One of the characteristics of people who live longer and healthy lives is having purpose – having something that is important to you and gets you out of yourself. But, what does that mean? There are workshops and seminars and expensive weekends where some ‘guru’ will tell you how to find your passion, your life’s purpose and make your life fulfilling and meaningful.
I have a slightly different take now that I am retired and have experienced many years of fulfillment and purpose. For me, purpose is now to live a happy, healthy life and enjoy friends, family, my dogs and reading, and painting and even just watching TV. I no longer have to save the world, or go on Shark Tank with some new product. My purpose is to appreciate all I have right now.
This does not mean I lay on my bed and watch Netflix all day – on the contrary – I find that rather boring. But, now being released from the pressure to find that “purpose”, that greatness, that passion, is so relieving and even, shall I say, spiritual, that I am feeling more fulfilled in whatever I do. And, surprisingly enough, more and more wonderful things keep coming to me in what seems to be ‘out of the blue’.
And, just maybe, that’s been the idea all along. To appreciate and be grateful for everything I do have. Even the ability to clean the house and scrub floors says I’m alive and my body is working – how wonderful is that.
If everything you see, do and have is something to rejoice in – isn’t that passion. Start from there. It will take you to other moments of joy and purpose.
Upset over the climate change issue – well then, get involved even if it’s just a few hours a month. Angry over what’s happening with the homeless and housing issue, there are many ways to get involved. Anger, by the ways, says you are passionate about something – whatever it is. Look at that underlying anger over issues. Turn that into action and voila, you have purpose. Then appreciate that you have done something, feel something and are involved in something outside of your own self interests.
Maybe your meaningful life is to be a great employee (in whatever you do) and/or a great parent or partner. All of those things take work and bring you fulfillment. So, get off the merry-go-round of comparing yourself to those who have made millions with an app – that is far from meaningful anyway – and appreciate your life as it is right this second. Your purpose and joy is yours alone. Comparing is so painful.
And, if you feel you are lacking in meaning, open yourself up to your purpose and all that joy coming into your life no matter how large or small. One step at a time, one little thing at a time and you will fill your days, weeks, months, and years with great joy and meaning. And, isn’t that the purpose all along?!