Growing up I was told that having a purpose was vital to living a meaningful and fulfilled life. Having a reason to get out of bed in the morning, no matter how small that reason may be, was essential to being happy and contented. That advice was one of the most important things I could have learned.
We hear a lot of people saying how unhappy they are and it’s very sad to hear this. What is equally sad, is that many people feel that to be happy, they need to be positive thinkers and while this is true, it’s only part of the story. Being a positive person is of course essential to happiness, but so is having something to do. We all need to have that one thing or those few things that inspire and invigorate us — the things that make us smile inside and give us something to look forward to. I’ve had people ask me what I think their purpose should be and the truth is, I can’t really say for sure, because its unique to each of us and what inspires me, may not inspire you.
What is our calling? Is our calling our purpose? Is our purpose our career? Good questions, and ones that don’t have just one answer. A person may feel that their calling is to be a Nun or Priest, while another may feel their calling is to be a Teacher — but as it happens, that may end up being their vocation, but not their sole passion. Does that make sense? What I mean is that we all have something we call our “career” and in fact, that may end up being our passion and purpose. However…and this is key, someone may have a passion other than their career, such as painting, writing or baking, and that is what truly invigorates them and gives them that sense of purpose. So our calling in terms of a career, may be all that we need to have purpose, but, it may not be. The important thing for us to do, is to find out what really excites us.
“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” – Paulo Coelho
I have a friend who decided to stay home to raise her family. She is an amazing wife and mother and she juggles more in a day than almost anyone I know. We have mutual friends who have chided her, saying “oh, I don’t know how you can stand being home all day” — well, they couldn’t be more wrong. This friend of mine is raising amazing kids, her home life is wonderfully happy and the love that you feel when around her family, is palpable — her life is full and rewarding because she volunteers, creates beautiful pottery and has a garden that wins awards every year. This friend you see, made her choices in life carefully and her life is brimming with purpose and satisfaction — she isn’t home all day…she is living a rewarding and dynamic life every single day. And the funny thing is, the friends who chide her for staying home, aren’t necessarily happy with their lives, which they have centered around their career.
“We all have a purpose in life, and when you find yours you will recognize it.” – Catherine Pulsifer
Find Your Calling and Passion
Having a purpose in life is essential and we often try different things until we settle on the one(s) that best reflect who we truly are as an individual. Many experts say that when trying to figure out our purpose, we should give deep though as to the things/places/people/ideas that really motivate and excite us and start there — this is sound advice and I would add, making a list of those things is as important. Ultimately, we just really need reasons to get up and do things, because a positive attitude, a sense of purpose and mental stimulation is very important to feeling fulfilled. Whether our purpose/reason is to garden, paint, write poetry, volunteer or have a serious career, the important thing is to have something to do — and the good news is, we can change that up any time we feel the need.
“When you find your why, you don’t hit snooze no more! You find a way to make it happen!” – Eric Thomas
“It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something.” – Winston S. Churchill
“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” – Dalai Lama
“The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, or gives you a sense of meaning, joy, or passion.” – Terry Orlick
Learn more about finding purpose in life: