One of the most common complaints or issues I hear from my coaching clients is that they do not have like-minded people around them who they can use for support in living on purpose.
It can be quite a challenge to try to live a life that appears to run crosscurrents with the flow of our culture. However, a growing number of people are awakening to the realization that our Great American Dream of doing more and more to acquire more stuff is really a nightmare.
Perhaps, the most clearly identified groups of people interested in living more meaningful and fulfilling lives have been identified by Paul H. Ray, Ph. D. , executive vice president of Americban LIVES, Inc. , a market research and opinion polling firm specializing in surveys based on Lifestyles, Interests, Values, Expectations, and Symbols of Americans. Ray has identified a group, Cultural Creatives, as a subculture of shared values that makes up a quarter of the American population. Cultural Creatives’ most important values are: altruism (being of service), voluntary simplicity, idealism, spiritual development, ecological sustainability, concern for mutuality in relationships, and the importance of cultural creativity and activism for a better world. This group is estimated to be over 50 million Americans who share these values, and further studies suggest that at least this many Cultural Creatives live outside the United States.
So, if one out of every four Americans shares these common values, why can't we find them in our neighborhood? Perhaps it is because we do not have a structure or way to alert each other that we exist. Or, at least we have not until the Internet. In the years of operating Life on Purpose Institute as an online enterprise and community, I have seen that it is possible to attract a sizable ‘Purpose Pod’ of people who share many of my core values, my vision for what is possible, and who desire to be purposefully of service, to live an abundant and simple live, and to connect with God.
While it may take a bit of effort and some purposeful patience to attract a Purpose Pod of people around you, it is worth it. Why? Because the more you surround yourself with people of like minds and spirits, the easier it becomes for everyone to live true to their Life Purpose. While it is great to have people in your immediate geographical area to share your life with, you are no longer restricted to geography.
A good starting point is the Life on Purpose Institute web site at www.lifeonpurpose.com, where we are growing a global cyber-community of purposeful, passionate and playful people.
Here is a simple yet effective process for creating a Purpose Pod in your area. Create it as a Purpose Project, using the Purpose Project Page. Here are some additional suggestions.
1. Set a date 4-6 weeks into the future when you intend to have your first Purpose Pod gathering. Determine the day, time and frequency that will work best for your schedule. This is simply a target date, which can be adjusted as needed.
2. Determine what the intention and focus of the gathering will be in your own words. Then, create the visionary reality of what it will look and feel like once it is formed. Allow yourself to dream about it, and really sense what the experience of having such a group will feel like.
3. How many people do you ideally want to start the group and to what size would you like to see it grow? Do not worry if most of the people you know do not know their Life Purpose. That is a great place to start, by bringing together a group of people who would be interested in going through the first stage of the Life on Purpose Process. You can use Traveling the Purposeful Path as the workbook. (Available at www.lifeonpurpose.com)
4. How will you spread the word about the group? Make a list of possible ways. One of the simplest ways to start spreading the word is to make a list of people you know who would be open to hearing about it. Do not worry whether they would want to be a part of the group or not. Just share it with them and ask them if they know of anyone they think would like to participate.
5. Remember to keep in Purposeful Play by not getting attached to the results. Instead, stay focused that through this Purpose Project you are being, expressing, and becoming known as your Created Life Purpose.
6. On the date and time you targeted to have your first meeting, hold it. Do not worry if you are the only person attending. It is a start. Have the meeting with whoever shows up, then schedule the next one. Encourage people to bring at least one friend to the next meeting. Continue to practice purposeful persistence and patience.
©2005 Brad Swift of Life On Purpose Institute, Inc. This article can be reprinted freely online, as long as the entire article and this resource box are included.
Dr. Brad Swift founded Life On Purpose Institute in 1996 with the vision of creating a World On Purpose by assisting people like yourself to clarify their life purpose & live true to it. Determine how on or off purpose your life is with the fun & insightful Self Test at: http://lifeonpurpose.com/_forms/self-test.php?source=ezart
Inspire yourself with a fr. ee subscription to Purposeful Pondering Ezine: http://lifeonpurpose.com/index.php?dir=_ezines&task=view-ezines