Lately I’ve been noticing a variance between people who are truly engaged and excited about their lives, from those who aren’t. The difference being: whether or not, they have a sense of their purpose.
A sense of purpose is a deep calling from within that compels a person to live their life, for a reason bigger than themselves. It is usually a drive that can’t be ignored. Regardless, if resisted, it will continue to be pointed out, until the person listens, aligns and takes action.
When taken heed, passion ignites, vitality increases, doors open and way showers appear to support and fuel our mission. When we resist, it negates and diminishes our energy, leading to health crises, relationship dysfunction, and financial disorder. As well, it becomes easier to get caught up in distractions such as gossip, yesterday’s news, or to feel overwhelmed by world issues, and feel like we have no control.
Living with a sense of purpose does not guarantee everything working perfectly, however it does give a sense of meaning and richness to our lives that can’t be found otherwise. As well, it gives us the confidence, faith and encouragement to know we are playing our part and contributing.
Ultimately, a sense of purpose does not need to be or look ‘out of the ordinary’. In fact, it’s really about doing ordinary things, with qualities such as care, consciousness, meaning, heart and vision. When we do this, we make ordinary things extraordinary.
At every age we can live with a sense of purpose. It is wise and valuable to help cultivate this in youngsters, relative to their stage of life. Children love to know they are of value to the people, places and circumstances in their lives. It’s essential to their self esteem and cultivates qualities like responsibility, accountability and leadership.
In my daughter’s class at school, each child is regularly given tasks to ‘be in charge of’ and oversee. One day, when I was leaving a bit late from drop off, I overheard their teacher talking about transitioning into their roles. The response I noticed was that the children quickly and energetically rose to their tasks with a sense of authority and confidence. They knew their part and it seemed they were motivated to serve and make a contribution. The room was a buzz!
Weeks later when my daughter and I were having a conversation, I had used the word ‘leadership’ in complimenting her for the way she responded to a particular situation. She wasn’t sure what the word meant so she asked me to explain it. When I did, she remembered and said with pride, “Oh yes, my teacher has told me that I’m a good leader too.” I could literally feel in my body, the importance that acknowledgement meant to her.
A sense of purpose can help build and foster community and give birth to a spirit and unity that would otherwise be lacking. Projects that serve a greater purpose put people in touch with higher values; get them involved with one another’s lives in productive, meaningful and heart centered ways, and that collaborative energy creates growth and miracles in places where we desperately need them.
With such tremendous value living with a sense of purpose brings, why aren’t more people engaged with one? In many cases, I think it’s purely a lack of awareness. Many people don’t realize they are genetically predisposed to having a life purpose; if you are here, you have a role to play! Nor do they realize how rewarding and transforming it will be for others and themselves to pursue and actualize it.
If you are wondering how you would start to uncover more of your unique purpose, there are some simple highlights I can share from my own life that may be valuable.
First of all, I call the road to uncovering and living my own sense of purpose, ‘my journey’. I view it as a continual path, without a start or end point; it’s a process and continues to evolve as I and the people in my life do. In the process of following my own ideas and plans, I am open to the input of people, signs and indicators of other ways or approaches that I might not have thought of. I continually tune into my body and heart for information and direction. If something feels YES in my body, then I know it is an important piece of the puzzle to include. Likewise, if it feels NO, I do not ignore that message; I do my best to make the tweaks or changes necessary to feel in integrity with myself.
Ultimately, when something or someone causes an emotional reaction, like my heart to sing, I know that something true to my essence and soul’s compass is being stirred. The greatest indicator for me however, is when something moves me to tears. Not in a sad or grieving way, but in a coming home to myself sense…this is when I distinctly know that my purpose is calling me. Not so unlike the Journey of Santiago in the story of the Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. Such a widely celebrated book, whose enlightening message of finding meaning and living with purpose is Universal.
Conscious of it or not, we are all here for a special purpose and uncovering it, can be as glorious as living it.
To your Purposefilled Journey.