How to Change you Life - On Purpose + more from A Trailblazer's Guide to The Universe (part 2)
It was a great honour to be interviewed by Una Mullally of The Irish Times for a new series in the magazine on How to Change Your Life. Our hot topic was Purpose 101. We explored what purpose means as a concept and a practice in today’s performance driven culture.
To me purpose is an inside job. It’s about connecting to the feelings that light us up. Once we experience those feelings we understand what makes really us come alive. The next thing is to figure out how we can translate those feeling into our lives every day. This inspires us and brings us closer to what Simon Sinek calls our ‘why’. I believe that true purpose is a way of being in intimate relationship with the world around us. From a place of true purpose we can blaze bright trails. Then as the late great John O’ Donohue puts it “you are on a real safari..."
*You can read more from The Irish Times piece here
Below are some more findings from our almanac of trailblazing insights plus some great resources carefully prepared just for you. You can also scroll down to the end of this post and receive your free gift - A Trailblazers Guide to the Universe.
5. Connecting the Dots
Trailblazers are modern day crusaders travelling through realms that exist on the edge of perception. They see patterns, break codes and trust the cues and clues along the way. They connect the dots. Philosophers call it framing chaos and humans have been doing it since the beginning of time. When we connect the dots we track new constellations of meaning, we boost the mind’s processing speed, strengthen synaptic connections, create neural networks and blaze new trails. As Steve Jobs succinctly put it -
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever ”
Watch Steve Jobs full commencement speech at Stanford here
6. Keep the Channel Open
Trailblazers are agents of enlightenment. They collect and share aha moments that range from the Eureka’s of science to the Epiphanies of art and the Hallelujahs of the mystery. Witnessing revelatory aha moments creates a special kind of quickening beautifully captured by Martha Graham, the mother of modern dance. Her innovations in physical expression forever influenced and inspired the world of dance. She was even featured as one of the game-changers in Apple’s 1997 campaign about innovation. Martha's brilliant conversation with Agnes De Mille has inspired many budding trailblazers to ‘keep the channel open’. This is a conversation I come back to again and again when I need to feel that life force.
“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. Keep the channel open”
Read more about Martha Graham on the Life Force of Creativity from the brilliant Maria Popova at Brain Pickings here.
7. Listen to Your Heart
Trailblazers are pilgrims of the heart. They lead from an interior place of love. The root of the word courage is cor - the Latin word for heart. Science tells us that the flow of awareness we experience when the mind and emotions are in coherent alignment with the heart is called heart intelligence. The heart is the place where real change can happen – where alchemy can turn crisis into courage. When we place attention on the innate intelligence of the heart we find deep pockets of compassion, courage and care that connect us to ourselves, to each other and to the “global heart mind”. The heart is the place from where the entire future of the human race can be transformed. One of the world’s great teachers on heartfulness and mindfulness is psychologist and author Tara Brach. Listen to the Tara Brach podcast here
8. Keep Going
And finally, in his inspiring Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Seamus Heaney, the great poet from our homeland of Ireland spoke of the power of poetry to “remind us that we are hunters and gatherers of values”. Trailblazers are hunters and gatherers who forge new pathways of possibility in the wilderness. They track the territory of the unknown for moments of evolutionary potential. Just as life continues to unfold its 14-billion year story of creativity, we too are an integral part of this unfolding process. We are all part of what Heaney calls ‘the essential rhythm.’
“Getting started, keeping going, getting started again – in art and in life, it seems to me this is the essential rhythm not only of achievement but of survival…”
Read all of Seamus Heaney’s Commencement Ceremony at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1996 here
*The image on the right is of Marie Heaney in front of an art installation by Maser. This is inspired by Seamus Heaney’s final words to her, ‘Noli timere’.
We look forward to blazing bright and beautiful trails with you in the near future.
PS: To receive your copy of A Trailblazer's Guide to the Universe click here
**For more on Simon Sinek check out his Ted Talk 'How Great Leaders Inspire Action' here
***To hear one of John O' Donoghue's last interviews check out this incredible On Being Interview with Krista Tippett here