We’ve heard it said that no one on their deathbed laments about not spending more time at work or similar endeavors. So what do we regret when the reality of life’s end comes our way? More important, how can we try to prevent having such a regret.
A key question to ask yourself is: Who am I? Not an easy one to answer. Most folks see their identity precisely related to the relationships they are involved in and their work responsibilities. For example, my roles in life are daughter, sister, wife, mother, nana, friend, psychologist, and business owner, among other things. So who am I? We are all and none of the roles we portray, but these roles are not our essential selves. The day we were born we already have our identity…..it came scripted on our soul. Kids are often closer to knowing their real selves. Having more recently come to this existence, kids are closer to the universal source. This world has not yet imprinted multiple confusing roles on them. Watch kids play and you’ll see them act out their genuine, pure selves. Some of us are natural athletes. Others are born artists or musicians. Certain kids really “get” human connections. Many understand our tie to the animal kingdom or nature in general. A clue to who you are at your core is revealed when you are spontaneously happy, content or excited about something. Pay attention to favorite activities, places, accomplishments, natural talents, or unexpected moments of satisfaction. These all point to what is essentially YOU. If you don’t yet know the answer, start paying closer attention to your own reactions to the world and life circumstances. You will figure it out!
The next question you may pose is: what is my purpose? Our existence here is not without meaning. We are destined to learn about life and do something while we are between this birth and death. Your purpose is closely related to the first question of, who am I? Your purpose may change as you travel life’s path. Your choices may give direction to your purpose. You will know when you are not living your purpose because things will not go well or feel right! Often life may demand that you repurpose because of circumstances beyond your control. Living your purpose can often be challenging or downright difficult. At the same time, you will sense that you are on the right track. Using your natural gifts and checking with your higher self (the soul within) will be critical in carrying out the intention of your life.
Our third and most important challenge is finding a way to actually live our purpose. Daily obligations create pressures and often feel like barriers to our goals. Finding a way to infuse our purpose into mundane tasks may be a key. Mindfulness, the art of being in the moment, is perhaps a way to make ordinary things special. Small human kindnesses don’t take all that much extra time. Sharing our gifts is an expectation the universe places on all of us. Life is a gift and living our purpose is an art. Today is really all we have. Accepting our own mortality is a huge piece of growing up. Once we realize the brevity of our existence, the importance of our creative use of this day becomes a reality. How can I live gracefully and with meaning? What may I do to make a difference in a world that has so many needs and so much pain? Asking yourself these questions will help you find a way to live your purpose.