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Back at the beginning of the year I wrote about finding the meaning: I realized that while I may be productive, I may not always have purpose.
And, I think that’s an important distinction. Because if we don’t have purpose, how can we know that we’re doing the right things. That all our busyness has context and meaning. Not just to ourselves, but to those around us.
As I pondered the distinction, I worried that we often feel that purpose only comes with grand gestures, when really it doesn’t.
It comes with doing something, anything, that has an impact.
I’m currently reading an excellent book, The Power of Meaning – crafting a life that matters by Emily Esfahani Smith. In her chapter on purpose she writes
Purpose sounds big – ending world hunger big or eliminating nuclear weapons big. But it doesn’t have to be. You can also find purpose in being a good parent to your children, creating a more cheerful environment at your office, or making a giraffe’s life more pleasant.
It is also something that goes beyond the immediate, mundane tasks of life and leads us towards finding meaning. Which in turn makes our lives more satisfying.
I will admit to feeling rather purposeless at the moment. But, I think perhaps I am falling into the grand gestures trap again. I need to refocus. To edit the narrative of my life (her chapter on Storytelling is wonderful!); to create a positive version of the now and define a future path.
That future path may simply be to be the best parent I can be, to allow myself the luxury of knowing that can be enough.
And so I begin, it’s time. To stop talking and start doing.
The next prompt will be the last. For awhile at least. It’s time to try some new things.
It’s time to find my purpose.
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