Your dharma is your big why, the reason you’re here with all these thoughts, needs, and desires. We were each born with a unique purpose and this human experience is about remembering ours.– Discover Your Dharma, Sahara Rose
Many clients come to me wondering why they cannot sustain a habit. They have read all the habit guru books. They have all the tools. They have tried making the habit as teeny as possible. They are Jedi-Master of their calendar.
Yet, despite deploying the Force on their calendar, they still skip their alarm to go workout or take a break from work.
I then tell them the truth about habits. For us coaches, it’s just one tool out of many. Many mistake the notion that habit forming is the PRIMARY tool of choice. In fact it is not! It MIGHT work on you, but more often than not it does not result in sustainable change in the long run.
There are two major reasons why some change is not sustainable. The first is determining the root cause and addressing that. The second is what we will talk about here, which is the big secret to sustainability of change. And that is ALIGNMENT WITH YOUR PASSION AND PURPOSE.
I began this post with a quote from a book I’ve been reading and really love. It is Discover Your Dharma by Sahara Rose. I would invite you to take a look. It is a great exposition on the concept of alignment with passion and purpose.
The basic idea is:
If you align with your passions and purpose (dharma), you will be able to sustain anything!
For example, that workout schedule that you’ve been trying to hold to. Does it align with your passions and purpose in life? If, when asked this question, you need to think about it, the answer is clear that It DOES NOT.
When something aligns with your passions and purpose, it is BLINDINGLY clear it does!
If you haven’t even realized hours have gone by, it’s your dharma. If there’s something else you rather be doing, it’s not your dharma. If you prioritize it over all other things, it’s your dharma.– Discover Your Dharma, Sahara Rose
When something aligns, you will find, as Sahara Rose writes, that you will prioritize it above everything else. You would rather do/think/feel that than anything else! Imagine you scheduling your workouts AROUND your friends, family, and work. It is THAT important to you.
And that applies to not only actions, but thoughts and feelings too!
The one question you might have now is, what the heck are my passions and purpose? You might not know…right now! So a great first step is to discover your passions and purpose. And there are a number of ways to do that which I will get to in a sec. But first, some thoughts about passion and purpose.
While dharma is a concept of what you are born to this earth to be, it may take you a while to figure it out. It is the same with passions. Some people are fortunate enough to be aware of their passions and purpose from the moment they were born. And on the other side of the continuum, there are many who feel completely lost and disconnected from any passion or purpose in life. Where do you fall?
It is also the likely case that experience and age has something to do with the accuracy of passion and purpose discovery. So it could be very hard for someone who is young, who has not had the experience of age and life of someone who is much more mature, to fully know what their passions are and what their purpose is.
And then there are the blocks to discovering passions and purpose. Think of all the classically negative feelings one experiences: fear, anxiety, worry, and more. And think of they are directed to: self esteem, expectations, failure, and others. Clearing those barriers in your body, mind, and soul will make discovery of your passions and purpose much easier and clear.
The reason we balance the mind and body is so we can regain touch with the soul. True wellness is not just perfect digestion or clear skin, but knowing the truth of who you are and shifting your life into alignment with that. The purpose of health is so you don’t have to worry about health anymore and instead can bring your energy toward focusing on your dharma.– Discover Your Dharma, Sahara Rose
And thus, some potentially lengthy preparation could be needed BEFORE you embark on passion and purpose discovery.
Knowing the above then, how might one go about discovering their passions and purpose?
I love running clients through activities to discover passions and purpose. It is something that everyone needs to do, to become fully aware of who they are and what their place on earth is. There are a few ways to do this, one of which is detailed Sahara Rose’s book. Two of my favorites involves running people through The Passion Test and a meditation, dreaming based envisioning exercise called A Brand Called You.
And for those pesky changes that elude you, knowing your passions and purpose, and then aligning all elements in your life to them, is the secret to sustaining anything you desire!