Finding meaning and purpose through resilience
When we start focusing on our strengths and looking to the future, we discover that our purpose starts to reveal itself.
Do you think about your purpose a lot?
I know ever since I was a little girl I thought maybe there was this one thing that I was supposed to do. One way that my life would impact other people.
I was pretty focused on it. I sure didn’t want to miss my purpose because I wanted my life to matter.
I was a very serious little girl wasn’t I? 🤓
My teen years and early adulthood centered around trying to figure out that one thing that would take me to my purpose. Never mind that I wasn’t 100% sure what that purpose was exactly.
This put pressure on me because every new effort required some kind of direct line to this ill defined purpose.
I surely didn’t want to waste any time doing something that wasn’t going to lead me to that ultimate singular purpose.
I remember this time being full of busyness and constant activity. I felt overwhelmed a lot.
But I just thought this was part of having a sense of meaning and purpose in your life.
What I’ve discovered now that I’m a middle aged adult, is that my purpose isn’t measured by one destination.
It’s lived out hundreds of times a day in how I interact with others.
My purpose isn’t about one big thing that I can put on my tombstone one day.
The more I understand that the more I am able to give myself a break when I miss something. And the more I give myself a break the less stressed I feel.
Funny how that works.
I heard Tony Robbins say one time that this relentless search for meaning and purpose that we modern world citizens are looking for is a relatively new thing.
Just a little more than 100 years ago, people did not expect to to live a very long time. And for whatever time you were alive, life was more about survival and taking care of immediate daily needs.
Your meaning and purpose was most likely to put food on your table.
Meaning and purpose didn’t have the same front row seat that it does now in our profoundly abundant world.
This search for so many of us is a relatively new phenomenon in the history of humanity.
So it’s totally okay if you don’t have this figured out yet.
Part of staying resilient to stress is knowing that your efforts are leading to something.
Of course you want to be intentional and make sure you’re doing the best you can to live out your purpose.
You want to know that you can have some kind of control over where your life goes and how you can impact your future.
We all want to know that our time here on earth is well spent.
But sometimes I think we make this purpose thing too hard.
I think one of the greatest contributions to our stress is this constant push to be accomplishing something. Every activity, every effort has to lead to something.
And if you can’t find common themes or draw some lines, then you freak out because you start wondering:
- Where is all this going?
- What’s my purpose?
- And is all this activity leading toward something?
Your purpose is not an event that you’re trying to get to.
It is something that you live out every day with the people you work with, with your family that you love and take care of, and with the parts of yourself that you share with others.
It’s entirely possible that you exist purely for other people to help them and to give them meaning in their life or encouragement that they need.
For me, this is exactly my purpose. The technical skills I bring to my whatever work I’m doing take a very distant backseat to the way that I encourage others and help them find their way to the next step.
I do this without thinking about it and I couldn’t tell you exactly how I do it.
But it is truly my purpose.
For all of the soul searching, the assessing of your skills, the focus on intention and disciplined effort, you may already be living your purpose.
Don’t get so caught up in finding your why that you miss the what that you bring to the world around you every day.