I often dreamed about my graduation. In my mind I had a clear picture of myself, holding my Master's degree, beaming with joy, elation, and proudness. It was very different though when it actually happened.
I still remember sitting there and getting honored,...
While I was watching my daughter, my boyfriend, my parents, friends and felt... nothing!
There was no joy, no satisfaction, no inspiration.
Only emptiness and relief that the struggle of studying with a baby was now over.
The reason I ended up with an MBA was due to my geography teacher. I was enthralled by one of his classes and told him so. He just answered, “Well then you have to study Economy.” That was it for me. As I had no other aims I took it as a sign and the decision was made.
Even though I wasn't aware that it wasn't my own decision originally, I was lucky that my choice didn't let me completely go astray. It did fit – to a certain degree.
First I had a more holistic approach instead of having profits maximization as my single focus. Also, because I lacked the natural inspiration and joy in many subjects, I had to work harder than others to succeed. I already had decided to change university and to start with psychology instead when I suddenly became pregnant.
So having a purpose is essential but equally important it's that you're sure it's not an imposed one. An imposed purpose means you're following other's expectations and standards but not your own.
Knowing and following your soul purpose means you're having your personal guiding light. It's like following your north star. It guides you. It lights you the way. And it also makes you immune to others' intentions and decisions.
But how can you distinguish your own soul purpose from an imposed one?
How do you know when you're taking on other peoples' aims and believe them to be your own?
The truth is, it might have already happened, slowly and unconsciously without your knowledge when you were a child.
That's when you learned to follow others' aims and orders. As you're too small to understand the dangers of the world, you needed the adults around you to guide you: Your parents, grandparents, teachers, babysitters...
Usually, there are many people whom you learned to follow and obey. And often it was for your own good. But not always.
The dynamics of adopting an imposed purpose
Let's have a look at the negative dynamics of an imposed purpose.
1. You absorbed and accepted the aims of adults as being true and valid for you when you were small because you trusted them to mean well.
2. After the years passed by you believed those aims to be your own.
3. With this, you unconsciously started following other's expectations and standards.
4. But once you reach your aims, you feel empty and shallow instead of inspired and might even think “That couldn't have been all!”
5. Instead of quitting you keep pursuing the wrong aims because you're too afraid to change your life and /or to disrupt and disappoint your parents or people you care for.
6. So you limit and comfort yourself by believing that it's life and that it's okay because others have it worse than you.
7. As a consequence, you stop growing because you settle with less than you could have and deny yourself what your heart and soul longs for.
So how do you know that your aspirations are yours indeed?
Like always, one key factor is awareness.
Click here to download a simple worksheet so you can quickly identify if you follow other peoples' standards and aims or your own.
That's crucial to know because the consequences are harsh.
Following the wrong purpose and believing it to be your own, won't make you happy. It can't because you're literally living somebody else's life.
My most favorite film scene ever
One of my most favorite films (I love dancing!) is Center Stage.
It's about a group of ballet dancers and the selection process they need to undergo to win a place in the dance company of the American Ballet Academy. The training is brutal and the competition harsh. Everybody knows, only a selected few will make it. One of the sure winners, as everybody assumes, will be Maureen. She has studied ballet since her earliest childhood and is the star of the trainees.
Everybody envies her, and nobody sees how much she suffers. Even she is unaware of it far too long. But then she and her mother have a showdown, where Maureen tells her mother, she'll quit.
Her mother is shocked and begs her not to give up all her dreams! The very dreams she worked for her whole life. And then Maureen replies...
“No it wasn't my dream, it was yours. But you haven't had the body to do it, and I don't have the heart for it...!”
I don't know how often I've seen this film already, but this was always one of my favorite scenes. Total clarity, total responsibility. At this point in life, she didn't know what she wanted instead. She just knew, what she hated doing and was willing to stop it. And if you're ready to stop doing what you don't love doing, then click here to reserve your spot on the Soul Purpose Alchemy Program.
All the best!