What is your life’s purpose?
To help heal the ruptured relationship between people and planet.
How are you living your purpose?
I rowed solo across three oceans, using my blog, books, and talks to raise awareness about the environment and to inspire people to make a difference. When I learned about our environmental challenges—this is in around 2003, before the movie An Inconvenient Truth—I became so passionately concerned that I just had to do something. I didn’t know if I could have an impact, but I knew I had to try.
I would say that I didn’t have the idea to row across oceans and use that as my way to raise awareness—rather, the idea had me. To this day, I don’t know whether the idea came from my subconscious or from some higher power or wherever. I just know that it popped into my head one day when I was driving my car, and I knew immediately that it was exactly what I had been looking for. Or at least my heart knew; my head had a different view. The head can always think of a thousand reasons not to follow your true purpose—because it seems over-ambitious, daunting, scary, and we don’t believe we’re up to the task. But if you listen to your heart, it knows. It might not know HOW you’re going to do it, but it knows that you WILL. And when you step into that space of unknowing—I don’t know how but I know that I will—all kinds of weird magic starts to happen. You can read more about my rowing adventures in my two books: Rowing the Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean and Stop Drifting, Start Rowing: One Woman’s Search for Happiness and Meaning Alone on the Pacific.
Now I am launching a new initiative—a series of international summit meetings with political and corporate leaders—to discuss what belief systems we need to embrace and embody if we are to have a sustainable future.
How did you find your purpose?
I wrote two versions of my own obituary—the one I wanted, and the one I was heading for if I carried on as I was. I needed to find out what would make me proud of the way I had lived my life and I discovered that I wanted to make a difference in the world. I paid attention to what made me feel passionate and alive and followed those dots until they led me to my purpose.
What advice do you have for purpose seekers?
Be brave enough to fail! You won’t find your purpose by treating it as an academic exercise from the comfort of your sofa. You have to get out there and try things, talk to people, experiment without being attached to the outcome. Not everything will be a success, but all the time you’ll be gathering more information about what really lights you up. Oh, and keep a journal; it is a perfect way to reflect on your experiences and figure out what you’re learning.
What resources do you recommend?
A pivotal book for me, even though I am not religious, was Conversations with God, by Neale Donald Walsch. Tim Kelley’s True Purpose is also good; it’s a soul-led approach but also very down to earth.
Roz Savage is the first (and so far only) woman to row solo across the world’s “Big Three” oceans: Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian. She holds four Guinness World Records, and was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to fundraising and the environment.
It was an unexpected career move for a former management consultant who doesn’t particularly enjoy exercise. She was inspired to brave the oceans when she realized two things: 1) we are all capable of much more than we tend to believe we are, and 2) we need to make some changes if we’re going to live healthy lives on a thriving planet. So she used her voyages to expand her own limits and to promote sustainable living.
She now writes, speaks, and lectures on sustainability, courage, resilience, and change.