Happiness or purpose? What is more important? Does one lead to the other or do you just need one?
I asked this question to a group of women the other day. Some said happiness leads to purpose. Others said purpose leads to happiness. And I actually really believe that they are one and the same. That we have this idea that purpose is this thing that we're seeking, and we're going to go get that one job or do this one thing.
And I do believe I'm living my purpose, empowering women and bringing back joy to women. But when we really start looking at happiness, what is it?
A lot of clients say to me, “I don't come to you for purpose, Carin. I come to you for joy.” And it's so funny because obviously, I put the word purpose everywhere.
So here's what I find: We have been set up in so many ways to think of happiness. We all think things like, “I want to be happy.” When you think about your kids, or nieces or nephews, what do you want for them? Chances are you want them to be happy, right? What are you doing to help them be happy? We often don't know. Because we ourselves weren't really taught what it means to be happy or what it takes to be happy.
What you've been taught in an old patriarchal system is that if you do the right things you'll get all A's, and then when you get all A's you will get a good job. And then when you get a good job, you might find the right partner. If you find the right partner, then you'll have the kids and if you have the kids, you'll have the white picket fence, and then you'll have the dog and then you'll have the things and then you'll be happy when you're retired.
Because working is not supposed to make you happy. I grew up with my dad saying to me, “That's why it's called work. It's not supposed to be fun.” I believed him. So I followed a career that didn't feel fun.
I didn't feel happy for a long time.
And in reality, we end up accumulating all these things. My house has so many things. We accumulate all these things, thinking that they will make us happy. When the one thing that we aren't really accumulating or aren't really caring for or tending to is ourselves.
How to Find Fulfillment
There's a critical difference between being happy and being fulfilled. We can be happy having a lot of things around us, but those things make us happy for a moment. I love candles; they smell nice. It's a thing that makes me happy for a moment. But the kind of happiness that we're really seeking, and that I think we want for our kids, is the deeper fulfillment.
How do we find fulfillment? A lot of us try to get deeper fulfillment from a career, which is wonderful. But often with a career, we didn't know what we really wanted to do as a kid so we pursued career paths that others laid out for us.
You do the thing that you're supposed to do in order to get the right job. And then you still end up unhappy and empty. The thing that's supposed to fulfill you, a career or kids, do to a point, but not all the way. It's short-term happiness.
You are still missing what really fills you up.
This is the reason I'm so obsessed with purpose. Purpose is your true joy. When you are truly filled up with everything that brings you joy, you're truly living in a way that makes you feel like you're making an impact.
I ask so many women this question: “What do you want to do?” And they say, “I want to help the world. I want to help. I want to make a difference.” That's the stuff that fills us up. Everyone I know is already making a difference. Aren't you already making a difference with your friends, your neighbors, and your community? Women do so much to help everybody. But we still feel empty. Because the things that we're doing deplete the joy.
I do meditations with my clients where every cell of your body is nourished. That's what purpose does. The purpose of knowing how you want to contribute to the world. There's a way of me sharing my yumminess, my gifts, my talents, my joys, my light: My purpose.
Your purpose is you being so lit up that you light up the world. That is why joy is this massive piece to purpose. The joy that you feel is your inner soul. But no one ever taught us how to tend to our inner soul joy. We were told to ignore the inner soul joy.
When I was younger, it brought me joy to write poetry. I wrote very dark poetry. I even thought maybe I want to be a creative writer. But my dad said, “Writers don't make any money. I didn't send you to the University of Michigan for you to be a creative writer.” Now, he meant that with love…
We have this idea of what we are supposed to do as adults that squashes our soul joy. Sometimes, we also squash the smaller joys, like dancing in the rain.
Maybe people tell you to tamp it down, like one of my clients. She was told she was too unicorny. She was too bright, she needed to tamp it down, she was too loud. So she did. But after working with me, she realized her purpose is empowering women. She just wants to be spreading joy and lifting women up.
When we tamp down our joy, we tamp down our purpose, and therefore we get confused about what purpose is.
Most of the women billionaires are in beauty businesses. That kind of sucks. That's all we care about is just beauty. How we look for other people or how we look on the outside. And then we wonder why we're so miserable on the inside.
We wonder why we feel so stuck on the inside. We feel so stuck on the inside because we're not filling ourselves up in every cell.
So What is My Purpose in Life?
Have you asked yourself questions like, “What am I here for?” or “What is the purpose of my life?”
So many people are seeking purpose. With all of the studies done around The Great Resignation, purpose is one of the main reasons that people are leaving their careers.
And why is that?
Because we want to feel like we're making a contribution. That our work means more than just a paycheck. So to help you along your path, here are 8 steps to discover your purpose:
- Vision: Clarify your deepest desires, create the full vision for your life, define your path forward
- Your Inspiration: You are inspiring. Even if you don't know it, you are born to inspire others through your way of living, through your actions, through your purpose.
- Your SuperPowers: Every woman is a SuperShero who has unique genius that is needed to heal this crazy world, figure out what your superpowers are.
- Your Joy and Sensuality: Pleasure is a major key to feminine purpose power because when we have fun, we light up the world. How can you add just a little more pleasure to your life now?
- Your Wisdom: Every moment of your life has given you wisdom others need, but often women don’t recognize their wisdom. Own the wise woman you truly are.
- Your Voice: Learn where you’ve given away your power and reclaim it so that you fully express yourself personally and with your purpose.
- Your Purpose: Understand Purpose Myths that lead to anxiety, self-doubt and stuckness, then move past them to clarify your unique Purpose.
- Your Courage: Hone and amplify your innate courage to live your Purpose now!
In my Goddess on Purpose program — that is now open — we dive deeply into these steps. Are you ready to live a life of joy, fulfillment, purpose?
I firmly believe that now is our time, that we came here on this planet now to be the light that lights up the world. And I want you out there lighting up the world in your way!
Join Goddess on Purpose now! Be who you were born to be. Do what you were born to do.