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The question of ‘Purpose’ has been tickling me remorselessly for at least a year,, and I had an interesting experience this week when I wrote on this topic with a group I was guiding. I compared what I had written to my response to the exact same exercise well over a year ago, and the difference was, well – huge!

Let me first share the exercise. Begin by spontaneously completing the following four sentences with whatever thought springs to mind. Try not to over-think or edit what arises.

* When I was a child, I believed I was here to…

* As a teenager, I believed I was here to…

* As an adult, I believe I am here to…

* The most important thing life has taught me about why I’m here is…

You then simply choose one of those sentences and write, for about ten minutes, to expand on that thought/theme.

The first time I did this, about 18 months ago I think, I chose the first – as a child – and this is what I wrote:

It was from quite a young age, say about eleven, that I decided I was here to change things. I looked at the world much as I looked at myself, something of value but that could be improved. My heart was raw, passionate and open. I heard of suffering and I wanted to be the one to bring it to an end. I thought I was here to make other people’s lives better, and something in that innocent power of youth believed sincerely that I could.

I remember having seen a television program about children in the UK living in poverty. I wrote to the Prime Minister, asking him to do something about it, asking why, how was this possible? I believed I was here to ask questions. I took nothing for granted, took nobody’s word for it. If I didn’t agree, I’d ask further questions to try to get to the bottom of things. I was, I am, a digger.

I believed I was here to share the abundance I’d been born into, with apparently no reason beyond life’s mysterious pot luck. I felt the weight of my good fortune and believed life had given me a mission, a responsibility I enjoyed and took seriously and addressed with all my heart. The responsibility to make the world a better place for my having been in it.

I didn’t know how I was going to do that, and my early loves of acting, horse riding and writing were ways of cultivating and sharing passion and joy, but I didn’t consciously see those activities as contribution. They were my fun, but they weren’t why I was here. Whatever that was, it had to be much. much more important and much more serious than fun…


I’ll share part two – the more recent piece, plus a poem – tomorrow. In the meantime, if you have any wisdom or experience to feed into my exploration of this topic of Purpose…please do!

May your life be blessed with meaning

May your days be filled with fun

May you welcome in equal measure

both the rain clouds and the sun…