What if they don’t line up?!
We can often conflate our dream life and our purpose. It’s not uncommon for us to think that one equals the other, but it’s not always so. We can often end up utterly conflicted between our natural calling in life, where we are most in a state of flow – and the life we dream of living. But do we really understand ourselves and what we want? Let’s unpack this and explore further…
Hi, welcome back to my blog. I’m Daniel Mangena, CEO of DreamerHQ, best-selling author, public speaker, podcast host and dreamer! If this is your first time reading my blog, welcome. I produce these three times per week and I encourage you to bookmark this page, in order to stay up to date with the latest from me.
So ok – your dream life and your purpose: what if they’re not the same?
Well the first thing to say of course, is that you need to know that what you call your “dream life” is actually the life that you truly desire. There are many, in-depth practices and exercises that we can do around that. I’m not going to get into them too much here, but suffice it to say: you need to interrogate your claims.
Find a way to ask yourself: “is the life I’m chasing what I really want?” How you do it isn’t all that important, so long as you can answer truthfully and without judgement. For some of you, this will mean holding space for yourself on your own. For others, you’ll need to talk it out with a friend or neutral party. Whatever works for you, make sure that you conduct your inquiry in a space that you feel comfortable and safe in.
So many people I’ve worked with, friends, family members, acquaintances etc… who have done this, often find that they are chasing someone else’s dream. Maybe they’ve had pressure from parents growing up, to get ‘a proper job’ and make a decent, middle-class living. It could be that they’ve come from a relatively poor background, and they are determined not to end up like that. Whatever the guiding force, they get to a place in their lives (usually middle age) where all of this dawns on them and they have a crisis.
A cliché old as time.
What this often results in is yet another knee-jerk reaction, the jettisoning of their current life and the blind embracing of change. Followed, of course by impulsive, idiotic choices that result in being back at square one. Why? Because they had identified neither their dream life, nor their purpose!
So what do I mean by your dream life and your purpose?
Your dream life is the life that you truly desire. Not the one that society says you should, or the one that your parents (in all their wisdom) say you should. It’s not the one that would show your high school bully that you are worth something. It’s not the one where you prove anything to anyone!
Now you might think: “my dream life is living on a yacht surrounded by attractive people, drinking champaign etc…” No, in that instance your dream life is one where you get the emotional payoff of not having to worry about money. You’ve illustrated it in a scenario where you indulge your every childish whim, but really what you’re saying is: I want a life of unbridled choice.
That being the case, yes: absolutely you should pursue wealth, but not because you want to be a self-indulgent idiot. That’s not really the payoff your seeking and if you want to be that, you can be right now. Why wait? This is what a lot of people get wrong! They lay out these dumb scenarios for themselves and complain that they can’t get there, all the while being exactly that person in the present!
If you’re sat down the pub, or in a bar, complaining to whomever will listen about your life and how you can’t be a millionaire…sat on his yacht, engaging for all intents and purposes in the exact same behaviour that you are right now: you need to have a word with yourself!
Understand what you’re asking of the universe. You have to understand the ‘why’ behind what you’re calling your dream life. What is the energetic or emotional payoff? Because if it’s the same as what you’re doing right now: no, it won’t happen…cause it already is!
If, however, you understand that you want wealth in order to be able to live a comfortable, abundant lifestyle, filled with options and resources so that you can be of service; that gives the universe something to work with! That’s not available to you right now, so changes need to happen.
So your purpose then, what’s the difference?
Well…if you’ve done the leg work, interrogated yourself and answered truthfully about what your dream life really is: your purpose starts to hove into view. Your purpose is really your ‘why’ but it’s also that thing inside you, that lights you up and that you derive the emotional payoff from.
Your purpose is what guides you to your dream life. It’s what guides what I call “the choice machine”. As I talk about in Stepping Beyond Intention your choice machine is working non-stop, 24/7. Even when you’re asleep (especially when you’re asleep). Whether we are in control, conscious directing it is another matter.
As I’ve spoken about a million times by now: your subconscious runs the show in your absence. It runs on ancient, primitive programming. This means that you have to speak to it in binary language almost, in order to get it making choices for you that are aligned with your goals. Nevertheless, for now; you need to keep consciously intervening and staying in charge of your choice machine.
The best way to do this, is to have the leverage over yourself that makes the desired outcome inevitable. That thing that pushes you through the fatigue barriers, makes you go the extra mile and never give up! This is your purpose.
So are your dream life and your purpose the same? No. Are they mutually exclusive? Absolutely not! In fact, the odds are that your dream life is purpose-driven in some way.
Now a quick addendum about judgement, as it pertains to your dream life and your purpose.
I practice Kundalini Yoga. One to the practices that we’re taught there is the neutral mind. We have the negative, neutral and positive mind. Negative and positive aren’t about ‘good and bad’, because everything is relative. It’s more about getting to see them as polarity; ‘push and pull’ if you will.
Being in the neutral mind is therefore about remaining in a state of observation and balance. From there we can make choices that are optimal and beneficial for all concerned; from a loving, mindful space there in the moment.
How do you know if you’re in the neutral mind?
It comes down to intention. What do you want to outcome to be? If you’ve done the work of identifying your dream and your purpose, who you want to be and what you want to experience; then you will be able to make decisions based on whether they support that or not.
This is also why I encourage people to focus on service. Who do they want to serve, and how? This isn’t about charity (though it can be if you want it to be). It’s about the expansive impact of your dream on others. If it’s to solve a particular problem for your clients, while also lifting up the lives of others who come to work for you: brilliant! You’re being of service, which gives purpose to what you’re doing. When a choice presents itself, with that clarity in your head; you’ll know which way to turn. By making choices deliberately and inline with our identified ‘dream’ outcome: we will get there. We have to.
Thank you so much for reading this blog, from the bottom of my heart! If you enjoyed this, I produce regular Do It With Dan blogs, podcasts and videos. I have three books published now: Stepping Beyond Intention, The Dreamer’s Manifesto and From Time-to-Time (a really great book on time mastery). All of these are here to serve you and make you part of the journey as well.
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