Yes, it is that simple.
Some of you might think that sounds vague and wonder; what does that mean? Simply put, it means make a difference in what you do. Choose to be positive instead of negative. We all have to decide individually what is the best way for us to live purposefully, and hardly any direction is wrong.
Indeed it does take all types to make the world a whole.
Here, in this life, at this time, it (LIFE) is about helping other people through their experiences and learning the lessons we have chosen for ourselves. Some of you might think you ‘can’t do that’. You are under-employed, unemployed, over-employed, sick, barely able to ‘help’ yourself – too busy, too tired, too distracted – you think.
I say, it doesn’t have to be difficult! I ask you; have you not ever had a bad day and been cheered by the kindness of a stranger? Have you not had your whole day ‘made’ by the act of someone random and unexpected? I am sure the answer is yes, if you think long enough. Didn’t it give you ‘hope for humanity’? Didn’t it make you smile from deep within – enough to ‘clear your clouds’?
You can spread that hope and happiness daily, if you choose.
Living a life of purpose can be that simple. Waking up and deciding to make the best of your day. Choosing to spread joy as opposed to frustration and negativity.
It can also be as complicated as you like, this ‘life of purpose’. Perhaps you are being called to alter your path altogether. Perhaps you have had a terrible past and now feel it is time to share, to help inspire others to bring about their own change. Maybe you want to guide others. But know that you don’t have to alter your own life in order to alter the lives of others.
Even I have had the course of my day changed positively by a simple act of kindness from a stranger, and at least once I have had my act of kindness come directly back to me, magnified, much later – from the same stranger.
Years ago, when my daughter – and I – were very young, we were on a commute through Ontario, Canada on the Go Train. At the station I noticed a young, teenage girl crying on the pay phone. I was waiting for the train and in direct line to listen a bit, so I did.
What I heard was that she was stranded, fleeing a very bad situation and trying to get to someones home who didn’t appear to be entirely supportive. I was broke myself, but knew I had an extra $20, so without saying a word, I walked up to her and gave her the money. I didn’t wait for her response, I just smiled and nodded (yes, take it) and walked away.
“Oh my God, you just saved me! You don’t even know – thank you so much!”
Back turned and already walking away, I raised my arm in a ‘no problem’ response and yelled a ‘yep!’. She dried her tears, and headed straight to the kiosk to buy her ticket. I felt pretty good for the rest of the day, high on philanthropism, hoping the girl got where she needed to be – and had a snack along the way.
About five years later, I was at a job interview for counselling and advocacy type work at a homeless shelter. While I sat through my gruelling interview, a knock came to the glass of the intake office we were using. I turned my head along with the Supervisor to see ‘the girl’.
Turns out, she was working there as a college student. She immediately told her boss our story and how that day, I changed her life. That one act made her feel positive enough that she decided to throw away her previous suicide consideration, and once she got settled, she knew she wanted to be a Social Worker so she could help people every day as that one stranger (me!) had helped her years ago.
Yes, I got the job, on the spot – from her glowing recommendation. And so did she, when she was finished her schooling. I would imagine she is still helping people, keeping youth off of the streets, telling our story, giving hope. Just one simple act started a snowball of incredible events.
So, a life of purpose – not so difficult, right? Why not give it a try?