Aligning Your Inner and Outer Purpose through Spiritual Leadership

Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose underscores much of the process of developing personal spiritual leadership and maximizing the triple bottom line through organizational spiritual leadership. He argues that you have two purposes. An inner purpose that is primary and concerns Being and an outer purpose that concerns Doing. The two, however, are inseparable like heads and tails of a coin. It is impossible to speak of one without referring to the other. Your inner purpose is to develop your inner life to become conscious and awaken through mindfulness. You also share that purpose with every other person on the planet because, given its current stage of evolution, this is the greater purpose of humanity. While your inner purpose is an essential part of the whole, your outer purpose can change over time and varies considerably from person to person. Finding and being in alignment with your inner purpose is the foundation for living and fulfilling your outer purpose and is essential for effective personal and organizational spiritual leadership. Without this alignment we are unlikely to realize joy, peace, and serenity in life independent of our circumstances, although we can still achieve and acquire much through effort, struggle, determination, cunning, or sheer hard work.

This is because outer purpose alone is always relative, unstable and impermanent. As long as you are not present or are unaware of the power of living in the moment, you will seek meaning by doing, which can only be fulfilled in the future though goal attainment. For example, if caring for your children gives meaning to your life, what happens when they grow up? There is also a flip side to seeking fulfillment purely through goal attainment. If making it to the top of your field or profession gives meaning, then “making it” is only meaningful as long as there are many others who don’t make it or must fail before your life can have meaning.

The bottom line is that you cannot become successful. You can only BE successful. Success can never be more than a successful present moment whereby doing becomes infused with the timeless quality of Being. Therefore it is not your goals or actions that are paramount but the state of consciousness out of which they manifest. Once your inner life foundation is in place, your outer purpose becomes rooted in doing the “next right thing” moment-to-moment, charged with spiritual power and in alignment with a new earth.

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