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Purpose

Focus Tribe is about action…a community of doers. It is a collective call to purposeful action, an end to which we advance through decisive, intentional, and altogether, imperfect baby steps. At the beginning, we define our purpose as best we can and then step out into the unknown, where we are refined, sharpened, and begin, only then, after the leap of faith, to discover our true north.

Finding purpose

It is easy to say that finding purpose is essential for staying focused and productive, but there is no treasure map with a bright red “X” to help us get there. I love a good set of instructions and would be happy to follow the right ones to find purpose but this journey is not plotted out like a map for us, it is discovered, day-by-day. And, the journey in my opinion demands just one fundamental thing of us, moving that next foot forward. A bit of forethought and introspection before taking the plunge is wise, but …

…you can only sit at your desk or on a sandy beach contemplating the cosmos for so long!

There comes a time when you have to breathe deep, make a decision, and start moving. That is easier said than done…believe me, I know from experience how hard it can be to step out into uncertainty. This type of uncertainty though is…

…the only real path to understanding ourselves, our passions, our skills and interests….our purpose.

A boat longing for the sea

The alternative is to sit in the certainty of a nagging longing that will never really go away. If you feel you haven’t found your “calling”, it may be right before eyes, under the surface of vague desire, waiting to be realized in a raised sail and that first gust of exhilarating wind. Edgar Lee Masters captures this in his poem titled “George Gray”, writing from the perspective of a dead man, pondering his gravestone and his “safe” life:

I have studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me--
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire--
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.
-Edgar Lee Masters ("George Gray")

That last line inspires and haunts me. Pause for a second and read it again…let it sink in. Nobody wants that last line on their gravestone! So, what is your sea? It is a paradox, but the only way to find out is to get out on the water and start living.

The Purpose Process: Focus Tribe Style

My vision is that members of Focus Tribe will engage in five Tribe Essentials through five corresponding foundational challenges in order to unlock more resources and community access. For the time being, I will be documenting my walk through these challenges on the Focus Tribe blog. If you’d like to join me on the journey, you are welcome to start with me here with the Purpose Process. This is a process that will begin our journey but continue as we move forward into meaningful living. Here it is:Purpose Process Cycle

Focus Tribe Purpose Projects

Along the Focus Tribe journey, you and I will  apply our skills and passions discovered through the process to one of several Focus Tribe Purpose Projects. These are real-world projects focused on serving others in your local communities. The projects are uniquely designed to help tribe members build their skills, refine their purpose, and establish a platform.  You can eventually choose to do one of three things in order of increasing rigor: 1.) tap into tribe resources and community while working on your personal purpose project; 2.) apply to participate in a Focus Tribe Purpose Project; or 3.) propose a new Focus Tribe Project to lead/co-lead. The third option is currently by invitation only and requires completion of Tribe challenges beyond the foundational five.