What’s after Purpose?

What’s after Purpose?

Determining your purpose is an excellent endeavor for building Self. What comes after purpose?

I suggest uncovering your Implicit Narratives. These are the stories or narratives you have about yourself that get in the way of your being successful in consistently living your purpose. These stories can come from an early life experience that was interpreted as “I’m not good enough” etc., or past mistakes that we have internalized and shape how we see ourselves which do not serve us.

My purpose is to “increase trust levels in the world, by demonstrating courage and kindness to myself and others, in every interaction.” Increasing trust levels in every interaction is a challenge for me!

The implicit narrative I have that particularly inhibits my living this purpose is the story I tell myself: “I can’t do this, I won’t succeed, and you’re going to hurt me.”

This is the most inhibiting implicit narrative I am conscious of. It ‘shows up’ when I’m taking initiative that feels scary, and especially when I’m wanting to be courageous in addressing something with others.

For example; I am following up with a CEO who has not yet fulfilled an important commitment. In the past my implicit narrative might lead me to do nothing and say “woe is me”.

How do I live my purpose demonstrating courage and kindness to myself and the other(s) when my implicit narrative is ‘running in my head?’

Without getting into the details of the CEO example, I followed my purpose and took a risk in sharing my concern with the CEO about the situation (courage), while continuing to offer value (kindness). My hope was this would be acknowledged and the CEO would work with me in completing the commitment.

It’s working.

The three key moves for addressing implicit narratives when they hold you back from living your purpose:

  1. Acknowledge the implicit narrative* when it shows up and make sure not to ‘stuff it down’.
  2. Accept in advance, that no matter what happens next, you will be Okay.
  3. Act. Attempt to live your purpose as best you can in this moment.
    For me, this would be demonstrating courage and kindness to myself and the other(s), in every interaction.


“What are the implicit narratives you have that keep you from consistently living your purpose?”

I encourage you to write them down. Share with someone you trust. And notice when they ‘show up’.

“Awareness, gives us the Ability, to Act purposefully.” A quote I came up with that’s likely been made by others.


* For more information on implicit narrative work, please contact Dr. Mark Jones: mark.r.jones@sunyata.ws

Dr. Jones works with executives and leaders in uncovering the implicit narratives that are getting in the way  of their effective leadership.



Michael is a business consultant who provides people development and change initiatives across Canada, while also assisting organizations in the US and Australia. In witnessing as a senior leader, a large highly successful company stumble and fall through an absence of trust, he committed himself to supporting organizations create a different outcome. Michael as a leader demonstrated the miss-steps he witnessed beforehand; appearing invulnerable, withholding thoughts and feelings, story-making, and reactivity. Recognizing this in himself, he increased his personal development efforts and continually re-commits to his purpose: “to create trust in the world, through demonstrating courage and kindness to myself and others, in every interaction.” Having recently completed a Masters degree in Leadership & Organisation Development in Seattle, US (Leadership Institute of Seattle, (LIOS)) Michael compliments his business experience with academic study in the methodologies for successful organizational change and people development. He is currently studying Lean process improvement and works his spiritual practice for “development at depth”.