July 05, 2017
I think sometimes we get tripped up when we start to question “What is my life’s purpose?” We may think the answer requires some sort of grand mission with lots of external impact or something that is very visible or makes us famous.
I actually believe that one of the most profound expressions of life purpose is simply to just dial it back to zero and say that each of our lives' purpose is to be a decent human being. That developing generosity and loving kindness and compassion and working on chipping away every day at habits we have that we don’t like, is really our most genuine lifes purpose.
Being a decent human being is reflected in the tiny little actions we engage in each day - from the way we speak to people to the way that we listen, the way that we drive, wash dishes, pick up after ourselves, even the way we write an email. With every single one of these micro actions, we are reinforcing certain habits. These could be really positive habits, like the habit of having attention to detail or the habit of receiving someone with kindness, attention + presence. Every tiny little action we engage in today and every day of our lives is solidifying and making stronger habitual patterns that will carry us forth and determine the rest of our lives. And if you believe in future lives, it could also flow even further into the future.
So when it comes to wondering about our life's purpose, if you ever find yourself getting tripped up, feeling like you’re searching or like there is something that you’re missing, remember the little actions. I think this question is really common these days, and it can actually create the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve. It can cultivate a sense of lack, a constant searching, like “I'm missing it." And even worse, it generates a lack of trust in our own wisdom, that things will unfold as we create them.
This constant questioning also creates a sense of dis-empowerment, like there’s something that we should be doing that we are not. But, in fact, if we just take charge of all the little actions we engage in each day, if we solidify positive habitual patterns, then that behavior is extremely profound. There is no greater life purpose or contribution to this world than refining oneself bit by bit, day by day, over time creating more postivity within our systems. And that has a tremendous ripple effect, because we are all interconnected.
So we don't have to exert all of this effort in the external world to make things happen, to ensure we are "living our life's purpose." Where we’re actually making things happen is from within. And simply with these tiny little efforts each day, to be just a little bit more aware and present and loving and kind and attentive to ourselves and others, we ARE engaging in one of the most profound life purposes that exists - to be a beautiful, loving human being. And it doesn’t get much better than that.
When we die, we don’t take any of our accomplishments with us - yes, of course it’s great to leave things behind and leave a legacy, but when we die, ultimately what we leave behind is what we leave behind in people's hearts. Those tiny little moments that we have with people, that’s what people remember us for, what we remember of others.
How do you feel about your life’s purpose? Can you re-frame that question to be more approachable ~ "Am I engaging in positive actions, however small, that help me be a better and better human being, every day?"
Love + flower petals,