Our next topic for a happy, healthy life is about having a purpose. Six out of 218 people thought this was the key to contentment.
The purpose is different for everyone because everyone was made for something special and unique. Every single soul conceived has a purpose, touches other souls, and changes the world. I specifically said conceived, because a person doesn’t need to be born to make a difference.
So often, we search endlessly for a reason for living, the secret to it all, but the purpose of our life doesn’t have to be clear. The intention to lead a meaningful life will make you love yourself more and lead you to a purpose. Matthew Silver, a street performer in NYC, said this about finding purpose, “God gave you free will. That’s for you to decide. But I’d so use your heart to find it.” I also really love what Justine Musk, Elon Musk’s wife, said about finding purpose. “To cultivate your gifts and inner knowing in your lifelong quest for soul: that point in place and time where what you do is who you are and whom you serve, and to take care of yourself is to take care of the world.” Love yourself and love the world, the rest will fall into place.
Everyone wants to leave a mark on the world. I love cemeteries, especially old cemeteries. The names on those plaques have mostly been forgotten, no one to visit or pay respects, but I don’t think anyone should be forgotten. I explore cemeteries to remember each person touched lives.
I knew I was meant to have children early on. I’m not great with kids, I’m all sorts of awkward with them, but having a family was the only thing I ever wanted. I was blessed to start young and have been spending the last 12 years being a wife and mother. My purpose in life isn’t only to be a title to others but to serve the people I love. I’m sure there is more to my purpose, but I may never fully find that out and that’s ok because I’m going to love the world the best I can with the time I have.
How do we find our purpose? I think people expect a huge purpose that’s going to change the universe, but I don’t think that’s true for most people. And I think the biggest change in the world you can make are the changes in you and your family. We don’t need to create a cure for cancer to be a positive influence to the universe.
While researching, I came across an article about finding your purpose. This article had questions to ask yourself and one of the questions that I found amusing was, “what makes you forget to eat and poop?” Although I laughed for a while at that, it really hit me. What do you love doing so much that you can do for hours and hours and not realize that time has passed at all? For me, the answer to that question is creating. I had several answers go through my mind like cooking, writing, crafting, researching. All of those have one thing in common, they are creating something.
I don’t even need to ask the hubby this question for his answer. It’s music. He had to have a minor surgery and was told to basically lay down and don’t move much after. He asked the doctor if he could play the piano. The doctor asked how often he played. His answer, “sometimes eight hours a day.” The doctor’s jaw dropped and he advised the hubby to play for maybe a half hour at a time. Well, that didn’t happen. He played until he hurt too much to sit straight. (I’m rolling my eyes even now remembering this.)
My father is very similar. Music was his answer to what makes his life happy. He said, “I would say my ‘one’ thing would be music. To be sure, my faith is important to me, my family and friends are important and also bring me great joy, but without music and playing music there would be such a huge hole in my life that I don’t know if there could be a persistent happiness such as I know now. And playing music isn’t anywhere near as important as my faith or my wife, but it speaks to me. It’s at every major event in my life and many of the little ones as well. I work to it. I play to it. I play it and it plays me. I feel like I was built for it. And maybe it is the combination of all of these things together – faith, family, friends, work, and music that brings me the greatest level of happiness, but music resonates with my existence.”
The oldest daughter takes Irish Dance (both daughters do it, but the oldest is the one that truly loves it). I hear her stomping through the house practicing her steps and jigs. I wake up to loud, rhythmic thumping. I have to remind her to do her homework. She told me the other day that while she’s in class she quietly taps through the steps instead of paying attention. What makes you forget all your other responsibilities? Part of your purpose will be found in what makes you feel passionate.
I think the best way to find a purpose is to do something. Sitting around never accomplished anything. Get up and find something worth fighting for. Stop thinking there is one great purpose in your life. There may be many things you are meant to do and be and focusing on finding that one thing could cause you to lose sight of something that would fill you with purpose. I found an article that said this: “Passion + daily action = purpose”. Be present, love yourself and love others, do good.
Kaiser, Shannon. “3 Unexpected Ways to Find Your Life Purpose.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 19 Apr. 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shannon-kaiser/3-unexpected-ways-to-find_b_5176511.html.
Manson, Mark. “7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose.” Mark Manson, 3 Jan. 2018, markmanson.net/life-purpose.
Stenvinkel, Maria. “What’s the Purpose of Life? 16 Possible Answers from 16 Inspirational People.” FinerMinds, 13 Apr. 2017, http://www.finerminds.com/happiness/whats-the-purpose-of-life-16-possible-answers-from-16-inspirational-people/.