Hey guys, it’s Emilie.
A quick note before we get on with today’s fantastic guest post.
I tend to shy away from discussions about “purpose.” The word is so often used in a narrow, restrictive, singular sense (i.e. her purpose is to be a pilot, his purpose is to be a playwright, etc.) The conventional understanding of purpose is not very multipotentialite-friendly, so when I hear people talk about “finding your purpose,” I’m always a little wary.
You know what I do believe in though? Meaning.
I think we should all seek out meaningful pursuits and projects in our lives. But that meaning doesn’t all have to derive from one source.
I also believe that there are themes running through our passions–themes that tie our disparate interests and experiences together, guide us when we’re deciding what to pursue next, and provide this meaning. I call these themes our “Whys.”
So yeah, I’m not a fan of the typical discussion around “finding your purpose.” I don’t even really like the word PURPOSE.
Last week, puttypeep Kiki posted a discussion in the Puttytribe forum that I thought was so profound and helpful for multipods. I really liked her interpretation of “purpose.” It’s really similar to what I mean by a “Why.”
The Puttytribe is usually quite private (we want it to be a safe space for multipotentialites) so I reached out to Kiki and asked her if she’d be okay with me sharing her post publicly on the blog. Thankfully, she said yes.
Take it away, Kiki!
In response to this post by @EmilieWapnick …
I’d like to share my “one piece of advice” for multipotentialites.
It has to do with finding our “purpose.”
As multipotentialites, we’re constantly expressing and cycling through multiple talents and abilities.
Like a kaleidoscope of potential and possibility.
Some kaleidoscopes turn faster than others. Some turn more slowly. The pattern shifts and changes over time. Over a year…over a day…even moment to moment.
Because of these multiple active potentials, these various interests and abilities, it can sometimes be difficult to identify our higher–or deeper–purpose. Leading some to feel confused or lost.
After all, what are you “here to do” when what you do… is everything?
Here’s my advice. But I’d like to pose it as a question:
What if your purpose is not something you declare, but something you discover? Something that emerges over time?
As multipods, we have multiple talents and abilities, constantly blossoming and developing and expanding. They’re like our superpowers.
But what if our purpose isn’t our abilities? But something above and beyond them? Or something deeper within us?
Just because Superman could fly, that doesn’t mean his purpose was flying.
Likewise, what if our superpowers are just the vehicle to get us to where we’re meant to be? To help us fulfill our higher purpose in the world in a grand and powerful way?
What if our purpose is something even deeper and more intrinsic to who we are?
I mean, it’s in the words.
S U P E R P O W E R S
S U P E R P O W E R S
P U R P O S E
I’m still reflecting on this myself…
Even though my “superpowers” are writing, philosophy, art, analytical thought, information design… I think my purpose is creating powerful transformation in people’s lives.
I realize that I’ve felt most alive and excited and plugged in…
…whenever I’ve used writing for this purpose.
…whenever I’ve used philosophy for this purpose.
…whenever I’ve used information design for this purpose.
I love my “superpowers.” They’re a part of me and how I show up in the world. But they take on an entirely different feeling and meaning when I get to use them in this powerful way.
What do you think? Do you consider yourself to have a purpose? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Nkiruka (“Kiki”) is the creator of Bootstrap to Breakthrough, the 4-week adventure coaching program that helps “innovators, dreamers, and badass visionaries” invent a different kind of life beyond the status quo by finding the tiniest actions that have the biggest impact on their life and results. Connect with Kiki on LinkedIn.