Imagine for a moment living a completely satisfying and fulfilling life: Your work is a wonderfully rich expression of your purpose and passion, you have ample time to engage in worthwhile endeavors with your family and friends in engaging ways, and you are deeply involved in your community. In this fulfilled life, you fully experience the interconnected relationship of yourself with the rest of the Universe, and you take full responsibility for your role in it.
If you find such a life difficult to imagine, read on as we explore the facets of life that make up the Spiral of Fulfillment. As you read, know that such a life is not only possible, it is your birthright.
From Project Purpose a Seed was Planted
Several years ago, I created a pet writing project known as Project Purpose. The goal of my project is to write and publish articles about people and institutions whose lives and missions are dedicated to a bold and inspired purpose or vision.
I created this project for two main reasons. First, I want to bring more purpose and meaning to my profession as a freelance writer, and second, I want to inspire other people to live a more satisfying and fulfilling life for themselves through service to others. It was my hope that people would read one of my Project Purpose Profiles and then say to themselves, “Well, if that person can make a difference in the world, certainly I can do something for others as well.”
Purposeful online resource: if you’d like to read some of these inspiring stories and profiles about purposeful people, go to the Project Purpose Page.
Over the next few years, as I interviewed dozens of people living purposeful lives, I began to notice some common elements shared by most of the people I interviewed. These elements resonated deeply with my own soul and my own experience of life. They eventually became the core ingredients of my own life purpose. These core elements are:
• Spiritual Serenity
In other words, the people I interviewed were all clear about their life purpose and were expressing their purpose through service to others. They led lives of “purposeful, passionate, and playful service.”
That wasn’t all. These ordinary people who were leading extraordinary lives maintained much simpler lives than most, partly because they knew who they were and why they were on the planet. They lived lives of “mindful, abundance balanced with simplicity.”
The third common characteristic these people shared was a profound and inspiring spiritual life. Some were quite vocal about their relationship with God, while others were quiet and subdued. Some talked about their relationship with a Higher Power, or the Universe, some referred more to their spiritual nature or spirituality. But it was present in almost every case.
From these observations evolved the Spiral of Fulfillment Model, the essence of which is captured in the saying:
A life on purpose is a life of service, simplicity, and spiritual serenity.
I think most people will agree that we are living in turbulent times. Some might even say that our world is going to hell in a hand basket.
One way to view the cause of these turbulent times is to realize that on a cultural and societal level, we are out of alignment with the universal flow of life. Let’s face it: We live in an amazingly complex universe – one so complex that we’ll never be able to fully comprehend it or fully appreciate its intricate design. As Einstein once said:
We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws, but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations.
At the same time, like the child, most of us know intuitively that there is a design to the universe in which we live. I call this design the universal flow of life. You can think of this universal flow like a current of water going in a particular direction. As long as we flow with the current, life works and works well. We’re “in the zone,” so to speak. But what happens when one current of water going in one direction meets with another current of water going in a different direction?
At the point where the two currents meet you will find turbulence. And what I’m suggesting is that much of our culture is going against the universal flow of life, thus creating our turbulent times.
But the elements of the Spiral of Fulfillment are in complete alignment with the universal flow. In other words, if we want to regain our equilibrium, if we want our lives to work, aligning our lives with the Spiral of Fulfillment will allow us to once again enter the natural flow of the universe.
The great thing about the Spiral of Fulfillment is that it doesn’t matter where you start. You may start by one day realizing that your life has become far too busy and complicated and that it’s time to simplify matters. Or perhaps you’ve been realizing that your life is missing direction and meaning. You may know that you’re meant to be of service but aren’t sure how or where.
Or, you may feel like there’s something missing from your life, that you’re more than just a body and mind, but that you’ve been operating as only a 2-dimensional figure. If so, you may start on the Spiral of Fulfillment by adding a new dimension of spirituality to your life.
Wherever you begin on the Spiral of Fulfillment, if you stay involved you will no doubt find the other aspects of the Spiral slipping naturally into your life as well. Next time (as in the next post in a few days) we’ll explore a brief overview of some of the starting points where you may begin to align your life with the universal flow which will ultimately lead to a “life on purpose.”
(If you don’t want to wait, you can order Spiral of Fulfillment Now.)