|I don’t know about you, but my email was bombarded with suggestions about how to gain clarity this year and what to do to “unclutter” and find peace. So as I thought about this newsletter to start the year, what became clear for me was that I did not want to write about how to unclutter or which new app I could buy to find peace, but instead I wanted to hone in on my purpose for this year. That sounds grandiose and overwhelming as I write it, but with so much “stuff” out there, so much information and so many paths that I could take, I need to narrow my focus and check in with what really resonates for me.
Buddha has been quoted as saying:
Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.
And this has been adapted and misquoted as:
Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.
I don’t think there would be many people who disagree that finding one’s purpose is essential in one’s life. And I think finding purpose in my mid to later life is much different than when I was younger. In youth, there was a sense of spaciousness, a sense that I could trial different pathways and see what I liked, what made me feel alive. These days, there is much less time to waste. I’m 61 and feel a bit more urgency (still young enough … but don’t want to waste the time I do have). As Bonnie Raitt so succinctly puts it:
Life gets mighty precious
When there’s less of it to waste
It’s not just that having a sense of purpose adds to one’s well being, although research shows that that is true. It’s more than that. Having a sense of purpose improves health, fulfilment, and can even help you live longer. In a nutshell, finding your sense of purpose has the potential to change everything!
How do we even start? Is there a signpost or light to follow?
Here is one interesting take on Purpose and how to find it.
The founders of ConsciousED’s best advice is to follow your heart:
The best advice I’ve ever gotten in my life is to follow my heart. I think of it like, there’s a guiding compass inside of me that always knows which direction to go. An inner voice that knows what’s right. I just need to tune into it and trust it.
I agree, that is great advice . . . but how exactly do we do that? Research suggests three key elements:
- Cultivate Awe and Gratitude
If you want to read more about these suggestions and how to implement them, you can read more about it in my recent article on Thrive Global – Choosing to be the mountain, not the grain of sand. And if you want to watch a powerful interview between Oprah and Eckhart Tolle about purpose, check out my recent Blog Post.