Tag Archives: how can I find my purpose?

SerenDestiny #61: What is the “SerenDestiny Story?”

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In the movie The Graduate, Dustin Hoffman’s character has just graduated from college.

His parents throw him a welcome-home party to celebrate.

One of his dad’s friends throws his arm around Dustin’s shoulders and asks, “So, what are you going to do now?”

Dustin tells him, “I was going to go upstairs.”

The man looks at him askance and says, “No, I mean … with your life.”

What are you doing with your life?

Do you have a meaningful purpose that gives you a reason to wake up every morning?

If so; you’re living in the sublime, deeply satisfying state of SerenDestiny®.

If not; please know that NOT knowing what you want to do with your life is … natural.

Sure, some lucky people, (like my son Tom who knew at age 8 he wanted to do something “up there” and now works with the International Space Station), have clarity about their purpose from an early age.

For most of us though, we figure it out along the way.

We figure it out by experimenting and learning what resonates and what doesn’t. Our life-work emerges from the process – it doesn’t precede the process.

The good news is, you can facilitate finding your life-work by studying the case studies of SerenDestineers who share their epiphanies of how and why they’ve come to love their life.  

I’ve been sharing their insights in this blog for the past year, and will be distilling their lessons-learned (and my own) in my upcoming book SerenDestiny: Is the Light On In Your Eyes?

I’d love to include your story of how you’ve created a life you love. How would you answer the following questions?

1. How did you discover your life’s purpose?

2. What obstacles did you encounter? How did you overcome them?

3. What advice do you have for how people can lead a life where the light’s on in their eyes?

Still searching for your SerenDestiny®? What questions and challenges would you like addressed in the book?

I really believe in “crowd-sourcing.”  This will be a better book if it features a variety of real-life examples from people around the world so everyone can relate to it.  

I know you’re busy … so thank you in advance for taking the time to submit your questions and suggestions to Sam@IntrigueAgency.com.  I look forward to hearing from you.

And in case you’re curious about how SerenDestiny® got started…. here’s the back-story.

What’s the SerenDestiny Story?

My sons Tom and Andrew were home for the holidays from Virginia Tech.

We were getting caught up over dinner and Andrew said, “Hey, Mom, I ran into Ryan last night. It was really interesting. I hadn’t seen him since high school and I’d been wondering what he was up to. Then, there he was … out of the blue.”

I laughed and said, “Oh Andrew. That wasn’t out of the blue. That’s called Serendipity. Some people call those happy accidents … but I don’t think they’re accidents.”

“What you do you mean?”

“Think about it. What are the odds of that happening?

You’re thinking about Ryan and all of a sudden he shows up?? Really?!

That’s not a coincidence, that’s a gift.

Your paths crossed for a reason. You’re supposed to figure out why and act on it. Maybe you’re meant to collaborate with Ryan on something.”

Andrew was intrigued. Later that night, he came up to me with a thoughtful expression on his face and said, “Mom, I really like that concept of . . . SerenDestiny®.”

Aahhh.  Out of the mouths of 20-somethings.  Little did I know that casual conversation would launch an incredibly rewarding, new direction in my career and business.

The idea of SerenDestiny® intrigued me too.

I realized, looking back, my whole life has been a series of SerenDestiny® Stepping Stones.

From an early age, something “out of the blue” would happen and I would somehow, instinctively, understand it was my job to capitalize on it.

That would lead to something wonderful which would in turn lead to something even more wonderful. People often tell me how lucky I am to do the work I was born to do and I agree.

But I think it’s more than luck.

In retrospect, I now see there were a variety of contributing factors that played a role in me leading a life I love.

Whenever it was time to make a pivotal life decision – what I now call Crucial Crossroads – I honored my Three I’s – Instincts, Integrity and Interests.

Every time I did, it paid off. Every time I didn’t, I paid the price.

The more I explored this concept, the more I started defining SerenDestiny® as “leading a life where the light’s on in our eyes.”

I started asking everyone I met, “How would you define SerenDestiny®?  Are you leading the life you’re meant to live?  If so, why?  If not, why not?”

I’ve learned a lot, including:

1. We move closer to the sublime state of SerenDestiny® every time we act in alignment with our Thre I’s – our Interests, Instincts and Integrity – and our Three V’s – Values, Voice and Vision at Crucial Crossroads.

2. SerenDestiny® doesn’t just happen. We don’t FIND our calling – we CREATE it. It is a byproduct of “doing our half,” honoring our hunches, proving our passion and connecting with kindred souls who facilitate and fast-forward our best future. When we do our half – the universe steps up and say, “all right-then,” and does its half.

3. It is never too late or too early to set our SerenDestiny® in motion. And we don’t need to win the lottery, fly to Bali or quit our job to lead a life where the light’s on in our eyes.

4. It is not selfish to seek our SerenDestiny®. Just the opposite. Identifying our gifts and giving them back to the world results in a “rising tide raising all boats” life that benefits all involved.

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SerenDestiny #56: Is Your Calling … Calling?

After interviewing thousands of SerenDestineers around the world; I’ve come to understand many of us have a misunderstanding of what a “calling” is.

We think it is some Holy Grail moment where our “purpose” shows up in a blaze of glory.

Kind of like the Academy Awards of Purpose.

The heavens part, the trumpets play and the angels deliver a gold-embossed envelope.

We open it – and there in glowing letters – is what we’re supposed to do with our life.

It doesn’t really happen that way.

Clarity about who we are and why we’re here reveals itself over time.

It’s a thousand inklings … a thousand intuitive nudges … of what sounds interesting and what doesn’t; of what we like and don’t like; of what calls to us, what doesn’t.

We navigate our way through these mini-decisions of what feels good, right and resonant – and what feels bad, wrong and dissonant … every day, every week, every month.

The decisions we make at those Crucial Crossroads accumulate into a life that either is a reflection of our quintessence, a life that feels like us – or a life that feels wrong, that feels like someone else’s.

Therefore, our SerenDestiny® – a life where the light is on in our eyes – is a coalescing and accumulation of congruent actions taken at Crucial Crossroads.

Those Crucial Crossroads don’t just happen at momentous occasions – graduation, marriage proposals and job offerings.

They happen every day when we make decisions like:

* Should I have lunch with my supervisor even though I don’t like him – but he’s in a position to give me a raise?

* Should I sign up for that 10k and train for it – even though I’m busy?

* Should I major in accounting because that’s what my dad is and that’s where the jobs are – even though I hate accounting and the thought of becoming a CPA makes me depressed?

* Should I follow this hunch and go to this free seminar on how to start your own business – even though everyone is telling me it’s a real risk to open a business in this tough economy?

* Should I get up early tomorrow and have some private time so I’m not rushing through the day feeling like I never get time for myself?

Those “little” decisions made at your Crucial Crossroads have a huge impact on whether you like yourself and your life.

And, in the final analysis, that’s what SerenDestiny® is.

It’s not having the perfect job. It’s not being in a relationship with the perfect person. It’s not being perfectly healthy and having the financial freedom to do what you want.

Those are all nice – but they don’t guarantee you’ll have the light on in your eyes.

What puts the light on in your eyes is obeying your gut instincts that say DO THIS – DON’T DO THIS.

Those hunches are your 6th sense SerenDestiny® detectors.

They are signposts pointing the way to a congruent life that feels … right.

My friend Mary Loverde, pictured above, is a Life-Balance expert and author of the inspiring book The Invitation.

You can read more about this eye-opening book here – http://www.amazon.com/The-Invitation-When-Youre-Ready/dp/098350038X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337609715&sr=8-1

Mary just gave a commencement speech at her alma mater.

In her speech, Mary joked that many grads feel that, in self defense, they ought to wear a t-shirt to the ceremony that says, “I DON’T KNOW.”

They know they’re going to be asked the “Now that you’ve got your degree, what are you going to do with your life?” question dozens of times by well-meaning friends and family.

For many of them, they have NO IDEA how to answer that question.

50% (50%!) of all graduating seniors do not have a job lined up.

The months ahead are going to be filled with frustration as they apply for jobs and don’t even get an interview.

So, what shall they do?

They should stop relying on the traditional business world to give them a paying job, to define their purpose in life for them.

What will really move them forward is to fill each day with activities that feel right to them.

That could be volunteering for a non-profit that gives them opportunities to give back so they feel useful.

That could be identifying someone who is doing work they admire – and volunteering to intern for them for the next three months – pro bono.

That way, they could be waking up every morning and have somewhere to go, something to do, something that gives their days meaning and momentum.

They could be apprenticing for someone they respect, producing work that goes into their portfolio.

That way, they will have something to show for the next three months. They will have learned valuable on-the-job skills instead of sitting in their parents’ basement and waiting for the phone to ring.

How about you? What is one thing you’re going to do today that feels right?

There are aspects of our life out of our control. We may feel locked into circumstances not of our own choosing. We may feel we don’t have the option to do what we want, to make whole scale changes.

We don’t have to.

As Mary Loverde says, “Every day is an invitation to honor our instincts that have our best interests at heart.”

In other words, we don’t find our purpose – we give ourselves a sense of purpose by doing “little” things every day that are in alignment with our integrity, intuition and interests.

And in doing so, we become the kind of person who creates our own calling.

Everyone is looking for someone who knows who they are.

Wen you are “true to yourself,” you create a state of SerenDestiny where life feels …right …or at least…better.