What’s within you: Crafting a purpose statement

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What keeps you focused month after month, year after year? Vision is about allowing your core values to reveal a foundational and sustainable purpose for your life…writes Vishnu Makhijani

How do you discover your purpose? Once you have found your purpose, how do you use it as a catalyst for real, measurable change in your life – to activate the best version of yourself to effectively confront your toughest challenges? How do you find the right community to help support you in your newfound purpose?

“Discovering a compelling vision for yourself that is rooted in purpose requires getting rooted in your values. From your values… you’ll start to craft a purpose statement for your life. Crafting your purpose statement, though, is just the beginning. Few of us are taught how to navigate the gap between our idealistic aspirations for a life of purpose and the barriers that get in your way,” Tom Lillig and David Shurna told in a joint interview of their book, “What’s Within You” that provides a proven framework to stay rooted in your purpose even as adversity strikes.

“Over the past 20 years, our research shows statistically significant growth across all factors measured for tens of thousands of participants in our programs. Research aside, the testimonials we receive from people every week describing how we ‘changed’ or even ‘saved’ their lives are testament to the effectiveness of the approach,” they added.

“Despite the barriers – both big and small – that each of us face, we can learn how to push past them, reconnect with our purpose, and unleash the best in ourselves and others,” the authors maintain of the “Seven Life Elements” they present in the book that serve as a blueprint to help navigate the torrid waters of self-doubt, and infuse hope and courage to bring about a tectonic shift by breaking the barriers that have always held one back.

The narrative will introduce you to a host of world-famous barrier breakers – among them Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person to summit Mt. Everest, and Mandy Harvey, the deaf jazz vocalist whose America’s Got Talent performances captured the hearts of half a billion people – to prove that what’s within you is indeed stronger than what’s in your way.

What then is the seven-step recipe devised by Lillig and Shurna?

First and foremost is Vision. In discovering your purpose, you need to learn the difference between what you want to do in life and what you want to be. Most of us have been oriented toward living life through a collection of goals. But what happens after that? What keeps you focused month after month, year after year? Vision is about allowing your core values to reveal a foundational and sustainable purpose for your life.

The second is Reach. Once you’ve cracked the code on purpose, how do you use that new understanding of yourself to confront your challenges? How do you step outside your comfort zone and fully acknowledge the obstacles that have been keeping you from your best self? With Reach, you will grab hold of the adversary and prepare yourself to overcome these challenges.

The third is Alchemy. By this point, you’ve discovered your purpose and confronted your problems head-on. In ancient times, alchemy was the process of transforming base metals into gold. For us, Alchemy is about the ability to have hope and optimism in the face of adversity.

The fourth is Pioneering. Life asks you to invent solutions that fit your purpose. Pioneering is about developing systems, strategies, and tools that will help you find creative ways to work through even your toughest challenges.

The fifth is the Rope Team. Few things in life are as difficult as admitting that you need the support of others. But seeking out support is actually a strength. As you develop your Rope Team, you will discover how to be the best version of yourself in the company of those who support you.

The sixth is Summits. This is about reflecting on your journey even when you may still be in the middle of it, because sometimes, even in these moments of reflection, you will recognise Summits that you didn’t realise had passed along the way.

The seventh is Elevate. This is the moment where your perspective turns from focusing inward to focusing outward. Elevate is about taking what you have learned on your journey and sharing it with those around you. Just as others have supported you along the way, now it is time for you to become a part of someone else’s support system.

Harkening to Aristotle that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, the authors say that it is only the full combination of these Life Elements that will produce the total and desired effect.

They’ve even devised The What’s Within You manifesto which says in part:

“We choose to embrace our struggle wholeheartedly, and with shattered bones and hurt feelings, we continue moving forward.

For it is our suffering that makes us stronger, and our many falls that fuel our rise.

We draft ourselves into service, passionate warriors for our communal potential.

We come together under our proud but tattered flag, bound by both our brokenness and our bravery.

Marching toward the challenge and guided by our light, we are fearless, resilient and unstoppable, because

What’s Within Us Is Stronger Than What’s In Our Way.”

There it is: Your Roadmap To Living Life With No Barriers, as the book, published by Fingerprint, is sub-titled.

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