Liv·a·ble (adjective): worth living; enjoyable
Every Livable Lesson will encourage you to prioritize your own health and happiness by:
1. Sparking inspiration from a quote/research.
2. Connecting the quote/research to what you deserve as a teacher.
3. Promoting accountability with related actions to implement inside and outside your classroom.
4. Encouraging reflection with a related wellness question.
“The ability to have crystal clear clarity around one’s purpose in life, the subsequent priorities that this clarity defines and the ability to live a life focused on these priorities results in living a joyous life.” – Dandapani
What You Deserve
“Purpose” has been a topic of conversation in my home lately. My husband and I have been trying to uncover what the weight of this word implies. How do you know your purpose? Do you have one purpose? Does your purpose change throughout your life?
The same day, in one of those serendipitous moments, I came across Liz Moody’s most recent Healthier Together podcast episode with Dandapani, a former monk, who currently works with athletes and businesses to help them understand their minds.
In the episode, Dandapani examined the intricacies of purpose and its impact on how we live our day-to-day life. Many people state that their purpose in life is to be a great mom/dad, an inspirational teacher, or a successful business owner. Conversely, Dandapani explained that our purpose “shouldn’t be dependent on someone or something.” Differentiating between our core purpose and our sub-purposes, according to Dandapani, is how we will experience a fulfilling and meaningful life.
Our core purpose is not a destination or a title, but rather something we can strive for throughout our entire lives. For example, I might say my life purpose is to be the best version of myself. Up until the day I die, I can still strive for this. If my core purpose was to be a successful business owner, what would happen when I retire? Some other examples of a core purpose are leading with love, living in the moment, or creating meaningful change.
Sub-purposes, on the other hand, are how you live out or serve that core purpose. For example, to be the best version of myself, I want to be a present partner, a successful business owner, and eventually a great mother. Taking action daily to fulfill these sub-purposes inevitably helps me to also live out my core purpose.
Dandapani encourages moments of self-reflection (see Livable Lesson #7!) to really examine what your core purpose is. Upon determining your core purpose, you might achieve clarity around some of your day-to-day habits. For example, if I want to be the best version of myself, scrolling on Instagram for an hour is not serving that. However, if I simply scroll through Instagram for 10 minutes to find a recipe I want to cook or learn something new in the wellness world, then that serves my core purpose. Pushing myself extremely hard so that I can barely breathe during a workout does not serve my core purpose, but exercising in a way that makes me feel connected and inspired does. Eating takeout consistently does not set me up to feel the best version of myself physically or mentally, so I choose to do that sparingly.
Additionally, all the mundane tasks of the day suddenly don’t feel as ungratifying. Making my bed, brushing my teeth, folding laundry, unloading the dishwasher…all of these can suddenly be argued as habits that set me up for my core purpose every single day.
When you start to really consider your day-to-day with your core purpose in mind, suddenly SO much more makes sense.
At School:Can you create an SEL lesson around this idea of a purpose with students? You’re never too young to examine your core purpose.
At Home: When you are home today, do something that serves your core purpose. Catch yourself doing something that does not serve your core purpose and recognize how you can modify this.
How are you spending your time every day?
Is it aligning with your core purpose?
In health and happiness,
Founder of Livable Learning