Part of what we know about purpose is that it is having an intention to achieve a goal that is both personally meaningful and makes a positive mark on the world. These can be goals like launching an organization, researching a disease, or teaching kids to read, or volunteering with an organization whose mission resonates with you.
There is an important distinction in that sentence above. Purpose can be something long term, with a huge impact on the world. It can also be captured in PURPOSE MOMENTS, like teaching a child to read or volunteering with an organization. Purpose moments can be a hand-written note to someone that lets them know you appreciate them. Purpose moments can be thanking the clerk at the grocery store, the hospital worker or any other essential worker. Any of these could be personally meaningful and leave a positive mark.
There is a beautiful poem about Success by Ralph Waldo Emerson that my Dad carried in his wallet. You could replace the word Success with Purpose and get to the same place. I hope you enjoy.
What is Success?
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate the beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!”
What have been some of your Purpose Moments over the past couple of weeks?
6 thoughts on “Purpose Moments”
Beautiful! Thank you.
so, so true, and without this purpose we flounder… thanks Wendy
So…dropping my plans for the day was a purpose moment for me. A friend who is learning to navigate life alone was trying to figure out her health insurance. I connected her to a person who is a friend of mine who works for the Independent Living Center. Together we were able to reach out to her insurance company. In the future, my friend at ILC will get copies of everything my other friend receives and be able to assist her. I was there to listen and support her. Afterwards, I clipped some Cedar and Spruce to make some wreaths. But plans again changed as another friend needed me to drive her to her Dr. So off I went! She was in a lot of pain and very pale due to a kidney stone. I accomplished nothing I had planned but I lived up to my mission to be present for others in need!
Judy, this is a beautiful example of Purpose Moments. Don’t forget yourself also. I hope you get to make that wreath.
I really love that definition and used to have it posted where I would read it often. I had missed it. Thanks for sharing it. I suppose my purpose moments have been to cheer another, or make them smile, or lift them up in a simple way of a greeting, feedback, or compliment. Knowing that I am fulfilling my purpose to bring light to others in these ways is reassuring to me that I am making a difference in these little things that can be big things to another.
Josephine, I love this definition also. Love that you know you are fulfilling your purpose by bringing light to others.