The two most important days are the day you were born and the day you find out why. – Mark Twain
An obituary was recently published of someone I thought I knew quite well. The guestbook was signed by people across the globe, who had been mentees or recipients of this man’s genius and philanthropy. I knew he’d lived a purposeful life because his joie de vivre was contagious – you were met with his eyes and he was mindful of your presence. He enjoyed his work, his play, his interactions, and his regular meditation group. Of all the people I felt had found a beautiful balance in their mission and laughter, it was he. But the accolades were a realization that his mission and joy were ONE. This man had touched more lives than I ever could have imagined, and it was in his own, unique style. His soul was shared with everyone, regardless of where or when the interaction, and I don’t think his profession mattered as much as the LIGHT he brought into everyone’s space.
Perhaps the answer to the most-asked question of our time, “What is my life’s purpose?” is as simple as bringing light into this world. I propose that it changes and reshapes with the passages of our lifetime. It may look like a mindful, ethical business; or raising a considerate, loving child; or giving smiles, freely, in volunteer work or to the cashier or to the person who appears disheveled.
Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts. To go within is necessary. Then we can be mindful of what resonates and brings us complete joy and inner peace, and the path we walk will then be an outer expression of our inner truth. Walking the talk and gathering human connections that strengthen us along the way, surely that’s our Purpose.
Why should the search be so complicated or challenging? Author Arthur Green says, “We are living through one of the great ages of the speeding-up of Human Consciousness.” We may feel compelled by this factor, yet challenged that our visions don’t match those who came before us. But any contribution, regardless of how small, is a worthwhile, purposeful endeavor.
1. Sit quietly and think back from the earliest years until the present and what gave you joy. Write these down. Include everything, regardless of how silly it may seem now, as a pattern may emerge.
2. When have you lost track of time (“time stood still”) because you were intimately involved in a project? What was it and how were you captivated?
3. Even in a career that wasn’t your favorite, write down when you felt you made a difference in another’s life.
4. If possible, join a guided meditation (or work on your own via meditation, mind-enhancing CDs, or hypnotherapy) to dig deeper on how you may envision your future unfolding without judgment or attachment to the outcome.
5. These answers should be considered Energies that live within you, that nurture your soul. Don’t feel pushed into a specific action, but BE WITH the knowledge that any work that includes what brings you joy will be fulfilling to others as well.
6. Conclude any writing and meditating with Gratitude for remembering even a small part of the reason you are right here, right now.