The Power of Purpose, Intentionality and Meaning.
Updated: May 31, 2020
One of the most vital elements we humans need learn and embrace is the relationship between purpose, intentionality and meaning, the purpose so that we can transcend our current limitations and mindset, create conscious intentional goals and dreams, so that the experiences we have are meaningful and impactful in a positive manner.
As a coach and linguistics major I have listened to many narratives in my career, shifting though, and listening to what people define by their understanding of the purpose of their decisions, the intentionality they set for themselves and the meaning they create from their experiences.
However one common denominator that I find that gets lost in translation in their intentionality is WHY?
Why am I doing what am I doing, Why is this important to me, who am I becoming as consequence of what I believe?
Without "Why" there is no purpose, no intentionality, and thus no meaning to why we are creating or setting on the journey of our goals, dreams, or experiences.
We are lost within the boundaries of causality with out defining and being intentional with the causal nature of what we want to create, achieve, who we are and who we are becoming.
Let me give you an example: Interviewing individuals on the reasons for a career changes, I have heard many reasons for change, but very few share the purpose for change. “I want a new job because I am bored, I want more challenges, I dont like my boss, I am not valued etc.” Yes these are reasons, however they only address the symptoms experienced they dont set intentionality and direction, and with out purpose we have no intentionality and if we dont have intentionality we have no meaningful experiences.
Moving away from something is not an answer to meeting our intentions, dreams or goals, it just says your caught in patterns of symptoms with out purpose and intention. It would be like an aircraft caught in circular flight pattern waiting for a flight controller to say you can now land, and not knowing where your going to land.
Think of all the passengers on the flight expecting that your vision, journey was to arrive at destination only to find that you didn’t know where you were going to land.
Our ultimate experience as humans is to create meaning, meaning of the experiences we have, the gap is if we are not in some way able to achieve what we set out for, then even the journey becomes unintentional.
We are like a small yacht buffeting to the winds of causality on an ocean of possibilities, with out any intentionality in mind, and destination to achieve.
“The feedback of life's journeys is experience, the meanings we create is the meaning of the gap between who we are and what we are becoming.” Marc West
Another way to say this is your meanings are the relationship you have defined between who you are becoming and who you are.
We become what we think is the meaning and thus we become the meanings we create.
"Facti sumus cogitare quid est, et sic facti sumus a significant nos creare"
This is about being in control of the causality of our meaning, positive intentionality versus caught up in discourse of symptoms of cause and effect, caught in loop that we feel we have no control of the causes or the effects.
Additionally using metaphors to help describe purpose especially when sharing a vision or educating someone, doesn’t mean they are going to understand the meta purpose of the metaphor, it's like a joke they may laugh at the joke, but do they know why you told the joke, what is the intention, what is the learning and is there a meaning to be shared?
Another way or putting this is, metaphor speaks more to the "what" and the "how" and leaves the listener to hopefully make a paradigm shift to creating meaning, their purpose their why, but it maybe not your why, and for that reasons sharing what is important is vital in setting intentionality which creates meaning.
Learning is about ensuring that the purpose and intentionality is clear, why are we are learning. One criticism I hear regularly of our current education system is that it focuses on sharing and learning facts, however it doesnt teach students to think, to be intentional in their thoughts, question the facts, question reason, and create real meaningful distinctions in what they are learning.
Its for this reason that having purposeful, intentional and meaningful dialogue is critical to transcending and developing the next level of conscious shift for humanity, organizations and our current paradigms and mental models.