Do you believe you are living for something larger than yourself? I believe most of us are living for a purpose greater than ourselves. You may not have gotten explicit about the big purpose behind what you do every day, but I imagine that you could name many reasons — reasons that are beyond your own needs.
- Are you making choices so your children learn how to grow up as loving humans? Perhaps you’re making hard choices so your children can have opportunities and new experiences you did not.
- Are you working on a project that will make our communities better places to live, or our schools better places to learn? Are you working for a world where people will have more access to resources, care, and love?
- Are you trying to act in a way that causes the people around you to experience a little joy and kindness during their day?
I believe we were put on this spinning planet for a short time in order to give something of ourselves. That “something” does not have to be grand or heroic. If we are all thoughtfully trying and giving in our own sphere of influence, it will matter. The effect will ripple.
Take a moment to get clear. Take a breath. Then ask yourself, “Right now, what bigger reason am I living for?”
Now write down your bigger reason for living.
Think of one way recently you have done your best to live into that bigger purpose. It could be a grant you wrote. A project you are working on with a team. A conversation with your child, your parent, your best friend.
The way you treat someone on the bus today, how you move around people on the sidewalk, how you talk to someone serving you coffee… every action is an opportunity to make a small connection with another human being. A connection that lets the other person know you care, even just a little. And that is living with a bigger reason than yourself.
In the midst of all the violence, occurring in our world and in our backyard, we need this – to connect to our larger purpose.
And here is one more thing: When you see someone trying their best to live out their purpose, see them and say something. You could say, “I see you being an awesome parent, friend, partner.” Or, “I see you working hard for our community.” Say thank you. There are a lot of us trying out here. Let’s remember to keep trying and keep saying thanks.
Here are a few examples of ordinary people, like you and me, living out their bigger purpose – here and here.
This world is rough. It is full of injustice and suffering. In the midst of all the brutal news, we tend to forget our bigger purposes. As we recognize all the ways we fall short as humans, we forget that most of us are working to improve this world.
Remembering our bigger purpose and acknowledging others will allow us to keep expanding our hearts.
How are you living out your bigger purpose? How do you see others living out their bigger purpose?
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