(For My Brother, Pete)
The internet is riddled with blog entries, psychological analysis, and magazine articles that talk about finding your purpose in life. If you Google “living on purpose” you will get roughly 87, 400, 000 results. If that many results are on the internet, you know that it must be a widely discussed subject.
Building on my last blog entry, let me say that life should not just be about finding our purpose, but LIVING OUR PURPOSE, or, rather, LIVING ON PURPOSE. Living on purpose means we are taking life by the horns, facing every experience head on. It is an understanding that when life throws you for a loop that you realize the emotional ups and downs are all a part of living and being human. We don’t just get the ups with no downs, or a life on a downward spiral. We get a little bit of everything. Life is about learning to accept the good experiences with the bad experiences. It is about embracing life as a Crazy Adventure instead of as a Rat Race. The Bible tells us that we all have a purpose (Romans 12:1-5, Matthew 6:33, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14), and, in all honesty, we are all share the same purpose- we are supposed to be furthering God’s kingdom and making disciples out of others (Matthew 28: 18-19). However, such a statement tends to beg the question “How do we do this?” I propose (and I am sure that I am not the first one to say this) that the best way to serve God is by doing it with your natural abilities and gifts that he has given you. It is in the Bible that we have all been blessed with special gifts that makes us unique (1 Peter 4:10, The Parable of the Talents Matthew 25). Living on purpose is an understanding that we must embrace these gifts and abilities using them to honor and promote the One who created us.
Here are some things I have done to Live My Life on Purpose:
1. Firstly, get a journal. Nothing can help you more than writing down your thoughts as they occur to you, and being able to go back and read them. Having a journal can also help you figure out who you are, and give you insights into your own actions and reactions to life events. You just might surprise yourself when read your journal’s past entries. I surprise myself sometimes when I go back and read the things I have done. It helps me decide how better handle situations in the future. Also, write down what encourages and inspires you. Everyone is encouraged by something on a daily basis. It is very to be aware of what inspires us and write it down. That way, on a bad day, you can go back and read about such things to put yourself in a good mood.
2. Create a Personal Mission Statement AKA Life Plan- What do you want from life? What do you want your life to mean? On the day of your funeral, what do you want people to say about you? What legacy do you want to leave behind? A mission statement should not be a broad subject such as “I want to help others.” It should be a focused statement of two or three sentences that clearly defines what you want to do and how you want to do it. Here is an example of mine “ I want my life to be about helping people with their physical needs to the best of my ability (giving freely), not being a burden on others in any way, and showing people that we are each given a gift to serve God and others. I want my life to be about helping others define their emotions and dig themselves out of the “Pit of Negativity or Victimization” that we all fall into at various times in our lives. I want to use my gift of “writing” to encourage and inspire others much like I have been encouraged by the scribbling and words of our ancestors.”
3. Write out your life goals- How can we live a life on purpose without a clearly defined plan? In other words, how can you go through life without goals? A life without goals is a life lived waiting on chance happenings, and constantly expecting life to just change for the better. To make a Personal Mission Statement a reality, you need to have a clear cut plan of accomplishing it. In my journal, my goals are broken down into: life goals, 5 year goals, 3 year goals, and where I want to be in a year’s time. I constantly am re-evaluating my goals to make sure that they are lining up with my life plan and my personal mission statement. As I am affected by experiences on a daily basis, I am ever aware that my life plan may subtly change, and I adjust my goals accordingly. Last, but not least, be realistic with your goals. Evaluate them in terms of: faith, financial realism, and every other aspect of awareness that you can define. Be careful not to set limits and become a self-fulfilling prophecy, but, also, do not so widely define your goals that you do not hold yourself to a time-limit to accomplish certain items on your list. One of my goals for example is to get my Associate’s degree in two years’ time even though the school I attend is self-paced and classes are under no time limit.
Today, I would encourage my readers to get a journal, create a personal mission statement, and write out your goals. Look at it as fun and exciting. Do not put it off or tell yourself that you will do it tomorrow or sometime in the future. Today was yesterday’s future. Quit putting off what can help you begin living and not just existing. Live Your Life on Purpose not by chance! Stop waiting for things to happen and go make them happen! Action is what defines a Life as Lived on Purpose!
(For My Brother, Pete)