Well hello there, awesome readers!
To be or not to be, that is the question. But is it really? How about this question:
What is your purpose?
Which leads to this question:
Why are you here?
(Here being planet earth.)
Which leads to …
If this thought has ever popped into your head, you are my kinda people. And the answer is NO.
Now I’m not claiming to know everything about everything, but I do know some stuff about a few things. For example, while knowing your purpose is a broad topic that touches on probably every subject – from philosophy to theology – over the years I’ve come to believe five things about the importance of having a sense of purpose and here they are.
- We all have a purpose.
Yes, you read that right. Even that person that annoys the hell out of you is here for a reason (that has nothing to do with annoying the hell out of you). And while sometimes it really does feel like we’re just here to cook EVERY FREAKING DAY, our purpose here is bigger than that even if most of us don’t know what that purpose is on most days. (More on figuring out your purpose below.
2. Without a sense of purpose, our lives can feel empty.
Whether the day’s intention is to clean out the garage or build a school for underprivileged children in the armpit of a country you can barely pronounce, having a purpose – big or small – gives us a reason to live. We all have ‘meh’ days … days when we’re just not sure about where we fit in or what we’re supposed to be doing. This is because we’re not in line with our purpose and/or we haven’t set an intention (or objective) for the day. And by the way, DECIDING to do nothing for a day or a few hours isn’t the same thing. Relaxing can also be done with purpose.
3. Our life’s purpose can change throughout our lifetime.
While I was writing SUPERWOMAN: A Funny and Reflective Look at Single Motherhood, I spent a lot of time thinking about the years when my kids were little. Back then my purpose really was about planning meals, shopping for meals, and cooking meals. And the words THIS CAN’T BE IT did pop in my head. Often. And that’s okay too, as long as we’re also doing something that’s important to us as individuals. Some people call this “balance”. I call it FORGOTTEN POTENTIAL IS THE SADDEST THING IN THE WORLD. (True story. It’s a topic that I enjoy talking about.)
4. Your purpose doesn’t have to be as grandiose as Mother Teresa’s.
We’re not all meant to impact a nation. Sometimes our purpose – whether in the moment or throughout our lives – is as simple as reminding others to take their heads out of their ass and be kind to others or bringing laughter into a room. Regardless, I do believe that we are here for each other. True humanity is about serving others and we are humans after all.
5. Figuring out your purpose can be as easy as connecting the dots between something that brings you joy and serving others.
Here’s another question for you:
What brings you joy?
The answer to that is usually* tied into your life’s purpose. If you’re drawn to something (writing, organizing, mathematical equations), it’s because you’re meant to do it – for yourself and for others. And if you’re not following or developing that thing that brings you joy, you’re not only depriving yourself, but you’re also depriving the rest of us from the very essence of what makes you unique and the reason why you’re here. In marketing this is called your unique value proposition and it is defined as the benefits that you bring to others.
*I say ‘usually’ because if you’re a serial killer and tormenting other people brings you joy, you’re missing the point.
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