This is part five of a five-part series excerpted from my book Creators 2.0: How to Find Your Purpose, Build Sustainable Growth and Change the World. Get your free copy here.
Follow your heartache is the simplest and most powerful advice I can give to anyone. This is the compass I turn to when I am lost and the other compasses fail me.
Our basic nature is to avoid suffering. But if we wish to live our purpose and find our calling, we have to stop running from that which pains us. We must walk into the heartache or choose to cocoon ourselves in mindless tasks and hide from what is truly meaningful.
I can no longer remember the source for the phrase “soft sadness,” but it is a principle that has guided my steps for many years now. It is the path of awakening one’s heart and learning to love, even in the face of heartache and suffering.
Soft sadness is a loving acceptance of heartache. It is the active choice to step forward and help those that we might otherwise turn away from. Umair Haque speaks most eloquently about this compass in “How to Let Your Purpose Find You”.
So head past your discomfort zone – right on into the burning tropical isles of heartbreak. Now, by that, I don’t mean: dump the love of your life. I do mean: immerse yourself in stuff that makes you hurt, ache – that maybe even makes your heart break a little bit (or a lot). You’re feeling the stirrings of empathy – and purpose, Big Love, needs Big Empathy like the river flows to the sea.
Haque’s full article is worth a read.
I believe that each of us is called to something in this world. This book is about finding this calling. I hope that the compasses above help you to take action.
You have probably noticed that each of the four compasses is just another way of taking action, a way to move without having predefined the indefinable. It is through action, in thought and deed, that you are able to move toward discovering your talents and your purpose.