accomplished what they set out to do are reaching for a more profound satisfaction.
How about you?
What if you could point your thinking and your actions more directly to your purpose in life? Martha Graham, the dancer and choreographer who set the stage for modern dance said it so well, “Remember that you are unique. If that has not been fulfilled, then something wonderful has been lost.”
I call this “uniqueness” your original promise. Original because it’s not a copy or imitation of someone else, and a promise because it moves you into action. When I discovered my original promise, I was 11 years old. It looks different today from when I was 11, but the underlying commitment continues to shape my thoughts, words, and actions. It’s what I stand for.
We have many names for people living their original promise. We call them thought leaders or visionaries as if they have a unique quality that makes them one of a kind. Instead, I see them as examples, demonstrating for all of us how to manifest our promise in the world.
If you talk to visionaries, they have a clear picture of what they want to create. They also dare to give up thinking or saying anything that would negate their aim in life or their ability to manifest it. They don’t argue for their limitations. They gather their thoughts together and turn them into continuous action.
You spark your original promise by clearly articulating what you want to achieve, focusing your intention, building a network of relationships, and getting any training or knowledge you need. You get where you’re going by taking one step at a time and consistently moving in the direction of your promise.
Are you wondering what your original promise is, or do you already know?
Either way, this is a different way to think about your life. Take some time this week to reflect on your original promise. Then you can focus on how you bring it forward more fully.
Start the process with this simple inquiry and repeat it daily until you reveal your original promise.
1) Sit quietly for 10 minutes and ask yourself the question, what is my original promise?
Write down what you learn until you can clearly describe your original promise in detail. Once you have insight into what it is, put a post-it note on whatever you look at first thing in the morning: coffee pot, mirror, or computer screen that asks how are you being today to fulfill your original promise? My original promise is to heal the separation among people, so they experience the deep interconnectedness that ties us all together.
2) Identify the simple steps you can take.
What can you do to fulfill your original promise? What is your structure for fulfillment? Include anything from getting the training you need, identifying and accessing specific knowledge or coaching from others, and taking sustained steps to realize your purpose. Some of the steps I take are to write this blog, as well as my next book chronicling the shift from careless to conscious communication. I also coach my clients to achieve their goals through the experience of connection, even when it’s complicated.
3) Invest the time to awaken your original promise.
I’ve made it a morning ritual to read it out loud. It brings focus and confidence to live it more fully. What you’re committed to, you can manifest. Your commitment demonstrates your belief that it is possible, then disappears into the action, and becomes the reconciliation between who you are and what you do in the world.
Start now. You don’t have to know anything in advance to begin the inquiry.
May your day be peaceful and productive.
Paulette Sun Davis