Working With Purpose – Getting On The Right Bus

The other night I was having a conversation with a friend over a glass of red (or maybe a few more!)  Anyway, the conversation turned to the topic of “working with purpose.”

The video below explains why I think this is important.

I firstly want to point out that I feel the word “purpose” has become a cliché.  How often do we hear mentors and self-help books proclaiming that “you need to find your purpose in life to be fully happy“, or, “you need to discover what are you born to do?

I think it has become a little over used, and sadly people don’t pay much attention anymore

Why You Should Aim To Work With Purpose

I think some people are really fortunate to know what they are born to do early in life.  On the other side of the coin, there are many people who go to their grave never knowing what their purpose is.   My first MAJOR understanding on this topic occurred when I was about 32.  I was attending a course in Sydney, and a lot of it was around a famous philosopher called Buckminster Fuller.

Buckminster FullerIf you haven’t heard of him, Bucky Fuller was living an ordinary existence, who had an extraordinary event that lead him to finding his purpose and thus working with purpose.  Bucky was a big drinker and party guy.  One day he missed his daughter’s birthday and when he finally arrived home his daughter died in his arms, succumbing to her long-term illness.

This sent him into a depression and he stopped talking for 2 years.  He couldn’t handle the pain and one day decided to commit suicide.  His plan was to swim to the middle of a lake and drown himself.

The night came for him to fulfill his plan, and just as he reached the middle of the lake Bucky heard a really strong voice inside of him that said,

YOU DON’T OWN YOU … … THE UNIVERSE OWNS YOU

The voice was so strong, Bucky cancelled his appointment with his own demise, swam to shore and became committed to finding out what that voice meant.  This was a turning point in his life and he went from being a depressed middle aged guy, to one of the greatest philosophers in the world.  From that night onwards he began to work with purpose.

The phrase “You don’t own you, the universe does” has intrigued me ever since I stumbled across it. I’m literally fascinated by it and it has opened up a whole new world for me.

I now know we are all born to live with purpose or, if you like,  to have a mission.  I think a tree is the best example of how we’re meant to live – firmly planted in the ground with a clear path ahead of us.  The only person who is responsible for ruining our journey of upward growth is you.

Like Bucky, all we have to do is get out of our heads and let nature take over (or the universe).  If we do this we will blossom into our greatest potential!

I recently wrote my first book called: “What The Hell Are You Chasing?

I never imagined I’d be an author, but strangely, I’ve also started on my second book,  “Are You On The Right Bus?”

I like to refer to people who work with purpose as being ON THE RIGHT BUS.
People who aren’t working with purpose are simply NOT ON THE RIGHT BUS.

How To Tell If You’re On The Right Bus …

Well, it’s probably easier to see if you are on the WRONG BUS.  If you are, you’ll be feeling some OR ALL of these below:

  • Drained
  • Low in confidence;
  • Unfulfilled;
  • Living for the weekends/holidays;
  • Thinking retirement is the key to life;
  • Think that possessions are the key to life;
  • Low in energy;
  • Fearful of the future;
  • Restless;
  • Procrastinating;
  • Things always go wrong in your life;
  • Feeling of helplessness;
  • Stuck in a job you hate;
  • Running a business just for the money and you don’t love it;
  • Sabotaging by overeating, drinking or taking drugs;
  • Feeling lonely
  • Worrying constantly;
  • Sleep a lot;
  • Walking around with your eyes towards the ground but your head in the clouds;
  • Always focusing on the negative;
  • Feeling angry;
  • Being defensive or snapping constantly; and
  • Unable to take onboard constructive criticism.

Often, we are on the wrong bus when we just have an inner knowing that something isn’t right. This can involve a relationship, a job, a business or a location. It’s hard to articulate the feeling. The easiest way to describe it, is that sense that things just need to be different. When we’re in this situation our head thinks it’s fine, but our heart doesn’t.

When we learn to listen to our heart and find our bus, we experience:

  • Abundant energy;
  • Enormous faith in the future;
  • Clarity;
  • A powerful sense of self-control;
  • Feeling alive;
  • Being on purpose;
  • A sense that every day is a holiday;
  • Being just as excited about Monday as you are for Friday;
  • A realisation that life isn’t about retirement;
  • Work as if it almost a playful game;
  • Drive that makes us bounce of bed.

How do we “GET ON” the right bus?

I’ve broken it down into 3 steps.  It sounds easy and it actually is.

Step 1:  Identify your BUS

(identify your purpose or mission)

To hit the target you’ve got to be able to see it.  Working with purpose is therefore about getting clarity on your mission and your purpose.  What are you born to do?  What is your intuition telling you?

The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why

Core ValuesLife is such an interesting journey and I believe we go through a series of apprenticeships to discover our purpose.  I only truly discovered mine a few years ago.  I now look back on everything else I have done and I realize that ALL of these events were preparing me for the bus that I am now on.

Here are some suggestions to help you find YOUR BUS:

  • Listen – learn to spend time alone to listen to what your intuition is telling you;
  • Move – you can’t steer a parked bus. You sometimes have to try a new bus journey to see if its for you.  You may make a mistake, but that is ok.
  • You can’t force the right bus to come along.  Sometimes, the right bus might be years away.  That’s OK.  The amount of people I meet who experience angst in their lives because they haven’t found their life calling YET is amazing.  Let go now and stop worrying!  You can’t force it – it will come when ready.
  • When your mission becomes clear, be prepared.  Why?  It will often be bigger than you AND it will often involve adding value to others.  Everyone is born to contribute in some way;
  • The gold is often buried in our dirt.  That is, the things we don’t like are often our greatest strengths.  Often a relationship councilor is terrible at keeping relationships!
  • There are number of other tools you can use to help speed this up.  If you want to explore these I recommend you enrol in my 5 STEPS TO IDENTIFYING YOUR MISSION COURSE

Step 2:  Accept your BUS

(accept your purpose or mission)

Remember what we learnt from Bucky … “you don’t own you, the universe owns you.”

Sometimes a mission comes along and we say, “I don’t want to do this – I want to do that.

Be like the tree and just grow in the direction you are being pulled.  If it’s not meant to be right, something will change your trajectory.

Often our stubborn mind  stops the right bus coming along.

This is why the quote, “when you let go of how you think it is and embrace how it is”, is so powerful.

In my case, I always had the burning desire to grow a large company; to be an entrepreneur.  My goal was to make millions of dollars and then retire on a beach and live happily ever after! I lived, breathed and chased it day and night.  All the while I was ignoring my intuition – my gut feeling that just wanted me to do doing what I’m doing right now – sharing this information with you.

The biggest breakthrough came for me when I accept whom I really was.  This involved accepting that my BUS might not be as glamorous as the Mercedes Bus with a sunroof and pool at the back (although who is to say that this won’t happen).

Maybe your bus is also a lot simpler than the one you’ve envisaged for yourself up to now.

Accept your bus and enjoy it for what it is.  Stop trying to be like ANYONE else.  You are amazing and unique.  There are going to be so many fears that come up for you that will often keep you on the wrong bus.   Just go with it and enjoy the ride.

Step 3: Enjoy your BUS Journey

(enjoy your purpose or mission)

My definition of success is now measured by how much FUN I have

Once you have found your bus and accepted it for what it is, the key is to truly sit back and love every moment of your journey.  You will be looked after.  When you let go of the fear of things not working out relief will fill your life.

I describe the feeling of enjoying your bus as creating flow in your life.  It’s an incredible feeling and things begin to happen so easily around you.

When you are enjoying your bus I believe your life finally feels balanced.  This is when I realised my time needed to be invested into the following categories:

  • Career and business;
  • Finance;
  • Relationships;
  • Social;
  • New challenges;
  • Spirituality;
  • Health;
  • Development/education;
  • Meeting new people and traveling to new places; and
  • Community.

When you’re truly enjoying your journey, you realise that BALANCE is the key – and when you’re in balance, everything starts working together.  You remain on the bus, and every day starts feeling like a holiday.

This is my purpose – to help people experience this feeling – every day.

Have a wonderful week and I sincerely hope that you find your right bus if you haven’t already.

PS. Remember to comment below and let us know what you think. I’d love to hear if anyone else has any suggestions as far as working with purpose is concerned.

About Andrew Roberts

Andrew is well known as one of Australia’s leading business mentors, is a Strategic Business specialist, and has been known to work his own magic with a host of companies featured in various Top 100 BRW lists. Andrew has gone from running one of the largest business coaching companies in Australia to focusing on specialists and leaders of various industries.

  • Jon

    5 words said before engaging any challenge in life that make all the difference to the way things a handled and the outcomes to expect.
    “It is what it is”.

  • Warwick Johnson

    Hi, I like your work.
    When I began reading your work, it reminded me of this book … “Man’s Search for Meaning
    It is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl. You’ve probably read it already.
    I need to read it again myself.

    Regards, Warwick

    • Thanks for sharing this Warwick. A friend of mine has given me this book, and I have read some of it and not all of it. I am going to go back now and finish it. Thanks for sharing.

      Andrew

  • Lucy

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on living/ working with purpose. Well, if nothing else, it has reminded me that I perhaps need to be patient. At the moment, I’ve got no job and have no idea of what I should be doing. I really feel under pressure as money is a problem right now, really need to start working asap. I’ve been trying to stay positive and meditate to find out what my purpose is and still no clue. Wish this was a bit easier, but I guess the universe owns me and have to wait till it decides to tell me what I’m supposed to be doing. If things going wrong are a sign that I’m on the wrong bus then life couldn’t be clearer on that: no fulfilling job, no money, no real friends or any close relationships of any kind, no health. Waiting for the right bus..

    • Remember Lucy – you cant steer a parked car – sometimes we need to take a job we are not sure about to lead us to the right one. You will really appreciate the video we are releasing next week – so keep an eye out for it. We are addressing self confidence and self esteem and how this is such an underlying area to help people find their bus

      • Lucy

        Thank you Andrew! Maybe I haven’t made enough an effort to change due to insecurities, lack of confidence and past failures.. look forward to watching that video!

  • Patrick

    Hi Andrew, great post. I know what you mean. I have experienced being on the right and the wrong bus a number of times… Interestingly when I reflect each time I have been on the right bus it’s like things are happening so easily (because I am in flow) that after a while i start to think when i am going to hit a speed bump / the bus is going to get a flat or run off the road, which often ends up happening at some point and most likely because I am looking for it (good old RAS hard a work). It never ceases to amaze me how our conditioning causes our mind to look for drama / the negatives! Thx againg for the post as its caused me to gain some more clarity around this. Cheers, PB

    • Thanks Pat. I hope you are going well in Sydney!! Catch up soon.

  • Andrew you are really on the right path. I am so happy that someone is teaching these things to business people and all people. I totally agree with you having entered the spiritual journey to find your path. Unless you find your path and something you are passionate about, it is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
    Someone once told me that I would never do well in business because I am too nice and kind to clients. I have proved them wrong and I kept going against all the negative advice from others. I believe one can do business ethically and honestly, not rip people off and believe in serving my clients to the best of my ability. your videos are great and tell me that what i am doing is right and remind of all i set out to do. Keep going – the world needs your messages right now. Well done.

    • Thank you Beatrice and I am really excited to hear from someone that is doing what they are supposed to.

  • Penny

    I have known for some time that there is something more I am supposed to be doing … For a number of years now I have been taking steps to move forward but never really getting to where I know I should be. My days are filled with listening to successful people lecture on how they got to where they are and it all makes so much sense to me … Yet, I cannot narrow down the path I am to be on. I know I am walking in the right direction but am somehow consistently going off course …

    • Penny – many people experience this so your not alone. As I stated in the video – patience. It will come, and will all make sense soon. Also – remember you cant steer a parked car (or parked bus keeping it aligned with this message) so keep changing. Steve jobs talks a lot about this, that keep changing career, keep trying new things and sooner or later you will find what you are supposed to do/be. I am releasing a book called Are you on the right bus very soon – and it goes into a lot more depth.

  • On the right Bus; most people don’t even believe they are worthy of a ticket on any bus at all. Until they realise they are the universe and not some defective being defined by the size and perception of their body they are stuck in a limitation of their own making. Just like Buck before he was hit between the eyes with a 4×2.

    • Yes – we are doing a post on this very soon as well. This is so true Geoff. People dont think they belong to any bus.

      • I look forward to it; as it wasn’t till I got hit by a 6×4 that I realised I had made it all up from birth! Until that time the self help books I read to make me like someone else that I liked better were just things that worked for Type A personalities and tended to reinforce my inadequacies. I like Wayne Dyer and Guy Finley as far as revealing the infinite nature of our ability. Once I realised that everything is already here and within us it was a lot easier to relax and let it unfold.

  • Taking the bus analogy a step further, the other relevant consideration is finding the right seat on the bus.

    If, for example, someone has found the career or industry or business that engages them most, do they want to be CEO, a technical person, a sales person, or simply the cleaner?

    If they want to get healthier, does that mean they are wanting to be an ironman or just lose a few pounds?

    Outsiders may say that the seat at the back or the front is the best, but ultimately there’s no right or wrong seat on the bus.

    • This is so true Jason – to just accept who you really are. Thanks for sharing

  • Yes this did happen to me in the past recent years. I had been to see and meet my friends from my Law college and came to know that they had well settled Law practice and were heading their company/organization very well in a systemic manner.

    Here I was not having done much due to family constraints and negative thoughts thereby having a very low confidence. It was kind of a middle age crisis. It hit me like thunder and made me realize that I can do a lot better than those out there.

    Since then I have reorganized my life and have taken right steps and positive steps and LO it has improved the way I want it to. You have to be at the right place at the right time.

    Nehaa Satalkar

  • ganesh

    Your words helped me identify which bus i am on, and I’m sure of finding the right bus for me . Thank you.

  • fatima

    hi Andrew,

    liked Ur topic and thanx for sharing with us. keep sharing more such interesting things.
    And do you have suggestions on “how to deal with insecurity in life.” why one feels so insecure and restless inspite of doing much hard work and sacrifice in life.

    thanx..

    • Hi Fatima. We are releasing a video on this topic in the next couple of weeks – so I hope you it helps you.

  • Matt

    Thank you Andrew. I look forward to your new book, as I enjoyed your last one. I recently lost my job and am looking for a new one. My problem is employers are looking for an “exact fit” but I am more of a generalist. Plus, my last job did not give me any good skills.
    I have had many interviews, but my negative self talk and shyness are hindering me.
    I look forward to finding my right bus/parachute/whatever.

    • Hi Matt – there is a video coming out either next week or the week after that will address this and really help you. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sue H

    I’m in the process of changing buses. The one I’ve been riding doesn’t fit me anymore.
    The one I’m getting onto doesn’t look like the old me, but it sure feels right.

  • Anton

    Andrew,

    I can’t thank you enough for sharing this. I am starting to experience what you are teaching in a very real way in my own life! Just a few months ago I was stuck in a job that made sense in my head, but I absolutely hated it. There came a moment where I just couldn’t do it anymore, and I quit.

    After taking a short break I went looking for my next job. And again I came at it from my head, not my heart. I spent months sending out a applications to local companies, but hardly scored any interviews, and none of what I was doing felt right. The money was starting to run dry and I was getting quite anxious.

    That’s when I got your program Flip Your Life. I decided to change gears with my job search, let go of the expectations and try something totally different. Instead of looking for work in Vancouver, Canada where I lived, I spotted a couple of cool opening down in the States. Turned out that I knew some people who could refer me. Long story short I was flown in for an interview last week, I absolutely loved the team, loved the company, got the job offer pretty much on the spot, and I am moving to California next month!

    I never expected any of this, in fact I thought that this was a total long shot when I first applied, and now that it happened I still can’t get over how wild this is! It’s funny there is a part of me that feels guilty, because it was almost too easy! But it definitely felt right, and that’s a new feeling for me, that I am looking forward to getting a whole lot more comfortable with in the future!

    It may not be my purpose quite yet, but I am definitely a step closer, and I sure am happy to have hopped on this bus!

    Thanks Andrew! Your guidance and encouragement have made a real impact on my life, and I am profoundly grateful!

    -Anton

    • Thank you so much Anton for your words. I have only just read this and I cant tell you how much I appreciate you sharing this. THANK YOU

  • I agree with your theories. I know when I am in the flow and when I am not and have lived my life accordingly for years. Amazing where this took me! Don’t forget the powerful tool of VISUALISATION and CREATING YOUR OWN REALITY.

  • Katina Lennie

    Hi Andrew
    I like reading your emails. But I think my bus got stolen and trashed by the way things happen to me, things just go from bad to worse for me and believe me I have changed buses so many times and its the same. So I believe my bus is trashed or the other passengers are sabotaging my journey, I’m constantly in Stale Mate.
    Broken Hearted not from relationships, being held back and hindered is my problem by the cosmos.
    My time is yet.

    • Hi Katina. Your time is yet to come and I always believe that people that experience what you have described are destined for something amazing. It will make sense when it happens. I recommend reading a book called BE by AC PING.

  • Jill Oberlin-Harris

    When I realised my bus arrived at a bus station, and I wanted to leave teaching in the UK, and do something much less stressful, I went to work in supermarket briefly, and then a wonderful garden centre. I found many of my life skills could be used there to help customers, and not just to find the right products!! People come in to wander about amongst the plants with their thoughts and problems, and frequently to de stress, maybe looking for a bus or even just a bus stop. Working there let me take extended holidays in the winter, and this enabled me to establish and equip a school library in a subsistence farming Gambian village, from scratch, and later use it as a book distribution centre to numerous schools in the area around to enable some of the poorest children in the world to access a better education. I earned less, but felt much more fulfilled. I have learned such a lot from them too.

    “Be the change you want to see in the world” Mahatma Gandhi.

    • Hi Jill. This is such an inspirational story. Thank you so much for sharing this. I find stories like this give people so much hope to be true to themselves. I am writing a book at the moment called Are you on the right bus, and the character I am using in the book sounds exactly like you. Have an amazing weekend and thanks again for sharing. An amazing story.

  • Just a few days ago an awesome opportunity just fell in my lap, and it is something that involves a dream of mine…kind of a dream come true. After reading this post, I must follow this opportunity and not let fear stand in my way. Thank you.

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