Not On Your Purpose? How Guilty Pleasures Can Steer You Back On Track

One of the most common blocks I hear from clients is confusion over their "Life Purpose." It's a fear that what you are doing right now is not quite it.  Or even way off course.  And it's a thought that if you had crystal clear clarity, then you would know how to move forward. And in the meanwhile, you must be wasting a lot of time.

The truth is that your True Self never leaves you. You can never really get lost.  There are whispers, nudges and tugs that pull you back on course all the time.

Martha Beck offers a true story in "Steering by Starlight" of a man named Gus whose nose was crushed in a car accident and rebuilt into perfect shape using cartilage from his ear.  However, the relocated cartilage never forgot what it was! Over time it curled back towards the shape of an ear, causing Gus to need ongoing procedures to bring it back into place, which would only start the process over again.

Your Essential Self is the same.  You can remodel it and relocate it, but it will steer you right back to your true path over and over no matter where you land. Like a weed it will find its ways through the cracks in your schedule and creep into your thoughts and desires.

During my last "job-job" (over 15 years ago, when I was trading my hours for dollars doing things I was adequate at but not in love with) I noticed a pattern that kept showing up, especially around deadlines. For example, if I was churning out the quarterly report for an upcoming Board of Directors meeting, I would take a break from the pages of tables and charts by making my way over to the closest Barnes and Nobles. With my bagel sandwich in hand I would browse through the Personal Growth (aka "Self-Help" section).  This never felt like work.  It felt more like guilty pleasure.  So a voice inside me would nag and say, "Heather, you are wasting precious time, you should be working on getting that report done."  And time would slide by until I could not risk staying any longer and I would force myself back to the "real world."

What I did not realize was that the "guilty pleasure" was actually the foundation for my new life. All the books I read along my march towards my current life have not only fed my soul but helped me gain the wisdom and tools to help others.

The following is your essential self detective work. Hint: Do not over think this.   Go with the first answer that comes up or risk your internal editor giving you the "looking good" answer vs. the true answer.

1)    Go to the last time you were completely bored (maybe you were at a meeting, or engaged in a deadline). What would you have preferred to be doing?

2)    When you are engaged in something you "should" be doing (slogging through your to do list) what are you wishing you could be doing instead?

3)    When you are under a big deadline, what will you manage to find time to do (that you enjoy so much it feels like a guilty pleasure)?

4)    If you were locked up for the next year, what books would you want on your book shelf?

5)    You are given a day with no schedule, meetings or to do items (an adult version of a "snow day") what do you do?

* * *

Take a break. Then come back to review your answers. What do you see?  Is there a theme that runs through your answers?  What is your essential self telling you?

If you tend to see any of your answers as "inconsequential" items in your life, then start seeing them as "essential." Find ways to put more of these activities into your mainstream life and see where it leads you.

You can never really get lost: there are whispers, nudges and tugs that pull you back on course all the time.

Heather Gray

I am Heather Gray, a life coach, published author, and the founder of Soul-filled Life. I’ve spent thousands of hours helping creative, gorgeous individuals articulate and create lives that they love.  I draw from a background in Psychology, Life Coaching, and Energy Healing to move you towards personal breakthroughs and beautiful life change.