As some of you may know, I have been facilitating grief support groups for three years now. Companioning individuals as they walk the torturous and unpredictable path of grief is one of my deepest and greatest passions. I consider it a true honor and privilege to sit alongside others as they move toward healing, bearing witness to incredibly powerful stories of love and connection. Not surprisingly though, doing this “work” has resulted in a number of monumental insights for me. Most significantly, I have noted that my relationship to my mortality has undergone a palpable shift. Where the relationship was once rooted in fear and anxiety, it is now rooted in gratitude and deep appreciation. I now see that death is a necessary part of life, for it is with the knowledge that each moment is irreplaceable and unique that we can begin to engage with life in a fearless way. Each moment is miraculous and potent.
I realized that purpose isn’t so much about the accomplishments we can accumulate on our resumes, but more about the values and intentions we bring to every little thing that we do. And so, I now live from a place of being more conscious of my eulogy than my resume. “Who do I want to be remembered as?” “Does this align with who I am, or who I desire to be?” “What is my message?” are all questions I entertain with each decision I make. My focus has shifted to legacy building and has become about who I want to be, rather than accumulating accomplishments, and what I want to be. Thus, despite common conception, your purpose isn’t necessarily found in your career- although, yes, it sometimes can be.
For me, discovering my purpose has been all about identifying my core guiding value. That is, identifying the one value that drives my actions, my words, my thoughts and my interactions with others.
Fierce compassion is the core guiding value that I would like my life to be a testament to. At the end of the day, that is the mark I want to leave on this world. A legacy is built through who we are, not what we do, and it is in that frame of mind that one’s purpose ultimately emerges.
And so, I ask you, what is your core guiding value?