Former investment banker turned yogi, our founder Phil Goodwin shares his journey to launching BodyMindLife and how you can find your own reason for being.
Doing a search on amazon reveals more than 150,000 references to books helping you find your purpose.
There is so much information available yet through all the reading, all the self work and all the motivation you are still perplexed by one of the most fundamental questions you can ask yourself – “why am I here?”.
There is absolutely no chance that you do not have a purpose. Everything in this universe has a purpose, plants, animals, humans, YOU!
For me I began to ask “the right questions” when my father died 20 years ago. For the first time I was faced with mortality. At that point in my life I was unexpressed, disenchanted and really for the first time a deep sense of introspection took place. In hindsight I was lucky that this occurred when I was only 25. I began asking the questions, what is it all about, why am I alive, why am I here?
What I know now is that what I was really asking is what gives my life meaning, what can I do that’s important to me?
I knew I wanted more from life. I did not ever imagine that I would own yoga studios. But there was a definitive shift in my mind. Within two years I had left the safety and security of my profession trading financial markets and within five years BodyMindLife was born. This was not planned, life pushed me from my job, I found employment for a few years with an entrepreneur, I learnt the ropes of business and my partner at the time began practicing yoga and became a teacher.
Yoga made me feel good and we opened up BML, its seemed to flow easily. When I look back at that time now, it’s as if there was a path that was laid out over a five year period and I followed that path. I acquired skills to open a business, I was motivated and passionate and my belief was that yoga can help the world become a better place to live, maybe it was a bit selfish, but I wanted to live in a better world. It was and still is really that clear and simple.
It was not the action of opening a studio that was my purpose. I deeply felt that yoga can really help people, it helped me and I was a tough nut to crack. I really did not know that I was on the path to discovering my purpose. The purpose or finding meaning in life did not really come into it. We were so busy getting the business established.
We eventually put our vision for the business down and that was to make the world a better place through the practices of yoga – funny that it was the same as our personal vision.
This vision for BodyMindLife has evolved to “empowering transformation” through education. Through communicating and demonstrating the deep learnings from yoga and meditation around lifestyle, BodyMindLife aims to help people make more informed lifestyle choices and decisions so they can be the best absolute versions of themselves. In this way we help people make better and more informed lifestyle decisions and choices.
My purpose continues to be around motivating and supporting people to be the best they can be. It’s reflected through the business and what gives me joy is seeing people come through our processors becoming more confident, authentic and literally stepping into the life that they want to live. Our teacher training programs are the pinnacle of the BodyMindLife experience and this is where I find my purpose unfolding. Really BodyMindLife is where I have the most FUN! and that’s the key.
Over time and through the practices of yoga and meditation and with guidance from teachers and a deep hunger to learn and grow myself my purpose began to take form.
So when it comes to finding your purpose, you are really looking to find meaning and importance in your life. Aim at living the best life you can right now. Your purpose is coming. It takes time. Do not make purpose the bulls eye of your target. Don’t shoot for purpose. Ironically the secret to consciously creating purpose and success is not to make it the central target of your desire, expectation or imagination. Rather accomplish the means. Aim to be powerful, creative, productive. Aim at the means and allow the ends to follow.
By powerful I mean having the ability and willingness to act. Power, in truth, has nothing to do with intimidation, control, or manipulation. It has nothing to do with the desire or attempt to overpower.
Power has become a euphemism for fear. When you confront a scary person you often call them powerful. When you encounter a powerful person you often call them scary! Very strange. True power is being both able and willing to choose and decide, and to act on those choices and decisions. It is being able and willing to think and feel and act on those thoughts and emotions. It is being able and willing to admit to having attitudes (opinions, evaluations, and discernments) and beliefs and then acting consciously on those attitudes and beliefs.
Creativity is generating and stimulating conception and perception in yourself and/or in others. Creativity is not defined by career or label. The artist and the non-artist, by whatever definition, are creative if they generate and stimulate conception and perception. Levels of productivity are measured by the amount you learn about yourself. Whatever you are doing, if you learn a great deal about you and who you are, then it is productive. If you learn little or nothing, then it is non-productive. Productivity is a quality, not a quantity.
You cannot sit paralysed by your life. Understand who you are, why you think the way that you do.Why you make the choices and decisions that you make? Understand your fears and motivations and TAKE Action.
That’s the first lesson in finding purpose. Take action whatever it is. Sometimes it’s difficult to be motivated to act. It’s a chicken or egg situation what comes first action or motivation. A lot of people look to find inspiration and motivation before they take action. I am pretty sure that if you take action, no matter what it is, do something, anything really, and then harness the reaction to that action as a way to begin to motivate yourself.
Be who you are, be authentic and cultivate awareness. Look at the things that take your energy and where you waste time. So often I hear that people have no time but spend three hours a night watching TV. The distractions in your life, drugs, alcohol, TV, etc., do not give you meaning. They distract you from living to your potential.
You are here to grow, expand, contribute – there are no mistakes in life just opportunities to learn.
Your purpose, mission, task — your focus — is not only about achievement; it is also about the means of achieving. It is not just about succeeding — it is also about the way in which you succeed. You can grow through the struggles and hardships of life. Some still feel the need to struggle and suffer. However, you also have the choice to grow through the love and laughter — learn to have FUN!. Learning means recognizing and acknowledging that you are the creator of all the possibilities, probabilities, and actualities of your reality.
Meaningful purpose is always about how you can serve or do for others. Interestingly doing things for others also makes us happier than doing things for ourselves. I think we have solved something here.
Here’s a simple exercise, try this out…
- Who are you: what’s your name : I am..
- What do you love to do ? What’s the one thing that you feel supremely qualified to teach other people?
- Who do you do it for?
- What do they want or need?
- How do they transform as a result of what you want or give them?
The cool thing here is that there are only two questions about yourself and three about other people
The most successful people in any field almost always focus on the people they serve more than how they are serving themselves. Happy people make it a point to make other people happy and do things that make them feel well taken care of and secure. If you make other people happy life teaches us that you will be taken care of as well.
What do you do? I help people feel authentic and confident in life. Answer number five and that will give you the answer to the question when someone comes up to you and asked you what do you do in life.
The most important tip to finding your purpose is to stop searching for it and go out and start doing. Your purpose is revealed through action, quite often we make many mistakes before we stumble upon the the thing that makes us “sing” in that moment. What’s also important that the purpose can totally shift and change as you grow and evolve… happy hunting!