We all know that a group will only truly succeed in its shared endeavour if united by a common purpose and aim.
For some groups, purpose is arrived at through deep inspiration, a calling if you will, to something that whilst bigger than the group itself, feels important and attainable on some level.
For other groups, the purpose may arise from common interests, the recognition of a need or for some, it can be the pursuit of a commercial enterprise.
All things considered, the purpose may be deeply aligned to the greater good or, at the other end of the spectrum, may be entirely connected with self-interest, and, of course, a range in between.
A sense of purpose has incredible fieriness because it connects us to our sense of ‘why’.
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” – Nietzsche
The fiery nature of purpose is such that it can bind us together, lift us to new heights of attainment, and even sustain us through seemingly unbearable situations. As Viktor Frankl reminds us, “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
A group that deeply aligns around its purpose resources itself with an energy, a force and power to go forward, to bring forth, to climb mountains and transcend the valleys. Aligning to that purpose though requires engagement with the will.
When we consider the will, we may be inclined toward quite brutal definitions of it. The will at a rudimentary level can feel quite tough, driven, inflexible, even rigid in its desire to achieve and succeed. When we deploy the will in this way it can appear uncompromising and yet, therein lies some of its sacred quality. At this basic or even primitive level, we are experimenting with, and exploring the foothills of, the will.
On a higher turn of the spiral, in a more refined expression of will, we find that we are focused more on deploying steadfastness and a deep sense of love in staying aligned with the purpose. To achieve this more evolved expression, we need to access qualities such as courage, discernment, dedication and even devotion. This latter quality will sound somewhat strange, perhaps even religious but when we consider its more generic dictionary definition ‘love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person or activity’, we see it’s more about a deep love for or dedication to the purpose, a love which sustains, fuels and helps align the will.
Within a group we all have a responsibility to place the purpose of our group endeavour right into the centre of our collective work. When we are truly connected to, focused on and in service of the purpose, we will find that many other aspects of the ‘how’ will become easier. Ideas will flow, solutions will arise, new perspectives will be explored, higher levels of understanding and communication will prevail.
We may notice within a group of individuals, there are some who are naturally drawn to intuiting, holding and galvanising others around, the purpose. Often, we give hierarchical and positional power to such people because they have the ‘charismatic’ power to serve as a sort of magnet, both outwardly and in less visible ways. However, challenges can arise when we over rely on one person, often called the Leader, to hold this alignment. One person can serve as a lightning conductor but truly serving the purpose is a group effort and one which demands the power, will and love of all.
“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky –
Our world need is great in these times.
Coherent group work is the only way to respond to this growing need.
A group that is aligned around its purpose and deploying its refined and fiery will, accessing love and power simultaneously, is more likely to bring forward the change in consciousness and outer circumstances that are contained within our birth right.