I like to believe that I've discovered my life-long mission.
It's to help people become more alive and confident about their creative superpowers. It's to help others see things differently and think and act in authentic and courageous ways.
It's to awaken the creative rebel in everyone.
And while I feel empowered and fulfilled and all that jazz, I'm especially touched when I witness that same moment in somebody else: The moment when you go from stuck to enlightened; when you find a worthy mission to fight for. It's like a light goes on and you come alive; like you've been asleep and now you're awake and eager to pursue your deepest dream; like you've been in the dark for most of your life and now you see there's a point to all of it. And you want to scream it from the rooftops!
Your higher mission - or purpose - is the natural resolution of your life. All of your talents, skills, and life experiences have led to this moment. Now let's explore it a little bit closer and see how you can trigger it in your own life.
You're not a rebel... yet.
I believe there's a creative rebel in everyone, but you have to unlock it first.
There are people who have unlocked their inner creative rebels and people who are going by default. The latter are people who constantly feel stuck and lost and dissatisfied, and while most are functional enough and look like they're doing just fine, they are the ones dying inside, worried there's something wrong with them because everyone else is doing fine and they have to pretend because they're so far from fine it's not even funny.
Have you ever felt stuck and pretended you were doing fine?
Yeah, me too. For years. And it was a direct result of ignoring and trying to suppress my authentic voice. It was screaming that it wanted me to do things that society or my family or friends didn't accept, and so there was this battle between should and must. Should being what society outlines for you and must your unique path in this world.
Maybe there's a similar battle inside of you. Maybe you feel like you don't exactly fit in those neat boxes around you. Whatever your story is, know that you're not alone and that most of us go through this battle, and the best outcome would be to come out of it as yourself and not somebody else who is 'better adjusted' to life and society.
How can you awaken the creative rebel inside? Just make a list of things you're frustrated with and see how you can turn them around. You don't have to adjust yourself to meet the world's expectations of you. If you don't like something, don't just go along with it. Change it. When I was mad at marketing, I realized it was never going to change unless I changed it. So the Authentic Marketing Blueprint was born.
Your higher mission.
You think that because you're doing your own thing you're a creative rebel. That's not necessarily the case, though. While choosing yourself is truly the first step to starting on any journey, including your higher mission, it's definitely not the only prerequisite to becoming a creative rebel. You're a rebel in potential, not in reality.
A creative rebel is not the same as entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is a person who runs their own business venture and a creative rebel is a person who runs and grows their business in an authentic and purposeful way.
Does what I do fulfill me? Does it feel good and meaningful or does it just pay the bills? Am I enthusiastic because I'm learning new things and accomplishing or is there a deeper reason for my doing this? If I couldn't do it tomorrow, would I cry?
Creative rebels don't just run businesses. We start movements. We are on a mission - a higher mission that is unique to us and our life experiences; that fits our talents and skills. So if what you do right now feels like a part of you, keep doing it. If not, look for the clues and follow them until they take you to your rightful place - your higher mission.
Your higher mission is something you were put on this Earth to do. It may not be just one thing, but many things. As a human being, your responsibility is to find what your mission is right now, and follow it with courage and conviction.
And how do you know something is a mission? You know because you want to be of service to others, rather than just servicing yourself.
Let transformation happen.
Surrounded by so many creative rebels, you'd think that I witness these moments of coming alive every day. Alas, the reality couldn't be further from the truth. Most of the people I talk to still don't know what their higher mission looks like. They go with the flow like I did... like all of us do when we don't know what we want. And that's OK.
We all need this discovery period. We grow and evolve and change, to become who we are meant to be and do what we are meant to be doing. However, it's hard for me to see how miserable some people make themselves because they're just not letting their personal and professional transformation happen. There is no progress without change.
That change, that transformation, is budding beneath the surface, ready to break through and transform your entire life for the better. It can't wait to fill your life with meaning and light, but it won't be able to if you don't let it. You must always allow yourself and your world to change and to go with your own flow, not with everybody else's.
I have a really good friend who is depressed because she doesn't like her job and her expectations are too high, and she's so out of touch with her needs that she makes herself sick trying harder and sinking deeper. I suspect that she's not letting her transformation happen, which brings her back to square one. My own personal transformation had to do with accepting and learning to love myself, so I could help others do the same. Had I not allowed this to happen, I would have stayed depressed forever.
Let's talk about entrepreneurship, seeing as it's a HUGE part of the creative rebel journey. There are two kinds of entrepreneurship:
- entrepreneurship by default
- entrepreneurship by design
Entrepreneurship by default is the state in which we're inspired to pursue passion projects that are exciting, but not necessarily fulfilling.
These projects don't necessarily inspire, motivate, or make us feel fulfilled. They make us feel achieved and badass, but they fail to feed our souls. While it's energizing and fun for a while, we later realize we're not doing anything different from anybody else.
That's perfectly normal for someone who is doing this for the first time. After all, how can you know what you really want until you've tried a few things first? So you try and learn and grow and it's fun... until the time comes. The time when you want to evolve and take on something that makes everything you've done (and do) more meaningful.
Entrepreneurship by design is the state in which we are aware of our deepest motivations and dreams, so we let them lead the way.
It happens when we finally start listening to our authentic voices and start living the life that's not pre-designed for us, but we get to design it for ourselves. It is the moment we start living our lives intentionally, based on our deepest desires, beliefs, and values.
This is the time when you truly come alive and follow your crazy dreams.
It needn't be forever dreams or big dreams or noble dreams, but they do need to go deep. Any dream of yours that is a direct result from your life's journey, that speaks to your soul, that fires you up from within, is a worthy dream to pursue and build upon, but it needs to come from you, not anybody else or any other construct you have seen out there.
Now get ready to pass through the Surface and go straight to the Core...
Your origin story.
In order to discover your higher mission and achieve your personal (and professional) transformation, you will need to understand and fully embrace your origin story. It's an uncomfortable thing to do, but it is necessary for your spiritual growth.
I have found that your mission usually comes from your origin story.
Listen to any origin story - you can find a lot of them on podcasts - and you'll find that there's a personal cause and professional effect in most cases. A person who spent their life being silenced would end up giving voice to people in that situation. A woman who was objectified would spend her life empowering other women. And so on.
Most stories out there are not as obvious as my examples. Most are unique stories of struggle and redemption and unique individuals with unique talents and ideas that ended up changing the world because they trusted and followed the course of their authentic stories. Their origin stories became fuel for their creative careers.
Take a simple example. My dear friend Meg Kissack recently started her podcast The Couragemakers. It's a podcast for "honest conversations and rebel rousing," which means that Meg's higher mission is to give a platform to people who have unique stories to share that are not the flashy success aftermaths, but the inbetweens of real people struggling with being authentic and vulnerable and finding their place in the world.
If you parse her introductory episode, you'll notice 3 main parts:
- Her experience of being stuck and hopeless.
- Her frustration with podcasts and her aha-moment.
- Her finally trusting her intuition and launching.
If she hadn't had the life experience she had, a.k.a. her origin story, she wouldn't have started the podcast, and if she hadn't had the frustration with the existing podcasts, she wouldn't have had the aha-moment, which allowed her experience and her frustration to make a unique combination and create something that's totally hers.
When you feel like something makes sense and that you should pursue it, especially if it comes with an aha-moment, you need to trust and act on it.
Some questions you could ask: Is there anything I've always struggled with? What have I recently struggled with that I managed to overcome? Could I help people overcome it themselves? In what way can I help them overcome it? Have I had any aha-moments recently that I was afraid to pursue? Why am I afraid to pursue them?
Go deep. It is the only way to reaching your full potential.
Let's see what steps we took so far:
- Awaken your creative rebel by listening to your authentic voice.
- Make a list of the things that frustrate you and turn them around.
- Discover your higher mission by letting yourself change and evolve.
- There's a difference between entrepreneurship by default and entrepreneurship by design, and if you want to be really in charge, you must achieve the latter.
- Embrace your origin story because therein lies your mission.
I know, this is a lot of homework, but I believe these steps are necessary for your spiritual and professional growth. Creative rebels are not born, they are made.