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What is your purpose?

Monday, January 9th, 2012

by_the_side_of_the_path

Quite often during 2011, I received requests in my inbox with offers for guest posts and links to other sites and writer’s material.   I usually go and check out their requested site and try to understand the topic and style to assess whether or not it will fit with what Patricias Wisdom is trying to do.   I like to give a hand up whenever I can and call attention to some new efforts and endeavors.

Kirstin Offiler is one of those folks who sent me an email.   I went to her site and found some very good writing and interesting material that was pertinent to the goals here at PW.  It took us some juggling of dates but here we go – I would like to share Kirstin’s guest post with you now.  Hope you will enjoy her offerings:

What is your purpose?

Your purpose is not necessarily what you do for a living, but it’s just as important. We all have a calling in this life, but we don’t always acknowledge it, honor it, and pursue it. Why? Because for some, it feels frivolous to follow a dream when there’s much more practical work to be done, like laundry, work, walking the dog, running errands, spending time with family.

Your calling is your way of serving the greater good of the world. It’s how each of us gets to our core and satisfies our pull towards that which inspires us. And like I said—your job may not be your calling. That’s ok. But here are some ways you can incorporate your purpose into your life.

  1. Define your calling. Doesn’t it seem like some people are born with a pen or paintbrush in their hand? They understand their calling from the get-go and never waver. For others, their calling may be a tiny kernel inside that is acknowledged every so often, but never given the chance to grow. To build your life around what feels most natural and right to you, you first need to define what your calling is. Are you a writer? An advocate for the homeless? A photographer? A knitter? A fantastic listener? Ask yourself what makes you feel most like yourself. When are you the happiest? That’s your calling. That’s what you should aim for in your life.
  2. Take small steps to incorporate it into your life. Your calling is how you leave a mark on the world, no matter how large or small. But begin by doing small-scale things to make your calling more present in your life. If you feel that writing is your path, write for 10 minutes a day until it becomes habit. If you believe you’ll be of best service teaching yoga, tutoring students, photographing weddings, building websites, or whatever—start small and let your purpose organically weave its way into your life. Trying to make drastic changes all at once can lead to burn out or just plain boredom.
  3.  Share your purpose. Tell friends and family what you hope to do with your life. Set goals for where you hope to be with your calling in a year, five years, and ten years and share it. Accountability makes it easier to stay on a path that’s true to our calling. Blog about it. Tell your coworkers. Share it—your purpose is what makes you unique, and it should be shared with the world.

Here are some affirmations you can repeat when it becomes hard to believe in your purpose or calling or when you doubt your own abilities:

  • I feel most like myself when I am doing __________. This is my calling and I honor it.
  • The easy path is ignoring my purpose. The hard path is focusing on my purpose. But the hard path yields happiness, peace, and fulfillment, so I choose that path.
  • My calling in life is how I am most useful to the world. I am of service when I focus on what makes me happiest.
  • It’s not frivolous to focus on my passion. By focusing on what lights me up, I bring more light into the world and will help others do the same.
  • My calling is what comes easiest and most naturally to me. I trust my gut instinct about my purpose in this world.
  • My job or career may be different from my calling, but both are important parts of who I am as a complete person and both deserve my passion and attention.

In short, your calling is that thing you’ve always felt you wanted to do or try. When you’re in your element and you feel like you’re doing exactly what you were made for—that’s your purpose. Tap into it. Live in that space. Share it with others because the world needs what you have to give. Your purpose is your wisdom.

Author bio: Kristin Offiler is a freelance writer in Rhode Island who writes for a site that helps students find the right psychology degree (www.psychologydegreeguide.org).

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