Sometimes I wish my dad was more like King Charles III.
If I ever suggested to my father that he needed a bit of self-love, I suspect I would’ve been flogged. That expression in those days raised very different images, and the notion behind it wasn’t even thought about. This, unfortunately, led to many good people, including my father, dying way too young.
Besides his family, dad had a real passion for community, specifically returned service people, having served in the Second World War himself. He combined these passions with his local Returned Servicemen’s League (RSLA) leadership. I remember his ongoing focus when we were younger on his ultimately successful attempts, to build a modern, financially viable club.
Unfortunately, just as his dream was realised, he became ill and sadly passed away. At his wake and subsequent catch-up with friends, the common reaction was that he had passed way too young and it was a pity he wouldn’t see the fruits of his labour. “It just wasn’t fair” was a common statement. In the end, dad just wasn’t fit for purpose.
So, why the King Charles lament? I’ve been observing our newly anointed King who is a lot older than my dad was when he passed, and he looks primed to go. Charles looks fit for purpose!
I share this reflection as I have had several clients and dear friends who, just as they were on the cusp of achieving their purpose, circumstances prevented them from that final glory.
These experiences and watching King Charles III’s accession has really got me thinking about this whole concept of purpose. I do believe passionately that all of us have a purpose in this life. We have been put here for a reason – our job is to find it and then be ready to fulfil it.
The problem is that typically our purpose may not be what we think or hope it is – but it is what it will be.
Our challenge is to determine why we are here. The universe’s will for us if you will; make sure our behaviour and drive are in alignment. Therein lies our purpose, and when we find that alignment, life will unblock for us and I reckon, will all make sense.
But, finding that alignment is only part of the challenge. A larger challenge is to ensure we remain fit for purpose – to be able and ready to respond to the opportunities that will open up.
Taking the recent experience of King Charles, I think there are some lessons in being fit for purpose. These lessons can be categorised as (1) faith and confidence that you can find your purpose, (2) the willingness to fulfil that purpose, (3) the emotional and physical readiness to fulfil that purpose and (4) the gratitude for finding that alignment to purpose and then giving something back.
Large parts of determining your purpose – this alignment between the universe’s will and you and your actual being, comes down to persistence, curiosity, belief and faith. Persistence is just turning up every day and being open to what the world wants of you – not what you want of the world.
Curiosity is being willing to go down the rabbit hole to explore the world and its many options.
Belief is that there is more to this world than who and what we are, and faith that if I keep being a good person with these three characteristics, then the universe’s “will” will be revealed.
But we need to have an open mindset and a willingness to give away our own stubbornness to accept the messages and opportunities in front of us.
Once revealed, you must be willing to fulfil your purpose.
Part of this is giving up on what you thought was your purpose in order to fulfil your greater reason for being. I remember my brother was an excellent businessperson – built a successful company. But his first love, and I suspect his gift, was education. He returned to lecturing students in business as his career advanced. At his funeral, so many people talked about his impact on their lives – as an educator and coach. He had found his higher calling and fulfilled it.
We must be physically and emotionally ready to be fit for purpose. Can you imagine a golden opportunity placed in front of us after all the effort, energy, and pain of searching, and we can’t respond!?
This is one reason why I urge my clients to be ready – ready for what Dennis I’m asked. I don’t know exactly what, just be ready!
Live a balanced life. Look after yourself – eat well, sleep well, and have healthy habits. Live life with a high heart – in other words, do things with no expectation of a return in favour.
Take people as they are, not how you think they should be.
Believe in something. My dear mother would often say to us kids – it doesn’t matter what you believe in, just believe in something. Life’s wisdoms hey?
Keep active in your world. Look up and out – not down and in.
Live in the light. I don’t think the universe can provide us with new insights if we spend our time in dark spaces so operate in the light.
And never give up hope. Never stop believing.
Once you found the alignment, be grateful. I bet all of us know people who have found this alignment, and I bet when you observe these people, they are so grateful and express this gratefulness by giving back. They are proactive and joyful. They are at peace with themselves and their world and pay their blessings forward. Be grateful, celebrate, and share your joy and gifts.
One final point about determining your purpose – don’t stress about it. It will be revealed to you at the time the universe wants.
Relax, it’s an ongoing process and a journey – not a race to a destination.
Just be fit for the journey.