Firstly, allow me to define some essential terms that go some way to describing the overarching components necessary to the ubiquitous, yet still very personal, search for a truly purposeful, meaningful, and successful life.
The source of your truth. Your insights, inspiration, ideas, intuition, and intentions spring forth from your Creative Core.
Your most important Work in life and of the moment. Work, at our edge, beyond our comfort zone, rooted in giving, to and of ourselves, aligned with the deepest truths of our Why, How and What of the moment is Real Work. The insights, inspiration, ideas, intuition, intentions of your Creative Core are manifested and realised through your Real Work.
Your You Outlook is your vision of a future you. A you that is made more powerful through unlimited, unrestricted access to your Creative Core and multiple, interconnected channels of Real Work. Your You Outlook sits at the centre of a real-time creative feedback loop. It is a more connected you.
Real Work Centre
Your Real Work Centre is that grounded sweet spot through which your Creative Core, your You Outlook and your Real Work align. You’re at your Real Work Centre when you feel on purpose, even though you may have doubt, uncertainty, or fear.
Planning To Get
Our attitude and state in the moment are fully loaded with a skewed intention to get, in the future, that which we already have access to now, in the present. Our Selves.
Planning To Give
Our attitude, in the moment, is fully loaded with aligned intention. Our present thoughts, behaviours and actions inform and impact our present and future as well as others, positively.
If we pay attention and intervene the continual cycle (micro to macro) of cause and effect in time to break its cycle we can use the effects, which may be perceived as negative, neutral, or positive, as Forced Feedback. This helps us change the patterns of perception and behaviour that keep leading us to events that we experience as negative.
Your You Outlook held back by limiting beliefs. The version of you that is limited only in a specific area or at a certain time of your life. Today I am unlimited. Tomorrow I’ll be limited and will have a limit to free myself from.
Your You Outlook is unhindered by limiting beliefs. The version of you that is unlimited in a specific area or time of your life. Today I am limited. Tomorrow I’ll be unlimited until I recognise and overcome my next limit.
Secondly, I’ll explain how these parameters influence our unique life driven purpose, without which we’ll continue to struggle to live a consistently happy and content life individually and collectively.
In life, we have ‘loves’ and ‘interests’.
Our loves represent the past, whether that was last week, last year or only a few moments ago. Our memories, experiences, and attachments anchor us in the familiar, and for the most part, allow us to feel safe and secure.
Interests, on the other hand, reflect our ideas and excitement about the future. They draw us forward, to learn and experience more of life both in the bigger picture and the detail.
We might say that we ‘feel’ our loves and that they are to some degree inexplainable. They relate very much to positive emotional experience.
Conversely, we ‘think’ our interests. They are intellectual, more understandable and explainable. We often engage with our interests somewhat wantonly. We can become attached to the promise of multiple positive outcomes that maintaining a broad range of interests purports to offer.
The degree to which these internal and external factors overlap we have, feel and express passion.
However, experience tells us that even strongly held passions do not automatically inspire corresponding creative action. Instead, without meaningful Whys our passion would have us continually trying to understand and make sense of the past.
We’d be relentlessly chasing our tail in a never-ending attempt to prepare for or take advantage of an unpredictable future. One coloured by our limited past and that will most likely never see the light of day.
When we become conscious on a feeling and a thinking level of the reasons we love something, or someone, whether they are internally (we feel better) or externally referenced (someone else feels better, so we feel better), we have a purpose or many purposes.
Similarly, when we interrogate the Whys behind our interests, we determine our potentials.
Why Exercise Template
Take a moment to note down some of your loves and interests adding a priority score out of 1–10 (1 being the highest priority) in brackets and adding the most meaningful Why to each.
You can have multiple loves, interests, Whys, purposes, passions, and potentials. Prioritising each possible combination is key to arriving at a shortlist of potential Real Work Whats.
Use the Why Repurpose example below to get you started.
Love / Cooking (1)
Why = To help family and friends stay happy and healthy.
LOVES + WHYS = PURPOSES
Interest / Longevity Science (2)
Why = I want to go on giving for a long time to come!
INTERESTS + WHYS = POTENTIALS
Cooking + Longevity Science (1)
Why = To help people live longer healthier lives so they can enjoy their life while happily giving their gifts.
LOVES + INTERESTS = PASSIONS
PURPOSE + POTENTIAL + PASSION = REAL WORK
If we focus our time, energy and attention on where our passions, purposes and potentials overlap in our lives, we will find presence, balance, direction, integrity, growth and the candidate What’s of our Real Work.
Our Real Work Centre aligned, we are Planning To Give, and through positive Forced Feedback, we are creating and amplifying an Unlimited You Outlook.
The less aware and connected we are to our present moment Whys and the more disconnected our loves are from our interests, the more we remain ignorant of our passions, purposes and potentials.
There is little, if anything, holding the different aspects of our life together. We become unstuck, unstable, out of balance, directionless and purposeless.
Instead of being lifted by our loves and interests we are weighed down by them, conflicted and unable to discern that which is important to us and that which isn’t.
If we overemphasise our interests and in the process neglect our loves, we lean more heavily toward the future.
We become detached, preoccupied and distracted trying to pre-empt everything we can so that our expectations are met.
We live in the hope that we’ve done enough so that nothing ‘bad’ will happen, that we won’t miss out, and that everything works out for the best.
We are detached and Planning To Get free of our emotional and creative reality in the moment.
If we overemphasise our loves and in the process neglect our interests, we lean more heavily toward the past.
We become needy and limited, trying to control everything and ensure it stays the same and conforms to our old and outdated attachments.
We live in regret because change is inevitable and to the extent, we avoid it nothing ‘good’ can happen to us.
We are attached to the status quo, limited, always Planning To Get or keep hold of comfort and security by living in the past.
Past / Regret
In both these states, our Real Work Centre is out of alignment. Through Forced Feedback our You Outlook is diminished and compounded negatively to become Limited.
In any creative process, there is a level of pain, struggle and momentary or long suffered limitation. Perhaps it goes without saying that I love the struggle more when I like what I’m creating and less when I don’t.
I have to be vigilant and pay close attention to my emotions during my creative process, no matter how short or drawn out it is. I must ascertain whether there is really something wrong with me and my life that I need to change or I just don’t like what I’m creating on a particular project. Are these one and the same problem, co-existing at the same time?
I love architecture and feel that love in my process. However, on reflection, outside of that I don’t think I was very interested, or interested enough in it.
I am feeling resistance as I write this.
When I compare this to writing, I see similarities, but in my current Ideal Context, I can decide what I write about and Why. I am in control of the content as it were.
There were only a few Real Work moments during my architectural career where my loves and interests overlapped. On the rare occasion they did, I was in a position to decide both what I design and Why. When my love and interest do overlap, I feel passionate about what I’m doing.
In these moments it’s as if the Why is self-generating and the creative process takes on a life of its own, untethered.
I am present. I become excited about what the future may hold. I feel purposeful and happy. I start to imagine how my ideas and creativity can grow, expand, spread and positively impact more people.
Opportunities open for me to continue doing what I love, and that which interests me the most on a much grander scale.
Work Your Why, your You Outlook will become unlimited, and you’ll live a happier, more fulfilling, and enjoyable life.
This post is an edited extract from the ‘Work Your Why’ chapter of ‘Master The Seven Works — Repurpose Your Life : The Holistically Simple Way to Create Conscious Change and Work Your Why’ by Richard Conner (Combination Coach CEO @ Transformerpreneur.com).