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Let’s talk about meaning, purpose and holidays !

We previously encouraged the creation of a vision board to start the year. But how can you effectively create one if you have yet to discover what you truly desire from life?

You can create a vision board without having a clear understanding of what you want in life, but it may not be as effective. You need to be clear about your purpose or goals, so the vision board may serve its purpose.

Speaking of which, what is purpose?

The purpose of something refers to the reason for which it was created or the goal it is intended to achieve. Although it may be difficult to give an exact answer to that question because it could mean something different to everyone, some believe their purpose is to achieve greatness, leave a lasting legacy, or make a difference in the world. Others see it as simply living a happy and fulfilling life, surrounded by loved ones and doing things that bring them joy.

One of the biggest obstacles in the search for purpose can be the pressure to find it quickly. We live in a world that values instant gratification and we're bombarded with messages telling us that we need to have everything figured out by a certain age.

This is simply not true. Finding purpose is a lifelong journey and there's no one-size-fits-all solution. It's a process of experimentation, self-discovery and personal growth. It's about figuring out what makes you happy and fulfilled, what your values are and what you're passionate about and then aligning your life to that.

Finding purpose, also means searching for it !

We all have an innate desire to find our place in the world, to know why we're here and to feel like our lives have meaning and significance. This search for purpose is universal and it's a journey that every person goes through at some point in their life.

The journey to self-discovery can be both exhilarating and challenging. It's a quest that requires introspection, reflection, and often a lot of hard work. Trying to find alignment in your life will require a level of self-reflection as it can be uncomfortable to face our fears, insecurities, and uncertainties about our place in the world. It takes courage to delve into the depths of our thoughts and emotions and to examine what truly motivates us and what we value.

Universal Values

I recently watched A la recherche de la cohérence, a documentary film by Agathe Peyre who’s an educator in sustainable development. In this self-produced documentary, she shares different perspectives on universal values that give us collective coherence.

One of her counterparts elaborates on the Theory of Basic Values by Shalom Schwartz which identifies universal and human values that can be found across different cultures. Ten basic human values can be listed :

  1. Self-Direction: Emphasises personal autonomy, creativity, and freedom of thought and action.

  2. Stimulation: Values variety, excitement and challenge.

  3. Hedonism: Pleasure, enjoyment and sensuous gratification.

  4. Achievement: A value that emphasises personal success, excellence and competence.

  5. Power: Values social status, control and dominance.

  6. Security: Emphasises on safety, stability of society of self and relationships.

  7. Conformity: Value of obedience to authority and social norms.

  8. Tradition: Respect for customs, beliefs and heritage.

  9. Benevolence: Concern for the welfare of others.

  10. Universalism: Understanding and tolerance for welfare of all people and the protection of nature.

These values are differentiated based on their motivations or objectives. The theory suggests that these values serve as a guide for individuals' attitudes, behaviours and motivations and therefore, having a clear understanding of one's values can be important for finding alignment in life. When individuals' actions and decisions are in line with their values, they experience a sense of coherence and fulfilment, as their behaviour is consistent with what they believe is important. On the other hand, when there is a misalignment between values and behaviour, individuals may experience conflict and dissatisfaction.

For example, if a person values community and altruism, they may feel a sense of alignment when they volunteer their time to help others. On the contrary, if they work in a job that is solely focused on maximising profits, they may feel a sense of misalignment between their values and their work, leading to dissatisfaction.

By identifying and prioritising one's values, we can make choices that are consistent with what we believe is important and meaningful, leading to a greater sense of fulfilment and satisfaction.

Permaculture, meaning and purpose

One thing I’ve learnt through my journey and from hearing others’ testimonies is to be open-minded and embrace change and new experiences. Trying new things allows us to step out of our comfort zone and you never know where this may lead you.

Another important aspect when trying to find your space in the world, which can also be linked to permaculture, is connecting with others and using our experiences as a catalyst for growth and healing for others.

In permaculture, connecting with others is seen as a critical aspect of building resilient communities and promoting sustainability. By connecting with others, individuals can share resources, knowledge and skills, leading to greater efficiency, cooperation and mutual support.

It can be difficult to stay motivated when we don't see immediate results or when the journey takes us in unexpected directions. However, through our personal experiences, we gain understanding which makes it possible to have empathy for others in similar situations. This newfound perspective can then be used to support and uplift those around us.

The ultimate goal?

Bringing meaning to your daily life and your holidays

I began my quest for the meaning of life in 2018 after feeling unfulfilled with my routine lifestyle as a fashion assistant in Cape Town, South Africa. I knew there was something else for me out there. So I took a leap of faith and left my job, not entirely sure where my path would lead me. It hasn't been easy, but I’m glad to be on the other side of my comfort zone.

Fast forward to today, I’m interning at Perma Social Club, a company started by Alice.

She, like myself, left her promising career in the fast-paced London lifestyle in search of something more meaningful. She is a permaculture enthusiast and connoisseur and she specialises in sustainable tourism, aiming to bring more awareness to conscious travel rather than mass tourism. She partners up with local tourism businesses and producers that privilege techniques such as organic farming, water management and renewable energy aiming to create self-sufficient communities that meet human needs while minimising harm to the environment. Her passion for sustainability and her drive to positively impact her territory is inspiring and I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of.

While we may not be able to reverse the effects of climate change or raise awareness on important issues on a global scale, we can still take small actions on a daily basis that can contribute to a more meaningful existence.

So, ultimately, the purpose of life should not be about arriving at a specific destination or achieving accolades at a certain point in our lives (which I’m totally not against) but the importance should be about the journey itself.

It's about learning, growing and striving to become the best version of yourself every day. Everyone of us can be searching for purpose, so why not support and encourage each other along the way?

On that note, I'll let you discover our "Perma Holiday Camp for Adults" which will undoubtedly leave you more aligned with your values thanks to the training provided, helping you design human, balanced and sustainable ecosystems.

And on a lighter note, for those who can speak a little French, here is Alice's interview on the "Le Plein de Sens" podcast, where she shares her quest for purpose and how she brings meaning to your holidays.

Sara Mwilambwe

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