We are far more familiar these days with the concept of purpose and connecting our own personal lives and our work lives/organisations with something that has deeper meaning and which feels connected to a higher ideal.
We may find that having contemplated and arrived at the sense of that purpose and maybe even articulated it in a succinct phrase, we are imbued with a warm feeling, a sense of rightness. Getting to that point may have felt like quite a journey in itself – the wrestling and inner wrangling to shed the layers of conditioning to uncover what really makes our heartbeat and connects us with our soul. And what’s important to remember is that this is a great place to start but it is only the start of the journey with purpose.
Living our purpose requires another step. It requires us to locate our inner rebel.
That part of us that is willing to confront and change anything that is out of alignment with that purpose. On a personal level that may be letting go of a habit, it might be about stopping buying from a favourite store because it no longer fits with our focus or values, or it could be about spending our time differently, away from mindless TV, for example, to enable us to fulfil the fire burning within us toward the greater good.
For organisations finding this inner rebel can be a supreme challenge. The level of inertia and ‘stuckness’ runs deep and is of course institutionalised. Living on purpose as an organisational leader often requires tough decisions and a willingness to confront and rebel against conventions. Take the clothing manufacturer Patagonia. It let go of its most profitable product line because it no longer supported the focus, ideals, and purpose of the business. This takes courage and a willingness to fly in the face of convention.
The style of our inner rebel will be different from others’ – we each have our own unique way of expressing our rebellion. But whether we are loud and shouty or quiet and stealthy, cultivating that inner rebellion and the courage that goes with it is the only way to truly live our purpose.
The world is waiting for us…what are we waiting for?