What Is Your Purpose in Life?
There seems to be a growing trend to "define one's purpose in life." I pose this very question to my students (participants in the workshops I facilitate). Typically, these students fall into the 20- to 50-year-old age range.
I even go as far to disclose to them my purpose: "To inspire others to see beyond the challenges they face." I share my personal stories to illustrate how I came to that understanding.
The truth of my personal story is that it took Life beating me up, and my falling on my ass a time or two, to understand exactly what that meant to me. It was nearly years ago when I first declared this purpose to myself. I was 53-years-old.
Purpose, as defined by Merriam-Webster.com, is "the reason why something is done or used : the aim or intention of something," "the feeling of being determined to do or achieve something," or "the aim or goal of a person : what a person is trying to do, become, etc."
When we are younger or when we have not been through many battles of life, the word "purpose" suggests an immediacy.
We must pay our rent, feed our bellies, and the bellies of those who look to us for sustenance. We have to acquire the latest and greatest of gadgets, toys, and gizmos. We need a job now, so we will take whatever comes our way as long as it pays enough, without regard to whether we will enjoy it. We settle for what we want in our need for immediate gratification. We do this in relationship to people, things, sex, money, and (fill-in-the-blank).
We want what we want and we will do whatever it takes to get at the moment to get it. That is our "purpose."
I certainly do not suggest that all of this is a bad thing but, even in our unselfishness, we do all of these things for us and those in our immediate circle of influence. For anything beyond that, there usually is not much concern.
We think our purpose is simply to "be a good person" or to "take care of our families." Both are quite honorable, and I understand that. But is there more?
What about those who have not been good persons? Those who have not raised their children? Are they doomed? Do they have no purpose other than to be the bad example set by society for you not to follow?
Or when you have fulfilled your purpose as you state it in your younger years, do you no longer have purpose?
I have seen far too many husbands, wives, parents, and children break-down and feel their lives are over when there is death, divorce, moving away, and many other things that life dishes out. What happens next?
As we mature, we confront our own mortality. When our butts have become bruised from falling too many times, or when someone else is boldly vulnerable to share what they have learned along the way, we are stunned momentarily.
If and when we are willing to listen, we may begin to think of the word "purpose" differently. We begin to question, "Why am I here?"
In trying to find an answer to that question, some begin to look at life through a different lens. Purpose becomes something greater than simply for one's own gain or to amass toys, things, and riches to leave to people who may value these differently.
Maturity is not simply a matter of age. I have met children who have faced death who are wiser than some of the senior citizens I know who have led a charmed life.
So, why are YOU here? In the grand scheme of things, how do you want to remembered? What is the legacy that you want to leave to this world? What are the things that you are to do for before it is your time?
What is YOUR purpose in this life?
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Copyright © 2015 - Coral Levang
Original written and published on January 17, 2014 on Bubblews and later removed by the author. Content many not be used without written permission.
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