My parents’ lives were the embodiment of what it meant to live one’s purpose. ‘Know why you are here (as on this earth) … and it’s not to make money… give back and share’ they would say. Through their actions, I learned social and civic responsibilities, the impact of having a ‘we’ and not an ‘I’ mentality and that simply thinking of others first makes an enormous difference to all through one action at a time, even if it’s by helping one person at a time. Things appreciated most are things given at the time they are needed, not wanted.
People without some of the necessities of life (e.g. food, shelter, clothing) are easier to identify because not having these essentials are obvious. However, there are others who are rich in these things but are in dire need of love, a hug, an engaged conversation and most of all to be seen or heard. Sometimes, we are moving so fast through life in a semi-zombie like state that we are not connecting (and technology is not helping) with each other. Hence, we are missing all the signs that are right in front of us of people silently screaming out their needs.
I have witnessed birth (I am a mom), and I listened as my mom took her last breath (one year ago this July). The simplicity of life became much more profound to me at that time. It seemed as if a film was reeling backwards in time at high speed. The journey of life…here one minute and gone another. What she left was her legacy. What will be mine?
It is for this reason the ‘Why’ I do what I do everyday matters! What does the collection of my ‘Whys’ resemble over time…the result of my living my ‘Why’? Your answer to these questions may differ from mine.
My belief is that knowing our purpose in life provides the foundation for the ‘why’ we live our lives. It is something bigger than ourselves, even spiritual. My purpose in life is to help others and give back to my community. It is who I am in my personal and professional life. Like my parents, I try to share what I can with others especially those with hidden needs. Through listening and observation, I may need to step aside for a team member to have an opportunity to shine or coach others in realizing their untapped potential which may result in a career opportunity. Everyone can use a helping hand. The measure of the help is immaterial since it is the impact that is important.
I’ve talked to a few people who are well established in their careers, living very successful lives and they have acknowledged that something is still missing, but they are unable to identify the cause of that void. Even though we are from all different walks of life, somewhere there is a common thread that binds the humanity in us where we feel fulfilled when we are involved in something that is greater than ourselves. It is encouraging to see that some organizations have swapped their vision and mission statements to having a purpose and providing a culture for their employees to find their purpose.
We continue living our purpose and helping others to do the same, this in turn contributes to something bigger than ourselves.
Thanks for reading this lesson from my parents. Please share your stories in how you are living or finding your purpose.
The conversation continues.
Lesson #3 – Making Decisions