Last week I blogged about our beloved Pop-Pop who has recently suffered a heart attack. I am happy to report Pop-Pop is doing much better. He really is the miracle man. In my last blog I talked about what a good connector Pop-Pop is, how he reaches out to people and stays in touch and how we would all benefit from following his example. Actually, Pop-Pop is an incredible role model for many reasons.
As I mentioned before, Pop-Pop had to be revived three times when he had his heart attack. That means he actually died and came back three times! Afterwards the doctors had to put him in a forced coma for several days to protect his brain. I guess all that rest gave Pop-Pop a chance to think because when he finally gained consciousness one of the first things he said was “You know, I think I came back for a reason. There must be something more I need to do. I’m not sure what it is yet, but I feel like I have something left to accomplish.” WOW! This is a 93 year old man who has traveled the world, met thousands of people, had a career and has had a wonderful family who cherishes him. Yet, there is still a sense that he has more do to, more to give. He still has a purpose. Pop-Pop is not yet clear what his mission at this point will be, but that’s ok, we’ll cut him some slack since he’s just come out of a coma and all.
I feel we are all here for a purpose. Our job is to figure out what that purpose is. We all come into the world with certain gifts and abilities. Living a life of purpose means using what we are given so that we can be of the best service to others. Our job is to identify, cultivate and optimize those gifts so that we can contribute. The result of contributing your unique gifts is that you start to feel significant. And there are few things as satisfying as knowing you have lived a life of significance, that you matter, that you’ve made a difference by participating fully in this world.
When you start to lead a life of purpose, really cool things start to happen. Not only to you get the joy that comes from helping others, but great things start coming your way as well. In her book, The Compass of the Soul, Lynn Robinson says, “When you know your life purpose, you tap into a source of power that enables you to achieve your goals more easily and effectively. As your purpose in life evolves, you’ll find yourself with more clarity, energy and abundance.” I can personally attest to that. When I discovered personal branding and started helping other people grow their businesses, it felt like a huge power switch had been turned on inside of me. I started feeling very focused and had way more energy. Now I can’t wait to wake up in the morning to see what the new day will bring. And everyday I am drawing more wonderful people and events into my life just by doing things I already love.
You may feel that finding your life purpose is this mystical, grandiose thing that only some people achieve, but that’s not true. Anyone can find their purpose. Although it does takes some work, it is not something that is out of reach for anyone. Your purpose is you. It is wrapped up in all the things that make you unique. It is not a mystical mystery,it is a process of discovery. Here are a few questions to think about to help you get started:
1. What or who do I care about?
2. What unique gifts or skills do I have?
3. How can I use my talents and experiences to touch, change, help or improve those things about which I care most deeply?
When you really reflect on those questions you will start to get your answers. Sometimes the answers come in a flash, but more often they simmer up to your awareness like slow boil. Things percolate inside you and then bubble up to the surface until one day you feel like you are really cooking. When your purpose starts to reveal itself to you, it will feel like a big “yes.” Remember the “Warmer-Colder” game you played as a kid? We did it with finding our Easter baskets as kids. If one of us spied the other’s basket we would give clues by saying “warmer” if our sib got closer to the basket or “colder” if they moved further away. When you are moving toward your purpose you will have a warmer feeling, it will feel right and good. When you move away, it will feel cooler. You have a natural, internal tracking system to help you.
You don’t have to have a near death experience to discover your purpose. You can wake up from your own personal coma right now and start living a life of significance. You just have to start paying attention to and using your unique gifts. As for Pop-Pop we are all so very grateful he is still with us. He is a bright shiny light to all who know him. I can’t wait to see what he does next!