When people are faced with the loss of loved ones, especially when it’s unexpected, people begin asking questions such as: Why am I on this planet? What is my purpose? What difference am I making in people’s lives?
I was asking these questions as my son Charlie and I were planning Craig and Tim’s celebration of life memorial. We wanted to share their stories, and the purpose and impact they made on people, their service, their profession, and their family. It got me thinking about my own purpose, my impact, and contribution to society.
Google has over 60 million entries on how to find your purpose. Most self-help books, seminars, and authors tell you to dream, clarify your values, set goals, know what you are good at, aim high, go for it, be disciplined, and never give up. Of course, these actions will lead to success and lead us to our life purposes.
Rick Warren said it best in his book The Purpose Driven Life. Focusing on ourselves will never reveal our life’s purpose. You discover your life’s purpose and your calling when you focus on serving others and loving others unconditionally.
We all exist on this earth for a short period of time. During this time, some people do important things and fulfill their purpose, while others do not. Sometimes, we feel that we are giving our lives meaning and joy, and sometimes, not.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Are you fulfilling your purpose? What impact are you making? What legacy are you leaving behind as you complete your human experience on Earth and prepare for eternal life?
Here are 5 ways I used to do my purpose check-up. I would like to share them with you.
Love and Generosity
The Bible says, “Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.” The more you give away, the more you get back. Today’s world could use more love and generosity for sure. It seems that many people have big egos; some are very selfish, have extreme political views, and only care about their agendas. There is no love, no values, and no generosity. If you know people like that, love them even more and show them that through love and generosity we will all be better off.
Love and generosity can be as simple as giving someone who serves you a great tip, or you could mentor and give great advice to another person, or give your time to a worthy cause, or simply love and care for people in general. Begin serving others without expectations. When you love people unconditionally, you get rewarded with love and generosity yourself. Let’s make loving people and generosity a habit!
Reflect on the Past, but Live In the Present
The past is the past; you can’t do anything about it, so you shouldn’t get stuck there. Learn from it and move on. If you don’t like your past, detach from it. You can begin a new life today. Live in the present moment; you only have today. The Bible offers three metaphors that teach us God’s view of life.
1. Life is a test. 2. Life is a trust. 3. Life is a temporary assignment.
These ideas are the foundation of living a purpose-driven life. We are on Earth to prepare for eternal life. We are tested every day. How we act determines the outcome. The present is a gift; that is why it’s called the “present”; each day makes a lifetime. What you do each day determines if you are living your purpose. Make a commitment to make a small difference in someone’s life each day and you will live a purposeful life. Pass the test, trust, and have faith during your temporary existence on this planet.
Find Balance Between Happiness and Meaning
We can choose to be happy or be miserable. Happiness is a choice — a state of mind — and it can be attained by anyone. A meaningful life is when you focus on the happiness of others instead of your own. There are many studies that were conducted in regard to the differences between living a happy life and a meaningful life.
A meaningful life is a life that is lived with intention; it’s what you do to help others. Answer the following questions:
- What do you do that makes a difference?
- Who do you do it for? Who do you serve?
- What do they want? How do you serve them?
- How do they benefit as a result of what you give them?
These are very powerful questions that will help you find your purpose. I am not just talking about your professional work; you can ask yourself the same questions to make other personal contributions.
Part of living a meaningful life is being self-aware of your actions. When you live a meaningful life, happiness and meaning will show up in your life.
Don’t Judge or Hold a Grudge
“Life is flying by. You don’t have time to waste another minute being negative, offended, or bitter. If someone did you wrong, get over it and move forward.” — Joel Osteen
Being judgmental and holding grudges stumps your growth. It’s best to forgive and move on. At the end of each day, be thankful and grateful for all the opportunities you had to serve others.
Practice “being open to everything and attached to nothing.” — Wayne Dyer.
Holding a grudge harbors anger, bitterness, resentment, and other negative feelings long after someone has done something to hurt you. Holding a grudge will end up hurting you more in the long run. It weighs on you, gets you off track, and prevents you from living a meaningful and purposeful life. Make forgiveness a habit and you will live a much healthier life!
Design Your Life’s Purpose
Yes, you can design your life’s purpose and live an abundant, happy, and meaningful life. When I was 19, I read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, a classic book. He taught me key principles that shaped my life. I practice them every day.
Later, I started learning more and more about the law of attraction, manifesting, and living a meaningful and fulfilled life. These teachings led me to where I am now. For the last 20 years, my team and I have been helping entrepreneurs launch and run successful businesses so they can live their purpose of providing their clients and community a better life, and be successful.
As I was doing this Life’s Purpose Checkup, I realized that my purpose in life is fulfilled professionally, but I decided that I could do more on a personal level. I have another calling, a new purpose in me and I am about to find it! How about you? Can you do more to make a bigger impact and make the world a better place for future generations?
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