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Creating a sense of purpose in all the confusion – COVID19

Hi folks Dr Ro here, it’s a summer’s day believe it or not, our first day of summer officially and it’s hailing. We have had hail, some snow, it’s crazy.

Many of you may have seen actually over the last few years there’s been a few posts I’ve done on this subject purpose, purpose, purpose.

I did a survey; I’ve done two or three surveys now if I look back over time on this subject many in front of audiences. We went out and did some surveys on this two years ago. 

I remember looking at what subjects were coming up most for people, so this was way before coronavirus. The thing that came back: money, relationships, purpose, health, vitality, etcetera, the thing that seemed to come back on the top of the list every time was purpose.

Even just recently, social media teams did a similar search for me and lack of purpose, feeling a sense of loss of purpose seemed to be the number one area that people wanted to get more clarity on.

And linked to that was happiness, having more happiness, having a greater sense of happiness in their lives.

So here we are in the midst of an absolute terminal globally, a lot of clear messages being sent to people. People are confused about what’s happening next, what is happening with their finances, their health, their family, their relationships, their business, jobs, careers.

Those young people going into education, what’s happening with University, my exams, all these things.

So it’s not unusual in a place of confusion to have a lack of a sense of purpose.

Interestingly enough though, if I’m really honest with you if we rewind three, five, 10 years I spoke about this subject, probably 20 years ago or more.

I remember in 2006, which is now something 16 years ago I did a talk, I did a one-day seminar for charity, I think it was linked with Mencap. In front of about 300 people and one of the big themes of the day was purpose and a sense of purpose and I can still remember it may even be on YouTube, I still remember several people commenting on the fact that one of the things they took away from that day was, you don’t have to go in search of your sense of purpose.

You don’t have to go chasing your purpose.

Actually the comments from people were that they liked the fact that I shared actually what if you had a sense of purpose in different areas of your life?

Meaning instead of just one whole life purpose, meaning oh my gosh I’ve got to go out there, I’m looking for my purpose where is my purpose?

Actually what if I gave each area of my life a sense of purpose and by doing that when I’m in the area of my life I become passionate, I  become excited. I am able to engage with that area with a sense of vitality and enthusiasm. 

When people started to do this the feedback we got was actually by doing this I’m now starting to get a greater sense of where I’m most passionate, but what my overall purpose in life is.

So what I’m going to suggest is this. This is a really tough period without a doubt, for all of us, myself included. My immediate family, your immediate family.

The people around us are amazing people working in the health service right now.

My cousin just told me that he’s taken up the UK challenge for respiratory and making of respiratory devices etcetera trying to help in that area.

Everyone is doing something in some way, shape or form. What I’m trying to say through this particular moment in time is that what would be a really powerful thing to do is to see if you can find a sense of purpose in this particular set of circumstances.

I’m going to step back from that in just a moment and talk about you personally. The bigger picture beyond Covid-19 but genuinely my question would be, what could you do that could give you a sense of purpose each week?

If you can do it daily, fantastic. But look, don’t put that pressure on yourself, what if you just said right this week I am going to do one thing that’s going to serve somebody else in this incredibly difficult time of need for other people.

It could be delivering some food for somebody that could be a sense of purpose for that week. It could be going and helping out with a charity if you can physically do that or remotely or socially distancing consciously, whatever the appropriate thing is for you.

It might be doing something online. It might be helping on a helpline, a support line. My  cousin is going out and doing something which helps you work towards the biggest challenge which is sorting out respiratory problems and helping the NHS and the services build, develop whatever they need to do in the next six, seven weeks.

Meaning stop for a minute and put all the noise that’s over there, we’re all getting it. It’s  texts, phone calls, emails, TV if you’ve got TV, Internet whatever it is all that noise and look and ask yourself the question, where am I most passionate?

For me particularly it  seems to have always been serving people with a sense of calmness and giving them a sense of reassurance and tools and tips and anything that can help them, but also children have been a passion for me as well.

So doing something to help younger people, even last year we had some youngsters at my communications events just to give them a chance to communicate more effectively for young people.

For you if it’s children great, what could you do in the area? If it’s elderly people, great go and help people in those areas. I know a friend of mine that works closely with autistic children.

Find something that you’ve always had a slight passion for, a massive passion for or this kind of building up inside you, this is the chance to let it out.

This is the chance to just save fuck it, I’ve used time as an excuse, I’ve used money as an excuse, I’ve used myself, family. I’ve used all this stuff, the world, the noise, business of the world all that has been an excuse. 

But now, a part from the snow and hail now there’s this moment of stillness and it is stillness. If you give it a chance to be still. I know there’s a lot of noise going on around us but if you can just use this moment, which is realistically probably six, eight weeks, 12 weeks in the whole length of your life, if my finger from here represents when you are born and this represents your life 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 where are you on there?

I’m about here, 54, you might be here, you might be here well, this moment in time is a slither in there. 

In that slither what can you do that just gives you the chance to give beyond yourself.

Give this next three months, a sense of purpose. Build something, give something, learn something different, whatever it is, do something beyond yourself.

And if you’ve worked with a charity overseas maybe you could set something up with them where you do a Skype call. What if you can offer a skill, a gift or something when you do a Skype.

Years ago when I learnt to speak I was in my late teens and early 20s, I just had this passion. I’d been studying self-development since I was 18 by the time I was 19, 20, I was going to colleges saying right, I want to talk to you about communication, about beliefs, revising, mind mapping and things like that.

Now I could go and do that in those days. 

But what if you were to do that now remotely what if you said right, college, school whatever it is in this time of need

I’ve got my computer here and there are all sorts of tools now where you can share your screen. Tools you can put on your computer, what if you just put together a simple presentation and you just gave from a great sense of purpose. And that’s all you did.

You can do it globally. That could be your main key thing that you do over this next month or two. Have a think about that.

Separately to that and I haven’t got the time to go into the detail of it now but what I would suggest you do is for each of the key areas of your life, and don’t think that your big life purpose.

I think that’s going to come out of the clarity of all of the smoke and the mist and all the stuff that’s happening around us right now. But what if you took each of  the key areas of your life and said right health, I’m giving you examples, relationships, money, wealth, for example, personal growth.

What if you categorised key areas of your life and then for each one of those you created a definition of your sense of purpose.

If nothing else just take a moment this week to sit down with a blank journal and say the right relationships and then write out your sense of purpose for the relationship.

“I want to be somebody that gives more. In my relationship I want to be able to come to the table and give beyond myself and to have magic moments with my beautiful partner, my husband, my wife. To be able to learn together and to grow together.”

You give that area of your life a sense of purpose, then you go across to, for example, maybe its finances and you want to be a money wizard, money magnet.

In money you can say I want to be a wizard with money, I want to be a great money manager, I am going to be able to attract money to me.

I will acquire more wealth into my life to give more to charities and you create this beautiful description of what the area of your life is.

If I talked about my purpose as a speaker is to be able to inspire the world to bring a message to the world and to contribute beyond myself to wake people up, make them feel alive when they are watching and listening to the words I’m sharing. And to be able to give them a message that they can go out and be empowered to do whatever they want to do.

If you look at my purpose statement for my speaking it’s really engaging, so when I read it when I go out to speak in front of an audience and I quickly look at it, it reminds me personally why I am doing what I’m doing.

As a parent, what if you created a purpose for being a parent?

My good friend Donna has just come online. I can see her now. She has just become a mum in all this turmoil, she gave birth about a day and half ago. She is also the mother of a toddler as well, and each of us as parents, we have a purpose.

Sometimes in all of this shit going on around us we lose that sense of purpose. It’s like what the hell, I feel like my sense of purpose is to cook, to wash, to clean, to get them to sit down, to get them to focus, to concentrate.

But if you could put some elegant words behind that if you could make it more descriptive. If you could give it some passion and say my purpose as a parent is to embody my children, my core values to help them see the inspirational things in life to make them realise they can do exactly what they want to do by following that passion.

To be able to give them a sense of absolute passion that they can do whatever they want to do. What if you made that your sense of purpose for being a parent?

Actually what you end up with are mini statements of purpose around each of these areas of your life. And when you look at all of that, you often get a sense of who you are as a person, your values will jump out at you.

Where are you right now? It’s bright and sunny where I’m in Northern Ireland I am currently in West Sussex and if you can see my fingers are freezing by the way but look at this. 

We are renting at the moment a little place because our house is being renovated, you might have seen in another video and unfortunately we can’t move back in so at the moment, if you want to ask me honestly, what my sense of purpose is right now my genuine sense of purpose is I have to get my family and this is Maslow, I have to get my family safe and secure.

So I spent literally the last weeks, seeing if we can get the builders now are not on site and there’s one person coming tomorrow, so he’s basically just working on one area of the house, he will go somebody else will come in separately and, fingers crossed, we’re hoping to have a functional bathroom, cooker and sink in there. Everything else is a building site.

So right now my sense of purpose is just to be able to make sure my two beautiful kids, my lovely fiancé, have got a roof over their heads in about four, five days’ time. So yeah, difficult times for everybody.

The people renting houses at the moment, all these types of properties which is just a short-term let they’re not in a position to carry on doing that. We have to respect that as well. 

Everybody has turmoil going around them, so what I found in times of turmoil is you focus in and you create a sense of purpose for what is right in front of you now.

So what other things that you have control of that you can give some passion and purpose to, i.e., what can we do to help other people for example, in this difficult time.

But beyond that, think about six, 12, 18 months from today when we’ve come through this difficult period how do you want it to look?

How do you want it to feel?

How do you want each of those areas to be?

This is your chance to redefine.

There are certainly things for me that I want to do differently, we’ve made some pretty big decisions about being parents. I’m not going to go into that right now as it’s a decision I’m not sure if I want to talk about in a public space at the moment, but I will do in the months to come.

I think we’ve realised that there are changes that we need to make and we feel that actually, this whole experience is going on around us and the world is giving us a chance to reset and rethink how we want our life to be in the years to come.

And how much time and types of quality time for different types of experiences we want to have with our kids.

We feel blessed because we have had some amazing ones. But even in this moment we are realising actually there has been little gaps that maybe we’ve missed ourselves as parents.

What can you do differently?

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t beat yourself up if you’re feeling a bit lost right now. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re feeling a sense of vulnerability because I think everybody is right now, and quite frankly, if that’s what you’re feeling, then I think it’s a great time to stop and ask yourself what can I do in the future to ensure this doesn’t happen to me again in terms of my finances, my emotions. What can I learn?

What personal development tools can I learn?

Maybe it’s to do with your health, maybe you’re aware that your health isn’t as strong as it has been and you need a great sense of purpose in that area.

Maybe for the first time in relationships you’re feeling like you’ve lost connection with your partner and this the first time you’re getting closer and closer together.

Go and learn more about that person. What if you rediscover who they were? What if you had a sense of purpose over the coming months with the person you’re with and say right next, let’s go back and explore some of our history and tell me more about you and rediscover some things you forgot about your partner as well.

On that note if you can see my fingers are going numb. It is absolutely freezing. This is hail here coming down.

I love you all, have a great Sunday. Hopefully this has been some value to you and enthusiasm as well.

Give each day a purpose, give it a little purpose each day when you wake up, make a decision today about this.

Today is about being healthier, today is about being happier, today is about laughing more, today is about giving more, today is about giving more value to my kids or to the world. 

But if each day has a purpose, it will start to expand and that day becomes the next day and the next.

I’m going to go as I’m getting snowed on. Take care everybody have an amazing day.

Dr wrote signing out.

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