As the daughter of an Electrical Engineer and dedicated do-it-yourselfer, I was taught from an early age to have a healthy respect for the power of electrical current – and a deep appreciation for the significant role of a ground wire. I remember visualizing a surge of stray electrical current making its way down the grounding wire, through the barn or structure we were working on, and into the Earth, that giant conductor. Walking the perimeter of our small farm to check for breaks in the low voltage electric fence that surrounded our property was often my assigned chore, and several accidental experiences with that small surge made me especially grateful for that grounding wire when dealing with anything more powerful.

In our increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, it can sometimes feel like you’re in the midst of an electrical system that’s gone haywire. Surges of current, both large and small, are coming from all directions, and it seems there’s no ground wire in sight.

What if purpose were our ground wire? We often view our purpose as our guidance or direction – could it also be the giant conductor that keeps our system from hitting overload?

“In the moments of insecurity and crisis, “shoulds” and “oughts” don’t really help; they just increase the shame, guilt, and pressure. It’s the deep yeses that carry you through.”
– Richard Rohr

How do you feel when you describe your purpose to others? Does it ground you – or stress you out? I recently asked this question of a friend and colleague as she was developing a personal purpose statement. I asked her to read the statement out loud, and then asked “How do you feel when you read those words?” She replied, “I feel strong. I feel empowered. I feel connected.” Those are the feelings of a “deep Yes.”

Other signs you have identified a grounding purpose may come from the feeling you have as you accomplish goals you set for yourself. Dr. Kennon Sheldon of the University of Missouri has studied the effect of “self-concordance” on our well-being. Self-concordance is the degree to which our goals align to our purpose. That great feeling of satisfaction is a solid indicator that we are on the right path. Not feeling it after an accomplishment? Perhaps it’s time to revisit your “deep yes.”

Once you’ve found a purpose that grounds you, be sure to check your connection regularly.  It’s so easy to let the rush of the day-to-day allow that connection to come loose. My practice is to use my daily commute to listen to music or podcasts that firmly plug me into my sense of purpose, to carry me through whatever the day may have in store.

What will keep you grounded in your purpose today?



Sharon Amoss

Sharon Amoss

Sharon’s approach to leadership is centered on encouraging others to discover and connect with their most true, authentic selves. She is guided by personal core values of justice, compassion, and growth, and motivated by a vision of a better and wiser world where each of us are free to express and contribute our unique gifts. She seeks to build inclusive communities across all facets of her work and life.

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