Challenges and Purpose – Success Principles 5 & 6

steve jobs

Your challenges and tragedies contain the seed of your purpose and gifts.

Past challenges and tragedies guide us toward our next steps. (so called) Suffering helps us learn. as the phoenix rises from the ashes, so can we.

The lotus flower grows out of the mud is a lovely metaphor used by zen buddhist monk, thich nhat nanh. The lotus needs the mud to grow – just as happiness, love, compassion and understanding may grow out of suffering. One or all of these emotions may surface following suffering. Don’t suppress or hide suffering; rather embrace and feel it – let it transport you to the other side, even though it might be painful

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Don’t suppress or hide suffering; rather embrace and feel it – let it transport you to the other side, even though it might be painful

The world is a not cruel or sadistic place. source, universe or god; whatever your belief, presents challenges, heartache, loss, pain for some good reason. It enables you to propel yourself toward what is meant for you.

Accept the challenge. Determine what the personal lesson was – perhaps to empower or learn to love oneself. Alternatively, to be more trusting or less trusting, or was it about overcoming visibility issues?

Self-illumination is often difficult but working with a mentor, will help shed the light. once you understand the challenge and the lesson, reverse your thinking and try to learn from the teaching. this is what you look at – the ‘light’.

You will never be able to dodge life, or problems, loss, or such… but what you can do is look to them for lessons of growth and expansion. This will lead to your greatness.

Create a purpose and infuse it into everything you do…

Purpose is your reason for being. its about making your mark in this world, standing up for a message, standing up for your dreams and desires, otherwise the environment, people around you, the news, your moods will constantly affect you.

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This is an important subject. it is human nature to reflect on ‘what is my purpose’, ‘why am i here’? But purpose goes beyond our physical, emotional and immediate needs. purpose is elevated to a higher level than the basic physical needs for which we set goals. purpose goes beyond our immediate needs – it identifies our ‘reason for being’.

It is common to question – what is the purpose of being on earth? what is our influence? is justifying our existence a pre-ordained duty?

We each have a purpose for being here – it is not a coincidence or accident. The most content, happy, joyful people are those living a ethical, aligned, focused way– which they consider their purpose.The most content, happy, joyful people are those living a ethical, aligned, focused way– which they consider their purpose

Purpose is much more expansive than need and not merely concerned with survival. purpose is when we identify our needs – those we must have to survive in this life. purpose is freeing, needs are restricting. your passion is the clue to your purpose. Talent may play a role but people can always build up any skill requirement. Without passion though, talent can be largely ineffective.

I believe when you have purpose – whether with your work, in creating a family or being involved with your community – it provides for greater enjoyment and a fulfilled life. Recently the Dalai Lama at his public talk in Sydney, was asked how a person can ensure they get to the end of their life and have no regrets and no fear of death; He replied that the most important thing anyone can do is to live a meaningful or purposeful life in everything one does.

Here’s an example. through self-reflection and inner work, I discovered my own purpose relates to empowerment.

The greatest lesson I had to learn was the lesson of self empowerment, and to not rely on others to do this for me, or to allow anyone to make me feel unempowered. I worked on this throughout my own life and once I had a handle on it, I am now able to successfully assist others. it is the basis of my work as an entrepreneurial muse & creative strategist.

In fact there is some thought, that your purpose is what you have overcome in life, and once you have personally mastered it, you have a responsibility to help others. many people build businesses based on what they conquered. In addition empowerment informs how I am in the world, in all my interactions and experiences. Furthermore, it forms the basis of my business and personal relationships; I find myself always wanting to help others feel empowered, and in my work I help others learn to empower themselves. I support charities that teach this to children and women. I spend time with friends who follow this principle. I view and read material concerned with self-empowerment. it is a topic of great interest to me. I always want people to know and feel how extraordinary they are, that is my gift to others and the world. You can look at purpose this way – it is your unique gift to the world and others. My purpose is infused into everything I do, my personal life, business, friendships, contribution.

Everything I do is about my purpose, and my life is deeply and richly fulfilled, because what I do is rooted in my purpose. Purpose is different for everyone and arrives through enhanced and deep self-reflection. Do not think for any moment that this is hard, it is just a natural and easy flow for me. A mentor or coach helps us unlock our purpose. I consider myself lucky because through my work I get to help others find their purpose and do something amazing and creative with it. For clues on what your own purpose is in this world, look to what you love, what you have overcome, recurrent themes in your life….

Find something meaningful you can create in your life. if you don’t know how, let me know and I will help you.

photo credit: Celestine Chua via photopin cc

Vanessa Jane

Vanessa is an Entrepreneurial Muse & Creative Strategist. Visit her site