I was born for this.
That’s the sense we all want to feel.
We want to know we matter. We want to know we haven’t wasted our time, our life. We want to feel fulfilled, alive, passionate in our daily activities.
I’ve been obsessed with this question of purpose since at least the age of 12. I remember going on my own little crusades in Middle School over anything that appeared like it had lost its intention. Petitions, boycotts, flyers, the works… over things as small as the default to 5 or as relevant as the content of a class curriculum.
My driving principle is and has always been this…
If you can’t tell me why this thing is necessary or why it’s done the way that it’s done, then you lose the right to call for adherence to it.
I love using routine as a motivational hack - but it must be intentional. The ultimate purpose has to be at the center of the activity.
There’s also an important counterpoint to this...
When it comes to long-standing ways of doing things, you have to become a master before you get to break its rules. It's necessary to understand its fundamental workings at the deepest level before you earn the right to reject it.
👆 this was not a natural idea for me... but it was an important lesson learned during my more revolutionary days in school. The things that exist (and that have lasted over time) were created and designed the way they were and have developed the way they have developed for a reason. Sometimes that reason is no longer obvious, because we’ve forgotten it over time and now take its value for granted. But that doesn’t mean it’s not still serving some purpose. It’s critical that we know and understand the functions it serves so that we can improve it and update it for the present time.
There are two big things to know about me:
#1: If a compelling case can’t be made to do something, then I probably won’t do it.
Because I don’t like being forced into something I don’t believe in; I won’t force others to do something they don’t believe in.
That doesn’t mean I’ll just roll over if I see someone doing something I think is harmful… but I’ll never force you to make a change.
#2: I drill into potential until it cracks open and blossoms.
Few things bother me more than untapped, overlooked, or dismissed potential.
There’s a developmental process involved in bringing potential to life - things never go from 0 to 100 overnight, nor should they. But I’m really bothered when I see someone resigned to less… simply because they can’t manage to see how they can make it around the barriers they’ve run up against.
These two things create an interesting tension in me...
I have to know why. And I have to make it real.
→ Why is something being done?
→ When there’s something worth doing, what’s it going to take to do it?
Why are you making the choices you’re making? Do you have a reason?
This line of questioning eventually leads to a much deeper question: Why am I breathing? Why am I waking up each day? What am I doing here? What’s the purpose of life?
These questions can cripple a person when there’s no obvious answer. (It always reminds me of this scene from Disney-Pixar’s Inside Out… when the characters are trapped in the Land of Abstract Thought.)
The vague and abstract answer that I personally have to this question is I’m here to become all I can become - to see what the best, most formidable version of myself might be.
The more practical answer I have to this question is that I now view life as a sequence of “Chapters of Purpose.” And the way in which I live a life of purpose, and become the best version of myself, is by growing through each Chapter of Purpose - getting better and stronger and giving more with each one. Living intentionally, learning, and becoming more grateful, more open, more visionary, and fighting harder with each new season.
I could become a lot of different people over the span of my life. I could become the best version of me - sure, that’s one option. But I could also become one of a variety of lesser versions of me…
I could hide from the things that are calling to me to come forward (because I’m afraid of what it means to step forward)...
I could make excuses when things don’t play out the way I wanted them to - and halt in place, insistent on whatever my reasons are that I can’t go any further…
I could choose not to take the responsibility that comes with striving for my best - I could decide it’s not worth the effort, and just sleep through it all, doing only things that feel more pleasant…
I could become harsh with myself and berate myself into a slave who trudges along and misses out on the transcendence of joy and beauty in life...
Or I can step forward courageously into each new day and into each new chapter, in pursuit of learning who the best version of Heather really is.
That’s the idea behind All Become - we all become someone. We can become the best version of ourselves… or we can become a lesser version.
But you don’t get to not evolve - you don’t get to not become anyone.
We all become someone.
When we get to the end of our time and look back on what we did with what we were given, how will we feel about the way we’ve spent it? Did we live courageously? Or did we hide our gifts out of fear? Did we spend our time making excuses and avoiding the things that were calling to us? Or did we answer that call, and pour everything out every single day in pursuit of better?
So that's me. And that's All Become.
Welcome inside my brain!
What's the First Step in Finding Purpose?
Download the Purpose Roadmap for an introduction to the 6 stages to finding your purpose... and how you can take the very first step today.
The All Become Code
We don't beat ourselves up, and we also don't accept less than the best from ourselves. (Not necessarily "the best" when compared to someone else, but certainly better than who we were yesterday - the best version of ourselves.)
We listen. But we're also not pushovers. We have opinions, but we're capable of engaging in honest dialogue with others. And we believe that this is the best medium for growth.
We're confident enough to present our best - to speak when called upon, and to share what we have to offer. We're also humble enough to sometimes take a back seat, to let another lead and to learn from what they have to share.
We take full responsibility. It's not on the world to give us meaning. It's not our parents' fault for screwing us up. It's not the education system, our boss, or our unique circumstances to change our reality. We know that we are the ones who create our own destiny.