Do you believe that universe orchestrates incidents to get answers for questions that matter to you? I never believed in this till recently. In the last 2 months, series of incidents has happened which provided clarification to the question that matters to me: “Is purpose really required in life?”. I am sharing 4 such situations from the series of them.
I was watching a session by Shishir Mehrotra on scaling YouTube and 10 things that matter when you are scaling up. He mentioned about the importance of purpose and suggested to read “Drive” by Daniel Pink.
The central theme of the book is about how to unlock your intrinsic motivation through Purpose, Autonomy, and Mastery. As per Daniel “Humans, by their true nature, seek purpose- A cause greater and more enduring than themselves.” The book has done its job of helping in identify what motivates people and what will motivate people in future to achieve extraordinary results. But my conclusion about purpose was still like “It sounds good like mission and vision statements which companies put on their websites, but does it really works in real work?” My understanding & belief till recently was: Your purpose keeps changing based on the stage of your life.
Another incident happened when I recently visited the upper Himalayas area “Lahaul and Spiti”.This part of the Himalayas is NOT much populated and also crowded by tourist. We took a road trip from Keylong to Baralacha pass. Balaracha pass also connects “Lahaul and Spiti” valley with Leh and Ladakh. It was mesmerizing and the connectedness which I felt with the mother-nature & the entire cosmos lead tears in my eyes. At the same time, I was realizing that what we humans have done to this beautiful place, called earth, because of our never ending greed.
While moving from one mountain valley to another, and looking at the size of mountains, the torrent of rivers and scenic beauty, why the hell someone will even be bothered about purpose. You and your size don’t even matter here.
Back to the office from the Himalayas, I have put in purpose at back burner & was back at work. And then Arun and Vipul(other co-founders a qilo) insisted me to join them in a leadership workshop at Bangalore. And I was like, what impact will another leadership program make? But then, I have to surrender against the students inside me. And the worst case scenario of 4 days program will be we end up spending more time with each other if the program doesn’t turn up to expectations. I submitted the fee and was ready to attend the program.
While on my way to Bangalore, I meet Virender, the taxi driver who dropped me at the airport. Virender also works part-time for an NGO where he helps in rescuing girls who are forced into prostitution at GB road(a red-light area in Delhi).
The kind of details he shared with me was spine chilling. Few details which he shared with me : 70% of young girls and women are forced into prostitution, they sleep just 3 hours on daily basis and they serve on an average 105 to 140 customers per week or higher, are enough for anyone to think, Are we really evolving as a society? And the problems we face at the professional or personal front of life are far smaller that problems faced by many people out there in this world. I landed at Banglore with a heavy heart. And with lots of thoughts on how things can improve in this world, and my never ending quest of “Is purpose really required in life?”
Program “Mission Impossible(MI) Leaders“ started at 8 in the morning.The first question asked on the first day and within the first-hour was “Who all want to identify the purpose of your life?” Dear Mr. Purpose, you are back again in my life within 12 hours. I answered to facilitator “Is purpose really required in the life? I think purpose keeps changing based on the stage of your life”.
Facilitator smiled and replied back “But do you really want one?” I questioned myself “Are you really open to getting one?”
Next 4 days of the program was very tiring: physically, mentally and emotionally. MI leaders program turned up as NOT just any regular leadership program where you will learn some key leadership skills. It provided much-needed clarity on my quest to get an answer for “Is purpose really required in life?”
Your purpose of life cannot be limited to yourself. Most of us keep putting our priorities in life as our purpose. Do you really think the purpose of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Henry Ford, Mother Teresa, J.R.D Tata, Steve Jobs, Nelson Mandella, Thomas Edison and many others like them are limited to themselves? Your purpose is your means to feel connected to this universe.And it will push you every morning to do good for every species on this earth.
Next time when you are listening to any talk on YouTube or TEDx, or visiting a place where you feel connected with nature or meeting your Virender, consider that you are getting prepared for your purpose.
So have you found your purpose? If not, it’s worth an effort to find one.
Summary of Learnings
- The priorities in your life are NOT equal to your purpose of life. Don’t mix them up.
- Your purpose is your means to get connected with the universe at large and live a more meaningful life. If it’s limited to you, it’s not a purpose.
- This world is driven by unreasonable people. Your competencies and capabilities will not help you being unreasonable, but your purpose will.
- Once you find your purpose, is it 100% that you will be able to achieve it? Doubt is good.