How higher purpose accelerates personal transformation

“Fully alive and deeply committed is a risky business. Once you strip away the platitudes, a life of passion and purpose will always cost, as T. S. Eliot reminds us, ‘Not less than everything.’”

- Steven Kotler

The power of "why?"

Before I jumped on a call with a marketing expert Colin Scotland to tackle the *exhilarating* topic of marketing automation, I would have bet a lot of money that nothing much would come of it other than a few practical ideas to help scale my company. 

I knew nothing about Colin but given his marketing expertise, I assumed he’d be a wheeling-and-dealing type, trying to pitch me on some overpriced coaching package.

But so far from the stereotypical sales guy I’d imagined, I encountered a humble, kind, and soulful man who seemed genuinely interested in making a human connection and helping me. 

Colin kept asking me this really annoying question: “Why?” Why did I want to scale my business? Why was I working so hard to improve our systems and processes? 

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"Yeah yeah," I thought

I know why I do what I do. But despite years of feeling fulfilled with my therapeutic work and deeply rooted in my calling to it, there was still something missing. 

The “Why” question felt like an annoying gnat swarming around me incessantly no matter how frantically I tried to swat it away. Why was I doing all this?

While therapy was powerful and meaningful work, I knew I wanted to make a difference in the world beyond my therapeutic practice, but didn’t know how. 

For years I’d secretly fantasize about putting my efforts toward eradicating world hunger. I’d read Peter Singer’s The Life You Can Save, in which he demonstrated that we could feed the entire global population if everyone living above the poverty line donated 1% of their income. 

One percent. That’s so completely doable.

But starting a non-profit of my own seemed like too much to take on with my existing business. What skills did I have that could make a meaningful difference in the world on a global scale? 

After many years of being told global issues were intractable, I had given up on big dreams, deeming them the grandiose and naive fantasies of youth and resigning myself to the contented but yearning self. Helping people as a therapist was enough, wasn’t it?

“Everything has to point toward your ‘Why’––to your North Star,” Colin told me. “And your North Star is where your skills and passions intersect with your life’s purpose.” 

The moment he said that, everything seemed to shatter and materialize at once. I suddenly realized the motivation for expanding my business for the last few years really boiled down making more money

I cringed. I knew that was not who I was nor wanted to be. I was out of integrity.

I wondered, what had happened to the idealistic grad student so many years ago who lobbied for Permanent Supportive Housing policies, who wrote poetry to raise money for clean water wells with, and lent what little money I had at the time to support women’s education and business through microfinance with Kiva? When did my focus shift? 

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Your north star

As a result of believing I couldn’t make a real difference, I’d let the excitement of business expansion eclipse my deep desire to help the world. 

In one way, the realization felt like a dagger to the chest. But mostly it felt like freedom. 

I’d been racking my brain for so many years to figure out how I could make a difference in the world when the answer was right in front of me all along. 

Suddenly, it was so clear. I could see exactly how every aspect of my life could be oriented toward my North Star: facilitating individual and collective healing, empowerment, and awakening in service of social change and the eradication of global poverty. 

I didn’t need to start a non-profit or spend years developing an entirely new skill set to help the world. I could use my existing skills, resources, and platform to promote social causes, change collective agreements around global equity, and empower individuals to heal and awaken in service of something greater than themselves.

As I began to inform myself more, I came to a staggering realization: for the first time in history we have the resources, infrastructure, and technology to eradicate poverty. 

If we learn to leverage our existing skills, educate others, and band together to donate 1% strategically to the “Best Charities”, we can end poverty “like a disease.” According to research, the impact of donating to those goes up to 1,000 times farther than most other charities. 

In other words, a donation of $5 to any one of those initiatives is worth $5,000 in terms of impact elsewhere. So where you give your money is actually more important than how much you give. 

Effective therapy can change your life.

At My LA Therapy, our mission is to help you become more empowered, awake, and alive.

My new awareness

My new awareness lit a fire under me like I’ve never experienced before. Within a year, I increased My LA Therapy’s revenue by a third and we started to give 10% of our profits to the most effective charities. 

I began to work diligently to expand my platform to promote and donate to organizations like the Against Malaria Foundation, which is one of the charities that has one of the lowest costs per life saved. 

I launched a new aspect of my company to guide others in the process of scaling their businesses in service of higher purpose and social change, developed a holistic framework called Emergence Theory to use as a roadmap to guide people through the process of individual and collective awakening, and began leading international retreats to teach others how to heal, awaken, and unlock their higher purpose in service of personal and social transformation. 

Reawaken your soul and your sense of awe.

Join us for a transformational retreat designed to cultivate awe, beauty, and present moment awareness.

And all because Colin asked me, “Why?”

This is how higher purpose has the potential to accelerate personal transformation, financial abundance, and global impact. And the science bears this out too.

According to peak performance and flow neuroscience research, serving something beyond ourselves generates creativity, innovation, and a deep sense of meaning. We cannot achieve ultimate performance without a higher purpose. 

Psychology research has arrived at similar conclusions: true self-actualization is impossible without integrating some element of service for others

This is one of the paradoxes of being human. We cannot fully live out our highest individual purpose without putting something above ourselves. 

We are not separate. What serves the collective serves us individually. And social change is the inevitable result of genuine individual healing and awakening. 

Using our existing skills, platforms, and communities in a way that serves something greater than ourselves is something we are all capable of simply by orienting our endeavors in such a way that it serves a greater mission. 

That is why I’ve been inspired to curate a once-in-a-lifetime experience centered around reclaiming your “why” by cultivating soulful living, awe, and present moment awareness.

This week on Waking Up, Colin and I reconnected to discuss higher purpose, presence, spirituality, and the freedom to let down our walls and reawaken childlike play and wonder. 

Colin is one of the kindest people I know—not to mention a marketing automation wizard, so definitely check out his website if you’re interested in expanding your business. 

Check out our conversation here:

Listen to this podcast on:

[Music] welcome to on living my name is Brooke
Sproul and today I have Colin Scotland joining me Colin has been a mentor of
mine both in business and it really evolved into more of a spiritual uh
partnership and and mentorship and just just through our shared kind of connection and what evolved in in our
process and one of the things that struck me most about Colin the moment I met him was his kindness and I expected
to jump on this super salesy high pressure call and he was just so gracious and so kind and so generous
with his time and his expertise and it really modeled for me a new paradigm for
marketing this like just genuine position disposition of service and uh
I’ve just been so grateful for all the ways that Colin has helped me both personally and professional so Colin
welcome thank you so much what a delightful introduction thank you Brooke I’m
honored yeah tell us a little bit about yourself and your background before we get into things oh where to start hey so
I’m I grew up in Liverpool England and uh spent my youth on the market stalls of Liverpool with
my dad uh that was how he earned his living and that was a that was a fun
experience I can tell you watching how the market Traders kind of get the get
people to to buy things off the stall and like you know scratching a living really but it was it was interesting it
was an education and something that kind of shaped who I who I am today from that
very early age and that like that was the Genesis of my interest in
like buying how we buy things you know these guys would be sat on an empty stall no way to pay
their rent and they would like shout and make signs and do all kinds of wacky things to get people interested and you
know it was just a it was a real fast became the beginnings of a real Fascination for me and that was really
where my interest in all of the whole marketing sphere started hmm and when we
first jumped on our call you asked me why why are you doing what you’re doing why do you you know why do you want to
scale why do you want to um why do you have these Ambitions and it kind of stopped me in my tracks this was several
years ago now and I was like I don’t know why well like why like you know why
am I doing this you know I don’t I’m not just trying to make more money I’m not just you know and it really kind of sent
me into a little bit of an existential spiral where I began to really rethink a
lot of what I was doing and why and that was the Genesis for my truest North which we recently launched and
um just kind of this new desire to be in service I mean I’ve always had the
desire to be in service but to really think purposely about how can I be in greatest service of the world so I’m
going to turn the question around on you and ask you what’s what’s your why Colin oh what a wonderful question
so I think mine is really simple and it it is
I’ll tell you through a story right so for a number of years I’ve practiced Jujitsu the martial art of Jiu Jitsu and
I was teaching a class probably eight years ago or so now with
this young guy and we pick people up and throw them down on the ground right for those that don’t know and um this young
kid he just wasn’t getting the move right he wasn’t he just wasn’t doing it he was trying to put his body in the right place and I was like move your
left leg no no your other left leg right it was like bumbling through the move just couldn’t get it getting really
frustrated with himself and um I was guiding him and helping him and he he did this throw and it was beautiful it
like like lifted the guy up dropped him down on the floor and he was he came up from that move and his eyes there was a
light in his eyes Brooke and in that moment he changed he kind of he’s it was
like he came alive and I could see in his eyes this just this brightness this
newness of wow I can do that and you know I came
away from that class feeling great that I’d like not not great that I’d taught him how to do this move but more of a
something that stuck with me it was like that light in people’s eyes when they go
and do that you know and that was something in that like it was like a
light bulb moment for me and it just really connected with me with the thing
that I feel like I’m here to do and that is to help people to kind of have that light in their eyes and go
right right that’s so beautiful and I love I love that story and I think that
was a lot of my experience with you too like oh wow I can actually do these things there’s actually you know and it
was both the kind of philosophical and spiritual inquiry but it was coupled with practical skills to implement right
and that’s that’s part of the way that’s that’s part of the empowerment is we need both the kind of Spiritual
Awakening component but we also need these you know skills and principles for
implementation and execution and that that’s one of the reasons why working with you has been so rich and and
meaningful for me um and you know I’m curious too I guess
I’m reflecting on um something I think about a lot is how
business can be spiritual so I’m wondering if you have any thoughts or anything to share on that because as I
mentioned that’s really been my experience with you and I I think you’ve said that’s been an experience that you’ve had with a lot of your clients
and you know I had no idea you were a spiritual guy I was enrolled in your nurture sequence and you know I I didn’t
realize that we had that in common so it was really interesting how that emerged and how you find people halfway across
the globe and if it feels really orchestrated so do you have a sense of you know how you see business as
spiritual I think everything is spiritual
whether we see it or we realize it or not everything is energy Everything is
Everything is making an interaction in The Invisible that we’re not we’re not cognizant of