The Importance of Feeling Connected and Defining Your Purpose
I had the pleasure of meeting Dame Kelly Holmes in 2016, and I really warmed to her. Her story is inspirational, and she is a very humble, funny person. Underneath that though lies a will of steel; she said despite the difficulties of her upbringing, all she focused on was becoming the best athlete she could be, and for her it was being an Olympian. She also talked very openly about her depression, and how she overcame that, which was touching to hear and generous of her to be so open. What an incredible woman.
A sense of connection
Later that same day, I was at a Dixie Chicks concert at the O2. Already feeling good about meeting the Dame, I thought the day couldn’t get much better. I don’t like crowds of people, and was slightly unsettled at the thought of going to the O2 as it’s such a vast venue, but I had one of the best times of my life at a concert. The Chicks were brilliant, and despite the very diverse range of people there, I’ve never felt such a sense of connection anywhere. We sang our hearts out (I have a poor singing voice but it’s too loud for anyone to notice), friends were hugging, small children were rocking out and everyone — young and old — was there to have a good time. It was a wonderful feeling to be a part of the wholeness made up of tens of thousands of very different people and I’m still buzzing from it. It really made me think of the power that occurs when a group of people get together with a common interest or purpose, and how important it is to connect with people. It also reminded me of something I’d forgotten; how music unites us all and has the power to lift our spirits.
The power of connecting
If you haven’t felt that sense of connection for a while, try and create that feeling for yourself (and others). It might only be a small group of friends going out for an evening or for a walk in the countryside. It might even be just one person. But if you feel that connection, you’ll feel amazing. It’s a basic human need. Brené Brown defines human connection as this:
“The energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” Brené Brown
Finding like-minded people makes us feel good; we like to see aspects of ourselves reflected back in others, it’s reassuring and comforting. Connections can be made in other ways too. You can form a deep connection with your body, through breathing techniques, yoga and exercise. It’s important to connect with your goals, and your intent; why are you doing something, what’s your purpose and how do you want to feel afterwards?
Connecting with your purpose
I think this is very important. There’s our broader life purpose, or the purpose which drives our work. My purpose is to help clients prolong their healthspan through the promotion of personalised diet and exercise. This defines much of what I do and is my why. I love doing that. Take some time out to consider what your purpose is, and then reverse engineer this to work out what your intent is each day. You’ll find you’re much more efficient in what you do if this is clear to you. Humans were designed to solve meaningful problems; we were made to move; we have evolved to respond to the challenges put in front of us, often of our own making. We need a clear purpose, a clear intent, and without it we lose that sense of connection.
Leanne Spencer is an entrepreneur, coach, TEDx Speaker, author of Remove the Guesswork, and Rise and Shine: Recover from Burnout and get back to your best and founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. Bodyshot is a health and fitness consultancy that helps busy professionals get more energy by removing the guesswork around their health, fitness and nutrition. Visit http://www.bodyshotperformance.com for more information or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.