Thursday, January 6, 2022 (Day 6)
Relaxing Music for the month: Healing Hands: Liquid Mind (12:01) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hdwGhA4l50
I just finished reading this article on purpose:
- Living With a More Purposeful Self – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-emotional-meter/202201/living-more-purposeful-self
It’s interesting, how article after article after article talk about living with more purpose, but they don’t really help you much define your purpose. As a society, we’re obsessed with finding our purpose, so much so that we get stuck, especially when we don’t “find it” (our purpose). But what if purpose isn’t something you find, it’s something that already exist inside you? What if EVERYONE has the same purpose? Instead of finding or defining your purpose, what if purpose is just a series of “life experiments” that you go through at various times in your life that changes based on your growth. I share this because here’s my definition of purpose, that has evolved over time:
Purpose: A sustained, fully-engaged, intentional commitment to future-directed goals and activities that empower you to explore, cultivate, and express an ever-evolving best version of yourself, where you use your gifts in service to something bigger than yourself.
The TWO most important pieces in this definition are: (1) becoming the best version of yourself, and (2) in service to something bigger than yourself. Imagine a world where EVERY person set an intention and made a commitment to becoming their best self…since our best self is unknowable, it’s something that can continue forever. You could never stop growing, right? There’s always something you can do to be better, both big and small. Getting up and not hitting the snooze – better. Petting you dog for 30 seconds before you leave the house – better. Drinking an 8 ounce glass of water (instead of soda) – better. Smile as you walk by someone – better. Hugging your partner and/or kids at the beginning and the end of the day – better. Each thing that I listed takes less than 30 seconds, but could move you towards the best version of yourself. Small victories lead to big changes. The way I see it – during the day, you get to register positive or negative activities – for every positive, give yourself a +1; for every negative, a -1. A good day is more positives than negatives; a bad day, more negatives than positives. If the above example is hard to document, here’s something that I do – “Is what I’m about to do in this moment moving me forward into growth (+1) or backward into safety (-1)? So, instead of tabulating every activity during the day, just ask yourself that question when you’re getting ready to do something. If it’s a +1, then do it; if it’s a -1, then don’t do it. And to drive it home even more, attach this question to goals related to your: (1) health, (2) relationships, and (3) service. Do that, and it’s easy to live with purpose – in terms of becoming your best self.
When thinking about serving something bigger than yourself, use the same formula; “Is what I’m about to do in this moment serving someone else in a positive way (+1) or in a negative way (-1)? I know that I sent an email two days ago addressing how much I despise the rules for retirement, especially when I feel like I’ve served the institution well. As I write this blog, I realize that I DID NOT ask myself the question above – and now I’ve put myself in a situation where I haven’t received a response for a request for a meeting to address retirement. So, I messed up. And I have to own up to it.
In a nutshell, I believe our purpose is to become the best version of ourselves in service to something bigger than ourselves. We ALL have that purpose; we just need to find ways to explore and express OUR purpose.