If you were to take a minute to think about all of the women you know, picturing their various faces, personalities, jobs, and families, then it would become immediately clear: each woman is created to add a specific type of beauty to this earth. Each and every one different, all with a purpose, both shared and unique.
Our daily roles and functions often come simple to us. We work jobs to provide. We practice self-care. We use our voices to encourage, to mother, to direct, to teach. Yet when we ponder our whole life’s purpose, it’s complex. We each have interests and hobbies that we are enthusiastic about. Unfortunately, our jobs may only highlight a small fraction of us living into our passions (if at all).
Some of us are fearful to step out and chase what seems unreachable. Some of us are go-getters, always making progress toward our long- and short-term goals no matter what our right-now looks like (we need you!). A lot of us can’t change our jobs or roles too much for the sake of our families and finances.
We often live within the tension of pursuing our dreams and being content. Can we dream big dreams and still live fully present? Can we press on toward our goals and still pour our best selves into our current reality? Can we find contentment without being complacent? Can we be dreamers who aren’t weighed down by our day-to-day routines?
We must look at our great, big general purpose and let our decisions, both big and small, flow from it. When we can see that we were created to add value, talent, love, and most definitely grit and grace to the little spec of the world we’ve been placed in, with all that we do, our job titles become less defining and constricting. Why? Because we’re living on purpose.
I enjoy my job right now, but it’s certainly not my ultimate dream. There are times when I feel stuck or think that my dream is just that: thoughts in my head that will never come to be. When I become frustrated with routine and monotony, it only plays into complacency. I start to believe that I’ll be the same forever and everyone will move on without me…having greater impact…doing more meaningful things…so I might as well not make any changes. However, when I begin to make decisions that reflect my greater purpose from eight to five, then I become more grateful for the job that I have. I am thankful that it provides for me, and I begin to trust that this is just one step that will bring me closer to my ultimate goal…and the next step will be made clear in perfect timing. I brainstorm, write out my hopes and fears, and await timely opportunity to pave even just a brick of the path forward.
One of the most valuable tools to help us find our greater and deeper purpose is surrounding ourselves with different kinds of strong women. By doing so we glean wisdom, are spurred on, and live well no matter where we are in life. I am an all-practical lady, never dreaming too big because it may make me lose sight of my comfort. Complacency comes naturally. I’m not one to “rock the boat”—even for my own growth. My best friend is the exact opposite. She keeps me dreaming and encourages me in any idea I have from an outfit choice to a life dream of possibly running a business. She is creative and lives into her purpose in all things; it radiates from her. I need her, and I’d like to think she needs me to keep her grounded at times. The variety of women in our lives (including authors and speakers we don’t actually know!) can shape us in the very best way as we appreciate and learn from their differences and share in their experiences.
For the woman who desires to live on purpose (no matter your stage in life), Lara Casey’s Make It Happen is a must read. She personally and effectively shares her story of using her passions to achieve her goals while knowing where she needed to simplify and slow down to be more intentional in her current day-to-day. She gives practical tools for chasing dreams and being present with our loved ones.
I love when she says, “But don’t let your unhappiness make you ungrateful or resentful…let it help you dig deeper and find lasting contentment. It’s okay to be restless…but don’t allow it to stop you from living right now.” Gosh, don’t we need to remember that for all the times we’ve tried to calculate life in its fullness? We drive ourselves mad with the details we can’t plan. We become frustrated and shut down when our attempts fail. No matter where we find ourselves on the path toward our dreams, let us be thankful and recognize we still have purpose—even now—and trust that each next step will be right in front of us at the right time.
I brainstorm, write out my hopes and fears, and await timely opportunity to pave even just a brick of the path forward.
For the woman who feels stuck or complacent, for the lady who’s on her way to meeting a goal but unsure of her next step, for the girl who can’t tell if her good ideas should develop into something bigger, for everyone who sees their dreams clearly and struggles with patience, and for the women who are searching for purpose but don’t know where to begin, hear this:
“It’s okay to not know right now… I have a couple questions I need to answer–largely questions about work & time & what to do next & what to carry & what to put down. And I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to KNOW. But I just don’t… but here’s what I’m holding onto right now: It’s okay to not know right this second. It’s okay to live—and even live well—in the uncertain in-between…because when it comes down to it, most of our lives are lived in the in-between. So here’s to trusting we’ll know later, sometime down the road. Here’s to living with honesty & kindness & bravery & faith in the in-between. Here’s to not knowing right this second, and letting that be absolutely okay.” (Shauna Niequist via Instagram)
You’ll also like Just Because She’s Pretty, Doesn’t Mean You’re Not, How to Get Honest About Your Dreams and Thrive!, Take It Easy – On Yourself, Don’t Let Your Failures Become Flounders, and Do High School Girls Want to Be Sophisticated Ladies?