

So what stops us from going after our dreams…following our passions?

Life is short…what’s stopping you?

Marianne Page
Director – Bright-for business impact
Business growth solutions tailored to you

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