Planning vs. Unfolding Your Life Purpose

Once you have discovered your life purpose, you face the more difficult task of actualizing it as a career. This may involve researching, experimenting, getting training, gaining experience, starting a business, marketing yourself, and many other activities. It can be helpful to plan a strategy for making all this happen, which I discuss in detail in the article Actualizing Your Life Purpose.

However, no matter how well you plan, you can’t really predict how things will unfold. You don’t know what you will discover as you research or experiment. You don’t know what person of idea you may encounter that may radically change your perspective or open new possibilities. You don’t know what will actually work in the world with people until you try it. As you get more deeply into your work, you don’t know where your passion and sense of life purpose may lead you.

This unpredictability is not a bad thing. It is the way of life. Life unfolds in a lively, open, dynamic fashion, and the actualization of your life purpose should be aligned with this exciting process.

Therefore, planning and unfolding are both important aspects of manifesting your life purpose. On the one hand, it is helpful to have a strategic plan. Too many people who come to me for coaching have been drifting from one job to the next or have been stuck in an unsatisfying job because they don’t have a plan. Even if they know their life purpose, they can’t figure out what they need to do to make it happen. Forging a plan can motivate and direct your energy, get you moving in the right direction, help you set priorities and take effective action.

On the other hand, plans need to be regularly revised based on feedback from the world and your own unfolding sense of where you are going. If you follow a plan slavishly, you can become rigid and lose touch with the underlying source of your life purpose. The essence of life is being open to whatever unfolds from moment to moment. When you have a plan to direct your energy, you can also be alive to the promptings of your deeper self in each moment. You can see what surprises reality brings to you to help your life purpose unfold.

Ideally you will integrate the best of planning and unfolding in bringing your life purpose to fruition.