Friday, January 24, 2014

On Purpose

I have noticed, that more and more I am hearing the same question from different people:

When I asked Google this question, I got 1,1 billion results! Seems like it's not just the people around me who are seeking answers. So what does it really mean? Purpose. Again, I turned to my best friend, Google who instantly responded with:

"The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists"

I have amended that to my own, less broad, definition of

"The reason for which someone was created. The reason for that person's existence"

Many people seem to be struggling to find their life's purpose and have not succeeded. This has lead to emotional downward spiraling, depression, discontentment with their lives and those around them, lack of direction and worst of all, stagnation. Human beings, when faced with uncertainty, seem to stay rooted to the spot, fearfully awaiting "a sign" or confirmation of their decision, or they retreat to safer, more solid ground, where their confidence gets a boost, due to familiarity. Very few stray from the beaten path and forge their way into the unknown. People are turning to spirituality and questioning their God - why am I here?  I must admit I have never asked myself this question because the answer has always seemed so simple and clear to me.

Everybody has been put on earth for the same reason - to use their special qualities for positive results by giving of their time, intellect, energy and love to make the world a better place, whilst experiencing as much as possible in a limited space of time (a lifetime). The only difference is HOW each person does this. The goal is the same, the method is up to you. Here is an example:

An intellectual, using his aptitude for medicine, might conduct a clinical trial proving how to reduce recovery time after a medical procedure and publish the results thereby educating health care professionals on the breakthrough. A stay-at-home-mom who loves baking, might spend her time testing favourite muffin recipes and share the best ones on her blog. The mom requires a procedure and her doctor utilises a new method to reduce her recovery time. She is delighted to be discharged sooner than expected. The intellectual needs to unwind and decides to have some fun and bake muffins with his children. Google is consulted for a foolproof muffin recipe...... and these two lives are both enriched by the other.

Simplistic example. Each person is giving of their time, intellect, energy and love, while doing what they enjoy. Extrapolate that out to the global population and you have a whole lot of focused, positive energy! 

Do what you LIKE doing
This may seem obvious, but there are a lot of people doing things they don't like to do. Obviously there are chores and responsibilities like paying bills that nobody likes doing, but is 80% of your life filled with things that you like doing?  If you don't know what you like doing, write a list or start Googling fun things to do and keep at it until you find things to fill your list. Nobody can do this for you. Each person's list will be very different and personal.
Your purpose is to enjoy your life

Be who you are - all the time
Again, seems obvious, but if you are pretending, even a little, you are not fulfilling your purpose. If you have to lie to other people because you are too embarrassed or afraid of judgement, then you are eating away at your very being. If you are in any way uncomfortable with what you're doing, it is not who you are and you should change it. Make plans to talk to someone to help you if you need support.
Your purpose is to be true to who you are

Never sell your soul
We've all heard that we should turn our hobbies into a job or do what you love doing as a career. Great if you can get that right, but for most, that advice is just not practical. However, never take (or remain in) a job where you are not valued and treated with dignity and respect, no matter what your position. If you don't like your job at least 80% of the time, move on. If you feel that tightening feeling in your stomach when you see the office, it's time to start "looking around." Even if the money is less, unless it is critical to your survival (you and your family will starve on the salary) make changes that will allow you to enjoy your job and which will fill you up, not add to your stress.
Your purpose is to feed your soul

If you have children, they are your purpose! It might be a real wake-up call but "finding your purpose" is not all about YOU! It is your purpose to nurture, protect, hug, kiss, cuddle, teach, guide, encourage, share, laugh with and love your children, while allowing them to make mistakes and become the best person they can be. It is your purpose to identify and grow their strengths and support them and show them how to overcome their weaknesses.
Your purpose is to cherish and guide your children and be proud of who they become

Friends, family and loved ones
Connecting with your partner is your purpose. A happy, loving home takes commitment and a lot of time, that is your purpose. Keeping in contact with your support structure and being a support structure is your purpose. Sometimes a hug, a phone call, a Skype chat or a few texts is all you need to lighten a loved ones load, making them able to face their challenges, that is your purpose.
Your purpose is to listen to and connect with loved ones in a non-judgemental manner

You do not need to save the world!
People think too big and get overwhelmed and then, as previously mentioned, stop dead in their tracks. For example, I don't mean to burst your bubble, but the chances are quite high that you're not going to be the next Madiba, BUT you can emulate him and help people like he did. By "helping" you don't need to suddenly volunteer at a children's home every afternoon (that would be great, but not if that doesn't resonate with you or your children are stranded at soccer practise because you've over-committed.) Start small. Let someone into the traffic, Help an old lady carry her shopping, offer to get provisions for your next-door-neighbour who isn't feeling well, take a friend's kids to the park.
Your purpose is not HUGE, your purpose is to make a daily positive difference in someone's life

We share this earth and energy with 7 billion people, all of whom share the same purpose. As mentioned above, the only difference is HOW we achieve that purpose and that's where individuality, personality and creativity come into the equation. Stop looking for a physical thing or job or path to be your purpose and listen to yourself, that little voice inside your head. Ask yourself some basic questions - what makes me smile? What makes me feel good? What makes me feel proud? What makes me laugh? What do I do that makes other people smile? What fills my soul? What excites me? When you have answered those questions, you have discovered your PASSION. Once you have discovered your passion or your gift or your talent, you need to share it with others. It is important to note that your purpose may not be mind-blowing......  your passion may be in gardening or singing or sewing or playing tennis.

Share your passion. Ever noticed how excited you get when you talk about your passion. Teach someone how to grow herbs, join a choir, teach children how to serve a tennis ball. Don't procrastinate, start sharing your gift today! That is your purpose.

It is that simple!

If you are STILL confused -
  • Your purpose is to GIVE of yourself
  • Your purpose is to use your personal talents 
  • Your purpose is to inspire others
  • Your purpose is to leave the world better than you left it
  • Your purpose is to feel a part of this world
  • Your purpose is to tap into your spirituality
  • Your purpose is to bring up well-rounded, loving, giving children who respect themselves
  • Your purpose is to be who YOU are and not what somebody else wants you to be
  • Your purpose is to help others who are further behind you on life's path
  • Your purpose is to stop being scared and start living
  • Your purpose is to have fun. A lot of fun.
  • Your purpose is to love
  • Your purpose is to experience as much as you possibly can during one lifetime 
  • Your purpose is right in front of you, acknowledge it and grab it with both hands
  • Your purpose is to be the best you that you can be and share it

If you have read this far, you may have guessed that I am fulfilling my purpose. My passion is "getting my teeth" into a subject, researching it and writing about it. Hopefully it gives the readers some food for thought and provides some clarity on the topic. I do not need the reader to agree with all my opinions (some of them are strong) but if you have read this far, I have fulfilled my purpose for this post. x

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