As we hit the alarm clock buzzer and wish it weren’t telling us to “rise and shine” for yet another day at the office, with the children, looking for a job, conducting business, racing to the airport, or just being, we may not consider our purpose for our being that day. Do you? Do you know why you do what you do? Why you were put on earth with the gift and talent you have? I wonder – continually.
My friend Tom and I walked around the Italian Festival in Lakewood, CO for several hours yesterday. People watching was the number one attraction – the clothes people wear! – and then the joy of smelling freshly cooked food, taste testing vinegar dips – from Rasberry and Pomegranate, to Basil and Roasted Tomato – and naturally, the wine. For $6 we had the option of tasting five wines or just decide on one glass of our choice. We did both – tasted one or two, then decided on one glass. It was a glorious day: the weather, the company, the joy, the event.
We walked back to Tom’s and he poured glasses of his favorite Spanish Port , brought out some good bread along with his newly-purchased Rasberry Vinaigrette dip and we toasted to a fun afternoon. With each sip of our delicious Port we toasted to something that was meaningful to us: friendship, health, financial freedom, Peace of Mind, laughter, world travel, and on and on. (Yes, we had several sips in the hour + back at his house!) Toasts are sometimes wasted on “big” occasions like weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, retirement, etc. But to toast to the moment with a beloved friend or family member is – to me – one of the main purposes in life.
Toasts are visions. What’s the purpose of having good friends if we don’t keep in touch? What’s the purpose of having a nice house/condo/townhouse if we don’t enjoy it? What’s the purpose of a beautiful day if we don’t get outside? What’s the purpose of your joy if you don’t share it? Toast to friends, your home, comfort, wealth, joy, etc. and make it a ritual to make your life purposeful for your friends, family, co-workers, company and of course, the most important, you!
As I ponder the purpose of my being, I look back on the joy that life has brought to me and realize that one of my purposes is to help bring more joy into the world. I am a high-energy person – even when I’m sleeping. Good energy is contageous and I realize that my energy brings joy to people even if I don’t realize it. What about you? Is your energy a joyous purpose?
Who you are is not on your business card. Who you are is the person inside who helps others, give with no intention of needing something in return, is kind to the people you work with and who work for you. Your title doesn’t go home with you, but your soul and character do! Who is the person inside when no one else is watching? Who are you when you have a difficult choice to make? Do those fibers of value and goodness appear throughout your day or do they hibernate when the “going gets tough”?
I’ve heard people say, s/he was called to a higher purpose. I’ve often wondered if that meant that only those people who are “called” really have a purpose. What about us? If you haven’t read, Three Cups of Tea, I highly recommend it. Greg Mortensen’s higher purpose benefits hundreds of school-aged girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan; he’s built 72 schools. He didn’t wake up one morning, push that alarm clock button and think to himself, “I’m going to build schools for the rest of my life.” This is an amazing and heart-rendering story. He builds schools, while you might build confidence, leadership, broken souls, or wealth for others and yourself. You do indeed have a purpose.
I know that training and speaking is what I’m meant to do. Now, if my messages can help change one person’s life for the better, then my purpose is guided in the right direction. What you do has a purpose for someone else whether you work for IBM or the local Charter school. One of my speaker friends asks, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” Wow, that’s a great question. To me that’s putting your purpose on the line. Are you aiming toward that purpose as you read this? If not, why not? If so, congratulations.
You may work for a charity, a non-profit, a conglomerate, a law firm, a financial institution and contribute to small, large or universal communities. When you wake up tomorrow morning – without the alarm clock – eager to start your day and to stand up for your convictions and purpose in life, then you’re 10 steps ahead of the next person. I salute you.
Some of you may not know or recognize your purpose, but it’s there, believe me. Some of you are the greatest helpers known to mankind, the brightest technicians, the most affable customer service representatives, the best sales reps, or most sought after wait-staff person. You have a purpose to serve others and that’s what the world needs: service to others.
Forget your title and ban the word “just” from your vocabulary: “I’m just a secretary/mechanic/housewife….” Hold your head up high and recognize the value of the work that you do. Here’s to your purpose in life and fulfilling that role.