“The two most important days in life are the day you born and the day you discover the reason why.” – Mark Twain
Most of us go through life constantly striving to accumulate material wealth as well as academic and professional accomplishments. But deep down, we know that we are here for a purpose that may not necessarily align with those desires.
This ‘whisper’ inside of us know when that day where we will be taking our last breath finally arrives, no amount of money, fancy cars or prestigious degrees can rival the assurance that we’ve done our part in making a difference and are leaving the world a little bit better.
Regardless of where we came from, at the end of our lives, we all just want to know that we’ve made valuable contributions to our loved ones, our community, and the world. In other words, we want to know that our life actually mattered. The trick is, though it may seem as if we have an eternity to make the decision to start living a life of purpose and meaning, our time is in fact, limited.
With the start of each day, we are given a brand new opportunity to change the course of our lives. We have the choice to either step up to the plate and decide to take the first step to living out our purpose – or we can carry on with our daily routine, choosing to ignore our desire to do something more meaningful; something that challenges us to grow and progress and more importantly, something that makes a difference.
Many would say that they have spent much time in search for their life’s purpose to no avail but I believe that we may not need to search high and low for our purpose as it is often in front of our very eyes.
Contrary to popular beliefs, making a difference and living a life with purpose does not necessarily mean that we must quit our day job and devote ourselves to worthy causes by joining organizations such as the Peace Corp or Amnesty International (though if that is what you felt compelled to do, by all means, do so).
Personally I believe that living our purpose simply means living a life where we acknowledge and honor the gifts that we have been blessed with. Everyone – with no exception – has at least one unique gift. These gifts and talents, though we may not perceive them as grandiose or exceptional, are the things that we find the most joy in and are passionate about. It is imperative that we do not quickly dismiss them because these gifts are in fact the tools we have been given to live a life of service and purpose and it is our responsibility to share them with the world.
Whether your gift is your ability to sing, to make people laugh, to teach yoga, or to listen emphatically without judgment, you owe it to yourself and the world to honor it. As Howard Thurman, an author and a theologian, so eloquently said “Don’t ask what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do it because what the world needs is people who have come alive“.
When we fearlessly choose to devote our time and attention to share our gifts and talents to others, we are acting as a vessel of service in spreading joy and light to everyone we encounter, inevitably inspiring them to share their own unique gifts in return.
Whatever your passion(s) may be, when you choose to dedicate yourself to do what you love, you are making the decision to live a meaningful, purpose-driven life and doing your special part in contributing to a better world.