In Lewis Carroll’s classic book, the imperturbable Cheshire Cat quips to Alice, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
That sounds nice for a young lady in a fairytale, but make-believe doesn’t serve you in reality.
Buckle-up because I’m coming in hot! This week, I smash 8 purpose lies that are preventing you from getting on the right track.
And no, we’re not taking shortcuts, because that’s not how you get there, and that’s one of the truths I’m busting out, hard. To our detriment, we’ve been indoctrinated to seek and travel a straight path. But living your life on purpose is a winding road, and you better begin walking because your purpose isn’t coming to you (yep, that’s another one).
What You’ll Discover in this Episode:
- You’re not going to find it; you’re going to create it
- Action causes clarity, not the other way around
- Habit-stacking ~ what is it, why it’s great, and how to do it
- Stop looking for the “one” thing and start looking for the many
- And much more!
My shoes are laced up, my hand is stretched out, let’s tour my friend.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Here we go! The 5-Day Purpose Challenge starts NOW. It’s FREE for all members of Sundae’s Expats on Purpose Facebook Group.
- Habit-stack right here by signing up for Sundae’s FREE online workshop series! You’ll get new tools and learn valuable strategies to overcome common expat struggles.
- Expat Happy Hour – EP 34: 8 Myths About Purpose Debunked
- Expat Happy Hour – EP 31: Lack of Purpose is Life Threatening
- FREE Podcast & Accompanying Worksheets – Purpose Pack
- Sundae’s battle cry for being more on purpose: Expats on Purpose Manifesto
- Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Facebook Group – Expats on Purpose
We’re delighted by our recent nomination to the global Top 25 Expat Podcasts!
Full Episode Transcript:
Hello, it is 10am in New York, 4pm in Johannesburg and 9pm in Bangkok. Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com. I’m a solution oriented coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations and I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.
When I was growing up my parents taught me about tough love.
They shared that tough love is what you do or say because you love someone even though it’s hard. And today I feel like what I have to share falls under the tough love category.
In today’s episode of Expat Happy Hour, I’m sharing eight purpose truth bombs.
If you’ve been following me closely. We are in the middle of expat quicksand; four areas I notice where people get stuck. We started talking about connection, we’re hungry for connection with ourselves and with others, we want to find out how to get unstuck. That’s what we did last month and this month we’re smack dab in focusing on purpose, living a life that is full of purpose and meaning before we move on to direction in the coming month.
And the reason why I’m sharing tough love today is, there are ideas we have about purpose that we hold on to that are not true, and these ideas are holding you back.
So I don’t want you to be held back from finding more purpose.
You can hear me debunk 8 myths about purpose in Episode 34, but today I’m going to focus on the truth bombs because I love you and I want you to find more purpose and meaning.
And stay tuned because I’ve got a ton to share the end about how you can do even more to find purpose and meaning no matter where you are.
So let’s get started with my purpose truth bombs.
So truth number one, purpose is not something you find, purpose is not something you find, purpose is not a needle in a haystack, you’ve heard me say this before, purpose is nothing more than making an impact. So stop making it complicated, it’s like we’re on this quest to find the thing and it’s so hard. Knock it off! All we need to do when we focus about purpose is, calm down and focus on how you can make an impact. And maybe that impact is in your own life, maybe it’s in your house, maybe it’s around how you talk to your kids, maybe it’s done how you serve your community, maybe it’s around doing the one thing about an issue in social justice that’s important to you or taking that one step to stop destroying the environment. I don’t care what it is, settle down, stop looking for that needle in the haystack and focus on impact.
I think we make it way too complicated, I know there are people who feel like purpose is like why we are on the planet and it should be taken so seriously. I get that but seriously, do we really need to put so much pressure on ourselves right? All I want you to do is take a deep breath and just ask yourself “What kind of impact would I like to make in my life, or maybe in someone else’s life, or maybe for another cause.”
If we’re really gonna live on purpose, there’s got to be some joy involved. I mean, it doesn’t have to be so serious. It’s what making an impact, something that brings you joy, even if it’s something serious around social justice, the joy that you feel about doing something that makes an impact. When you put your head in the pillow at the end of the night, you can rest knowing that your efforts were worth it.
So truth number one is purpose, is not something you find, it’s not a needle in the haystack, it’s about making an impact.
So sorry if I destroyed that quest for you that you are on your quest to find it. I don’t believe it’s like that, I think it’s more simple than that. And I’m saying this based on the last decade that I’ve worked with people to help them find more purpose abroad.
Truth two, purpose is created, it’s created and guess who creates it? You.
And this might go against someone’s spiritual beliefs or religious beliefs. Let’s just say it’s co-created if that’s what’s happening with you spiritually or religiously, but simple truth, purpose is created. You do the work, it doesn’t happen to you.
I hope that my life isn’t on purpose in the way that it happens to me, kind of like an Eckhart Tolle moment, where you wake up on a bench naked. I don’t know if that’s really what happened to him, but that’s at least what I remember from the book that I read. Or a Byron Katie moment where you’re basically off and maybe even abusing alcohol for years, and suddenly you wake up and you have an epiphany and everything’s different. No, thank you, I don’t want purpose to come to me then. I’d rather co-create it with the universe. Purpose is so simple, purpose is created, you do the work. And here’s what the work looks like. I work with people one to one, hand in hand, to create a life that is full of purpose and meaning and it is this simple.
One you get over your own BS, like what are the ways you’re keeping yourself small? What are the lies you’re telling yourself that are derailing you?
Two you get back in your body. How do you know what you want? If you’re not even in your body to find out what it wants. What are you going toward or away from?
Once you’ve done all of that you’re halfway there and then you allow yourself to dream an experiment. So we get out of this sort of logic side, the left brain. Most of my people are super left brain, super smart, super like engineer, finance, process-oriented, we’re good at logic. Left brain, no problem. Right brain, hello folks. Let’s get there, let’s play on the right side to finance your left side did not bring answers, not enough.
So you allow yourself to dream, we work with certain methods that are more creative to let things pop up. And then you experiment.
Once you’re so pumped up about creating that thing that lights you up, you do the work to make it happen. I’m boiling it down, I know there’s more nuance there but purpose is created and that’s how it’s created.
So guess what? You don’t have to wait around you can start creating more purpose. Now, that’s truth.
Number two, purpose is created. I am so against this idea, that if you feel a lack of purpose then just be patient because it will come to you. It just makes me aggressive when I hear that. No way Jose that’s not going to happen. If you are feeling a lack of purpose let’s get busy, let’s create it, because life is too short. And as we know lack of purpose is life threatening, people with a soft sense of purpose are at as equal health risk as people who are smokers or sedentary or obese. Purpose is important, so let’s get busy.
Truth number two purpose is created.
Sorry, I’m on fire you guys, it means so much to me.
Truth number three, super connected, truth number three, clarity on your purpose comes from action.
Clarity on your purpose comes from action, and this is really simple, Adrienne. Dorison, she has this wonderful way of looking at it that most people say that we have clarity and then confidence and then we take action So, you know what you want, then you feel confident you can do it, then you take action. But really it’s not that way. The way she describes it is action leads to clarity and that clarity gives you confidence.
So clarity in your purpose comes from action, you have to start doing something.
And that’s scary right, taking action without being confident and not being clear. But that is the truth, clarity on your purpose comes from action. You can’t know unless you’re taking action, creating clarity and creating confidence. It’s like a toddler, he was like, “Okay, yeah, I’m sitting here my crib and now I know how to walk. I know how to walk, I’ve seen it, I’m pretty confident I can do it. So now I’m going to get up and walk.” That isn’t how goes, that’s why it’s called toddling, you’re going back and forth falling on your butt, getting up crying hitting your head. The action is what gets you clarity on how to do it and after you’ve taken enough action and you’re clear enough how to put your right foot into your left, boom then you’ve got confidence. Now you’re walking, same thing with purpose.
Truth number 3 clarity on your purpose comes from action.
So for every single one of you who is listening and you’ve said to yourself, “You know what I need to be clear on what I want to do before I start taking action.” Listen up, if you’re still struggling with purpose it’s probably because you haven’t taken enough action. You need to be getting out there and doing something. And again this is what I’m saying, don’t forget tough love. I’m not just trying to be tough, I’m trying to love you up.
If you’re struggling with purpose and you’re not taking a load of action, this is probably for you. I want you to take action so that you get clarity and then you get confident.
You don’t have to do that alone, that’s what I’m here for, to be by your side, but that’s what the truth is.
Steve Maraboli says “The universe doesn’t give you what you ask for with your thoughts, it gives you what you demand with your actions.”
I’m on fire today you guys, this means so much to me, I just want this for you so bad.
Here’s what we’ve talked about so far. Truth one purpose is not something you find. Truth two purpose is created. Truth three clarity on your purpose comes from action.
You still with me? Remember tough love, because I love you and I want you to have this.
Okay, let’s move on to number four. Truth four, living on purpose is a habit.
Living on purpose is a habit, so for those of you who are thinking, “I’m not really motivated to do something, so I’m not really meant to do it, I’m not ready to do it.” It’s not true. Living on purpose is something that you do over and over until it becomes a habit.
And the thing that you know, I talked about obsessively in the Facebook group Expats on Purpose, are my disgusting smoothies. Another thing I talk about a lot is running. I want to live on purpose, and part of my purpose is to be healthy and happy and serve. For me to do that, I physically need to be healthy, my hormones need to be balanced and I need to not be an angry tiger. So for that to happen, I need to go running and I need to eat the right foods. A habit; living on purpose is a habit. Now I run five times a week. It’s what I do, I have to do it, my body needs to do that to be a good person. Last week I didn’t go running two days in a row for reasons that I really understand and everybody paid for it. It’s good and I go running for everyone. I was not someone who used to run five times a week that wasn’t my habit, but I got crystal clear on how I want to live until it became a habit. Same thing with the disgusting smoothie, I hate my smoothie powder, I put it in spinach and avocado and add some water in this gross powder, but I do it every morning. And you know what? It is a good habit, and I know that it serves me.
So this idea that we’re on purpose comes with accountability, that you need to form good habits to live on purpose. People who are living on purpose aren’t just struck by lightning lucky and they are the ones who do it and you can’t. Everyone can form a habit.
I love James Clear’s book Atomic Habits. You can learn how to create habits. Don’t tell yourself you don’t have enough discipline, habits are learnable. So living on purpose is as easy as forming a new habit and as hard as forming a new habit, because we are resistant to change. But guess what? You’re one habit away from living on purpose, just like I was one habit away from being a healthier more energetic me. How I spent my morning and at least for that part of my life, I’m totally on purpose.
So truth four is, living on purpose is a habit and it’s a habit you can learn.
And you don’t have to do it alone, that’s why my Facebook group Expats on Purpose is there to support each other in doing that. That’s what I’m here for, to help you as you create your habits.
Truth four, living on purpose is a habit.
Number five, truth five, purpose is the main meal not the side veg. Purpose is the main meal not the side vegetable.
Purpose is so important, this is not a side thought.
It is time to figure it out. You’ve heard of my other podcast that lack of purpose is life-threatening. What we know from the research long, longitudinal studies over fourteen years, is that people with a strong sense of purpose live longer healthier lives. We are programmed for purpose, so stop treating it like the side veg, it is the main meal.
And just because you haven’t landed on that something that you’re passionate about, doesn’t mean that you don’t have an obligation to get out there and start discovering what lights you up, what inspires you, what gives you energy. Because if you have a family that you want to take care of, you want to do that, as long as possible, as happy as possible, as healthy as possible. If you have something you believe in, an issue that you want to serve, then put purposes as a main meal, because then you’re going to be able to give your best longer and happier.
We are programmed for purpose, so don’t treat purpose like a side veg, this is not optional.
If you haven’t listened to my podcast that lack of purpose is life-threatening, go and check it out. We are programmed for purpose. Go check it out because it’s that important for you. Purpose is the main meal not the side veg.
Truth 6, living with purpose starts by taking care of yourself. Living with purpose starts by taking care of yourself. And this might feel counterintuitive to some of you, a lot of people think that purpose is always centered on the service of the greater good and if your purpose isn’t in service of the greater good it’s not a worthy enough purpose. I get that, who doesn’t want to serve the greater good and if you don’t you wouldn’t say it out loud because then you’d sound like a jerk. But I’m with you, I love serving the greater good, but you know what I understand? I can’t unless I take care of myself, as I was saying before me sans smoothie or without running, I am not being able to serve people in ways that are top if I’m not taking care of myself.
So living with purpose starts by taking care of yourself, and if you are not taking care of yourself, you’re not going to be able to serve others optimally or sustainably. And that could mean your family, that could mean your job, that could mean a really important issue that has to do with social justice that you hold near and dear to your heart. So if you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re actually sabotaging your efforts to be on purpose for something bigger than you.
Truth six, living with purpose starts by taking care of yourself. And if you have been around enough with me, you know I am all about you taking first class care of yourself.
First class care of yourself so that you can serve others, so that you have energy, so you can live well and draw from that energy and compassion to serve others.
You don’t have to be Mother Teresa, but what you can do is start by taking care of yourself, and that will have a ripple effect on others.
Okay, so far we’ve talked about truth four, living on purpose is a habit. Truth five, purpose is the main meal not the side veg. Truth six, living with purpose starts by taking care of yourself.
Okay, I love you guys, so I have got two more.
Truth seven, there is not one true purpose, so stop putting so much pressure on yourself that you’re going to pick the wrong one.
There’s not one true purpose, remember living on purpose is a habit, so start the habit of being on purpose, start somewhere. Because think about all the ways that we can be on purpose in our life, like being a loving parent, supportive spouse, a professional who makes a positive impact in the world, a community member who makes a difference. So let go of one true purpose and all that pressure because you’ll never accomplish anything, maybe feels like a threat to all the other things that are important.
So truth seven is, there’s not one true purpose, Let that in, there’s so much freedom there to start somewhere, start building the habit somewhere to be on purpose in some aspect of your life that feels meaningful and you’re going to start building habits, purpose habits that serve you. And then once you get good in that one area, you can use those strengths to the next, so there’s freedom for you.
There’s not one true purpose.
Truth eight, living with more purpose is not a straight path.
Living with more purpose is not a straight path, and I’m sorry to say that because we all want answers guaranteed, the steps that we can hold onto, a certainty. But in my work with my clients we get started and we don’t know where we’re going to land. I know we’re going to land on purpose, but neither of us know what that looks like and it’s this weird math.
Like in the first six sessions I say it’s like morning sickness where they’re like vomiting up all the way so they limit themselves, keep themselves small, all the BS they tell themselves. And it’s like, all that work happens in the first six sessions, the first three months and then months four, five, six, we are playing and dancing and dreaming and opening up to things that we don’t know. That’s what dreaming is, it comes up with stuff we have never thought of yet and then bam it’s like almost like clockwork in session 12, it’s the thing that neither one of us expected drops. The path there was not straight because living with purpose is not a straight path. But you have to start somewhere and you have to build the habits.
And that’s what’s so exciting in my work the beauty of no straight path is, it leads you somewhere you couldn’t have imagined. I don’t know who said this but there’s this quote that says “Thinking is good, overthinking can end things before they even get a chance to develop.” That’s what I’m talking about, we don’t need to overthink this and create a straight path to knowing.
Getting really clear on your purpose is more like being, I don’t know a gardener, if you plant something and you water it and you hope that the slugs don’t come, you know, you explore like on a path that’s not predefined. And you know, you’re taking steps toward it, you know that your nourishing something and something beautiful is going to be born, because living with more purpose is not a straight path.
Nor is there one true purpose, it starts with taking care of yourself, it is the main meal not the side veg. Living on purpose is a habit and it starts by taking care of yourself. Clarity of purpose comes from action, because purpose is created and it’s not something you find.
So there you have it. Purpose is not something that is going to drop from the sky for only the chosen ones, nor is it something that has to feel heavy. The good news is that purpose is in your hands and it is unique to you and you can follow these truths to create it. That’s the whole reason I’m showing up with tough love today, the whole reason I’m throwing out these truth bombs. Because I want you to walk away with the thoughts that will motivate you to take action so that you can show up in your life with more purpose and meaning. That’s what I mean about getting off the sidelines of your life, and I know after over a decade of working with expats that a sense of purpose, no matter what you do is so critical when you face the realities of our globally mobile lives.
And here’s something I’m so excited to share, this week is especially exciting for me because this is the week of the purpose challenge. Five days in our group Expats on Purpose, so you can start creating more purpose and meaning in your life.
If something resonated with you today, and you’re hungry to start living more on purpose, do not delay. The purpose challenge starts today, August 19th 2019 in the group Expats on Purpose on Facebook. If you’re listening to this after the date go to the link and opt-in, because you can find it in our group history and still participate.
So if even if you’re in Expats on Purpose and you haven’t already signed up do it now because all the goodies get delivered to your inbox. That is a purpose podcast in the morning, we do a live Q&A at noon South African time, or your local time, you’ll have to convert for and then the evening I send you a nightcap, which is a five minute audio to help you create closure on the day and get ready for the next day.
We also have a free workshop coming up on purpose and one on direction, because I am hell-bent on getting you off the sidelines of your life. I want to support you to start living a more purposeful and meaningful life abroad because we know that those with a strong sense of purpose thrive live longer, are happier and even have better sex. Lack of purpose for not taking action on that purpose can be a threat to your health, happiness and relationships.
It is time to get serious about taking back control of your life, happiness and creating your thing.
You have been listening to Expat Happy Hour with Sundae Bean, thank you for listening.
I’m going to leave you with the words of Indian Yogi Mystic and Author Sadh Guru, “Truth is not for comfort, it’s for liberation.”