Surprised to learn that we don’t always have life mapped out? Don’t be. We take pride in not always knowing our exact path moving forward – partly because we know that reconnecting with our purpose will help us uncover it, and partly because we’re at our best when we’re drawn towards something, not distracted by it.
We spend a considerable amount of time at PointAbove emphasizing adventure and discovery – a process that begins with asking ourselves a lot of questions, telling our stories, and listening for clues. And we love it!
As I’m typing this I’m feeling a little guilty admitting just how much we enjoy exploring and sharing those times in life that make us feel fulfilled, excited, and inspired – those things that “give us juice” and make us feel alive. These are the guideposts we use to move forward.
As Jeremy Adam Smith recently pointed out, purpose, from an evolutionary perspective is what enables us to accomplish big things together (which also may be the reason purpose is linked to better physical and mental health). Yet when it comes to identifying our own sense of purpose, many of us are a bit lost. As a coach, I frequently encounter successful folks – those who have big job titles, material wealth, etc. – struggling to know what role they play in the larger scheme of things.
Here’s what we’ve been doing to clarify the role we play:
Clarifying Our Mission
We’ve cleaned up the website a little – we’ve kept the same exploration theme, adding more photos from our recent Adventure while also getting rid of stray, dead-end pages and loose topics – in an effort to keep the focus on what we enjoy doing the most: helping others (and ourselves) live more of the life they (and we) want to be living.
We’ve thrown ourselves into our often-used mission statement because we find it galvanizing. Our mission is where we measure the value of everything we do. It empowers us.
We’ve been spending some time asking, “how are we connected to others?” and “what expectations do we have for ourselves?” Like many things, the journey is more valuable than the destination here, so stay tuned for more on this topic.
Sharing Awe & Gratitude
Feeling connected to something larger than ourselves kindles our sense of purpose. As Dacher Keltner of the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center points out, “Awe is the experience we have when we encounter things that are vast and large and that transcend our current understanding of the world.” Even brief experiences of awe lead us to be more altruistic, less entitled, more humble and aware of the strengths of others, and less stressed by the challenges of daily living.
This was the thinking behind our Meaningful Adventures: sharing excursions with folks we shared a coaching relationship with. At the conclusion of each trip, I always felt that I received far more than I gave. In 2018, we opened up a few Adventures to the general public – and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.
Of course, it’s one thing to just feel like you’re a small part of something big, but it’s something quite different to feel driven to make a positive impact on the world. And that’s where gratitude comes in.
So we asked ourselves this: “Where in our life do we experience wonder and awe? What do we feel truly grateful for? How might we pay it forward more?
There will certainly be more on this topic to come, but for now we’re expanding our 2019 adventures to include:
- More Than A Game: Faith & Baseball – 5 Teams, 5 VIP Nights, 4 Tour Days, 3 MLB Ballparks, and 2 Amazing Cities – This Meaningful Adventure is like no other, combining our love of sports with faith, wellness, and fellowship.
- Elevation: On America’s Roof – a 9 day, “alpine mountaineering 101” course that will include summit attempts on both Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainer.
- The Soul of America – a weeklong, birthplace of the Blues sojourn down the Mississippi Delta from Memphis to New Orleans.
Telling Our Story
If there’s one thing that coaching taught us in 2018 it’s this: purpose often arises from curiosity about the narrative arc of our own life story. We are the stories we tell – and we are compelled to create stories to understand ourselves. It’s what we all do. There is something inherently human in our drive to explain, order, and extract meaning from the chaos of our experiences.
To see/feel some sense of meaning and purpose in our lives, we long to tell a story of change and growth – some version of “I’m glad that experience happened because it’s taught me something about how I want to live my life.” So here’s our pledge:
We’re going to write more posts about what we’re experiencing – the obstacles and joy we’re encountering, the people who contribute to our being here, and the take-aways that are making life just a little better. (If you’re interested in more frequent, bite-sized installments, follow our social media!)
Join us as we renew our quest for more purpose. We’re aiming to make a difference in our lives, our organization, and our mission – and we’re so looking forward to connecting with you along the way.