If you’ve been at all tuned in to book trends in the last 15 years, you have heard of (if not read) The Purpose Driven Life. Having sold more than 60 million copies, it landed on nightstands, tabletops, and in the hands of a greatly diverse population throughout the world.
The success of this publication was completely unpredicted by the reviewers, booksellers, and industry at large. What they didn’t understand is that there is within every one of us a desire to find our purpose.
The Innate Desire to Have a Purpose
Who really wants to live this life simply performing the tasks before us? Each day feeling like the last, with the alarm ringing to interrupt the only peaceful time in many of our days, we start again. We shut off that nuisance of a sound, often after multiple snooze hits, to roll out of bed and begin our routine. Our morning lists are diverse and may include nudging the spouse in bed to make sure he gets in the shower when you’re out, or several attempts at waking the children.
We shove food in mouths so no one leaves without breakfast, often forgetting to grab something for ourselves before heading out to the pay-our-bills job. We might load the kids in the car or herd them to the bus stop before coming back to the mess left behind. We might be the only breadwinner in the household, hoping the next pay raise will actually cover all the bills, and then arrive home to find a mess at the end of the day. Whether we are single, married, with or without children, our daily grind can seem without purpose. Simply a grind. When we get a minute to breathe, we just might wonder what it’s all for and whether or not we are making a difference in life.
Finding Purpose in the Beauty of the Every Day
Do I have a purpose?
The answer is a resounding yes! You absolutely do. A good portion of that purpose is probably exactly what you are doing. Part of finding your purpose is recognizing the significance of your every day.
The job you have serves to provide you with what you need to live, but it can also be something that fills a part of your life’s purpose. Are you in a job suited to your talents and abilities? If not, spend some time discovering and developing those to one day gain a position that is. Each of us is unique in our talents and there are needs that only we can fill in the job market.
We spend an enormous amount of our life in the workplace where we have co-workers we are sharing life with. Do we invest in them? Encourage them? Support them? There is a great and often surprising purpose in those relationships.
If you are raising children, you are molding the future. You are not just feeding the future, grounding it from electronics, or buying future clothes every six months because their pants are two inches too short—you are shaping it. The children in your home will determine what the world looks like 30 years from now. This statement is not to create terror in every mother’s heart. The future will not be perfect, neither is the mom. My goal is to provide hope, especially for the hard days. Your investment in that demanding two-year-old, the math-confused elementary age child, or the angry 13-year-old has purpose. Your time, energy, and commitment matter more than you know.
Purpose is Fluid, Seasonal
This thing we call purpose is seasonal too. You may be single, married, or alone again, there is purpose to be found even in your heartbreaks. Motherhood changes with every age and season of your child’s life—in all, purpose will be found. Jobs change, we relocate from city to city, friends enter and sometimes leave, and in each season there is purpose.
Not only is purpose found in our every day, but we can also discover purposes outside of our lives. We read of destruction around the world; how can we help? Are their organizations we can join or support who are meeting that need? Our local community has needs: food banks, homeless shelters, foster children needing a place to lay their heads, homes for domestic violence victims. What do they need from us? Can we volunteer, can we provide resources? Do you have a friend with an autistic child who could use a hand? Do you love someone going through a divorce or suffering from cancer? Is there a helping hand we can lend? A night of childcare? A meal to be prepared?
Instead of hitting that snooze button with a huge sigh of here we go again, may we instead say, “Today my life has purpose.” I am nudging that spouse, fixing that breakfast, and hitting the door for my job because what I am doing really matters. Each day of my life has purpose. I will wring the life out of that purpose and I will add to it to help others. I will discover every talent within me to make the most of every opportunity, knowing that my life matters. I am here to make a difference in this world. That I will do, and I will do it well.
For more articles encouraging a strong sense of purpose, check out:
6 Ways to Focus on Self-Growth as a Woman
10 Behaviors Found in the Inspired Woman
Why It’s So Important to Have a Mentor and to Be One Too
7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Now
Your Identity Is Not What You Do, but Who You Are
Why Now Is the Time You Should Rethink Your “Purpose”
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You’ll enjoy this podcast episode from This Grit and Grace Life: 5 Things a Woman Must Do for Success in Life – 040!