5.5 Finding your unique contribution
EGL Newsletter Volume 5.5
Each of us comes to this life with something to accomplish. We have our core lessons to learn, and our core contribution to make. Every aspect of your life weaves together to form a tapestry which is unique in every sense, with its own beauty and sense of purpose. Humans are creative and generative beings. During the time we walk this planet, some of us will find that place and will live life to its fullest, contributing to the planet and the evolution of humanity. Others will not, regardless of the opportunities or the deep desires they may have.
This first step of leadership is of great importance. Now, it is not necessarily about finding the one thing that is our deepest and truest purpose, although we aspire to do that. More often it tends to be learning to search, find, move, and learn. Many people’s purpose shifts through life, as we try out different ways of being and as we experiment with different paths. It is absolutely acceptable to refine a sense of mission. Most desirable is when we actually move through the mission, not away from it. Often we will move into an endeavor, and while there, discover some aspect that is even more important or deeply satisfying. If that is the case, then move with it. That is ultimately being true to yourself. If you give up on a mission because it seems too big or scary, we are just giving up on ourselves.
To find true passion, one has to simply look inside at what really matters. Just tapping into our awareness can usually create enough guidance to tell us what is important and what is not.
In order to lead others, you must first lead yourself. More than anything else, this becomes a practice throughout your life. Now, a nice way to look at this is through the idea that you already have a leadership practice. We all do. The question is whether you know it or not, and whether you put conscious energy towards how you engage that practice.
We use the word practice here to connote something that you regularly do, and how you approach the world. Every thought and every action constitutes the whole of how we are as a leader. Deeply imbedded in this practice are the words we use, our self-talk, and our habitual responses to the world. Now, the basic difference between a habit and a practice is mindfulness. Once we become mindful of how we talk to ourselves, we can understand that those words and emotions are a rehearsal for how we will talk to others. Once we become mindful of the habitual stories we tell ourselves about the world (our personal mythology), we become mindful of how those stories become a guide for our interactions and the explanations we place on the world.