Finding Purpose

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”

― Albert Schweitzer

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Almost 60 years old, and most of my friends and I still talk about finding our calling, finding life’s purpose. What are we truly meant to do?

Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps explains:

“Finding your calling — it’s not passive. When people have found their calling, they’ve made tough decisions and sacrifices in order to do the work they were meant to do.  In other words, you don’t just “find” your calling — you have to fight for it. And it’s worth the fight. People who’ve found their calling have a fire about them,”

Isay has listened to thousands of people tell their story and describe fighting to find their purpose.  He describes his amazing work with StoryCorps in this great TED Talk – Everyone Around You Has a Story the World Needs to Hear:

 

A wonderful article in Daily Good elaborates on Isay’s findings by outlining the 7 lessons Isay describes in his new book:  “Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work.”

I love this first Lesson:

1. Your calling is at the intersection of a Venn diagram of three things: doing something you’re good at, feeling appreciated, and believing your work is making people’s lives better.

 

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That diagram shows the ‘sweet spot’ – intersecting three things: Doing something you are good at; intersecting with the knowledge that you are making people’s lives better – service; and feeling appreciated for this work.  This idea mirrors Albert Schweitzer’s quote:

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”

Your calling takes courage and doesn’t always pay well. But we know it when we are doing it.  We get in the flow; we feel good about ourselves and our work; time flies; and although the pay check may not be great, we keep doing it because we know it is right for us.

So I think it’s quite fitting to close with this video entitled: How to Know Your Life’s Purpose in 5 Minutes!  After all, at almost 60 many of us are running out of time!

I’d love to hear if you’ve found your life’s purpose and how you found it.  And as always, thank you for taking the time to visit.  I appreciate it.

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10 thoughts on “Finding Purpose

  1. great post. yes, i feel very grateful that i found my calling as a writer. it gives me meaning and purpose every day of my life. as you point out: doing something you’re good at, feeling appreciated and making people’s lives better. especially my debut novel, ‘My Year With Sammy’, the story of a family living with a memorable child. a lot of people (mothers especially) have told me they get so much out of the story and reread it over and over. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Patti
    I help people heal using something I created called The 12 Body Areas and the Arts. By inspiring people to play with the subtle things of life – rhythm, pattern, colour, shape, texture, tone, the energy in their bodies, their environment and the seasons, together we open a doorway to the divine.

    It has taken me forever to get here. I have been a healer, a teacher, a musician, and artist on and off for years but only now do I understand how they fit together. Finally I know my calling

    Using children’s story books to help someone freely express on the keyboard, helping tough guys find their voice to sing their song to the Blues, painting the taste of a strawberry with children and dancing the colours of the sunset. Mixing the Arts with the senses and watching people find their freedom to express from their hearts and find their voice and power to be themselves – this is my absolute passion.

    Thanks for giving me the chance to share this today. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting post. I think my calling manifested in various related guises at different times in my life: motherhood, foster carer, teacher. Now, also on the cusp of 60, I don’t feel the need for a calling per se: what calls me is serenity and appreciation of time and of the amazing world around me. I still support people – elderly parents, even more elderly ex-mother-in-law, my children – when they need support – but I have no need for the rush and bustle of a busy modern life. My passion is my family – and myself, my partner, and life as it reveals itself. And writing! After so many years of not having time, it’s a joy to be able to write!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks for this, Patti! I shared this with my son who is twenty and still trying to figure it all out. Wish I had had this advice at that age!

    Best! Michelle

    *Michelle Cox* *Author of the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series * *Web:* Michellecoxwrite (dot) com | *Tweet:* @michellecox33 |* FB: *Michelle Cox Writes

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry, not trying to put anyone down, but honestly, I must say I am fed up with the whole movement fixated on “purpose” it seems to me so self centered, as if its all about us.
    While I’m on a roll, whatever happened to laying down your life, ‘like the ones who loved not their own lives unto death.’ ‘Take up your cross and follow’ etc.

    I know from experience, if God wants to move us, he is well able to lead and guide us where he wants us to go. Sometimes it might be where we love to be, and other times, like Jonah, we might get spewed up on the beach.

    In the meantime, instead of looking for some mystical happy ‘purpose’ place in the future, as disciples of Jesus, it is no shame to be content living our daily lives to the best of our ability, trusting God, standing in faith on his word while overcoming the challenges we all face, and looking out for opportunities to be a blessing wherever we can in our circle of life.

    I feel, it is so important, to not to miss out on appreciating and enjoying every God given minute of this very short journey ‘life’ we are on, as some have chasing ‘purpose’.

    I also believe, whether we end up doing extraordinary things for God with great talents or live more ordinary, quieter lives of faithfulness in our homes and communities we will all be equal, when hearing Jesus say, ‘well done good and faithful servant.’
    God bless, Coral,
    Sorry to be so wordy. 🙂

    Like

    • We are all welcome to speak our opinions. And in my opinion, my God does think that purpose is important. And my God does believe in my happiness. My belief system is obviously different than yours – but I think that finding purpose and happiness is of the utmost importance in this lifetime! Thanks for taking the time to voice your opinion though.

      Like

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