Our purpose is our reason for doing things. I think some people get confused about the concept because they think one’s purpose is on a grand scale when for almost everyone it’s not; but it doesn’t mean our purposes aren’t extremely important and rewarding.
Take parenting for example. An effective parent first and foremost must make sure they’re healthy so they can fulfill their purpose of taking care of the mental and physical wellbeing of their children. What’s a parent’s primary reason for working? Parents have to work in order to take care of their children. If it’s a job they enjoy then great but it isn’t always the case. I’m not sure my dad ever had a job that was personally fulfilling but he worked to take care of my three siblings and me. Hopefully he took pride in accomplishing this purpose; I was sure thankful and proud of him.
Although some people might not consider being a parent to be on the grand scale of having a purpose but I think it’s critical because good parents are contributing to the wellbeing of the future of our country even though they may not see it or feel the importance of it that way. When I see someone who’s a parent I’m in awe; I’m way more impressed by this than what occupation he or she might be in.
For most people, their purpose for working isn’t to fulfill a passion they might have. I know a lot of people who are frustrated because they don’t seem to have a passion for anything in particular. I enjoyed my work over the years as I went from one job to the next but it wasn’t until I was 36 that I stumbled into work that I was passionate about and it was marketing analytics.
I found that I loved studying demographics and figuring out how well products would sell in areas around the country. I’d calculate how much product would sell in various stores when it was on display and had a particular price point so that retailers knew how much product to buy. I figured out the best places to put products on the shelf. I used a variety of unique marketing software programs and I became extremely good at using Excel because of all the databases I used and I became a master at Power Point because I was constantly giving presentations.
Some people would say that I found my purpose but I don’t know if this is true. I really enjoyed my work but even with this, at the end of the day no matter how much someone enjoys their work, there’s good days and bad; that’s just how life works. You might not like your job but let’s face it, you do have some good days. If you want to know my purpose for doing the job, it was to get a paycheck so I could take care of my family. The fact is, I loved my job but I wouldn’t do it for free.
I guess that what I’m getting at is don’t get down on yourself for not feeling like you’ve figured out what you consider to be a grand sense of purpose for your life. Your true purpose is quickly found in why you get up in the morning. Do you have to get your kids ready for school? Do you have to get dressed and go to work to earn a paycheck? Do you have to get up to go visit your mother who lives in a nursing home? These are all very important purposes in my book.
We have many purposes for living and in one way or another it’s to serve other people; so let’s set a goal to do it well. We can have a purpose of lifting other people’s spirits versus bringing them down. We can make people laugh and smile. To me, making other people’s lives more enjoyable is a fantastic purpose. The great news is, it’s very doable and not out of reach. Doesn’t helping other people have better lives also make our lives better as well? This is called a win-win.