“There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honour your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.” (Oprah Winfrey)
Do you ever have the feeling that you somehow missed the bit of the instruction manual that told how to have a great life? Do you feel like there is another whole dimension to living that you can’t quite access? Do you feel as if the party is happening somewhere else and you didn’t get the invite?
It could be that what you are missing is a sense of purpose, a guiding passion in your life that can release abilities and energies that right now you can only dream of.
When you watch someone who is utterly in tune with what they were born to do, it is incredibly uplifting. Think of the last time you heard a talented musician, or watched an athlete winning a gold medal, or cheered on a legendary rugby try, or saw a piece of art so beautiful it moved you to tears.
Did you get that sort of goosebumpy, exhilarated feeling that left you glowing for hours afterwards? You know the one I mean. Witnessing someone “in the zone” or “on song” or “in flow” leaves you feeling, at least for a while, that the world is a better place.
I remember getting those goosebumps, but not believing for a moment that I could find my own special talent, or life purpose. Those who had seemed especially privileged, the lucky ones – and I was one of the not-so-lucky ones doomed to a life of pleasant mediocrity.
Now I believe differently.
Let’s explode a few myths here:
1. If, as I did, you believe that life purposes are something that happens to other people, get over it. I believe that anyone can find their life purpose – if they want to.
2. There isn’t just one life purpose per person. There may be many alternative routes you can take to the top of the mountain, and at different times of your life you may want to pursue different paths. Having a life purpose may not be a once-and-for-all kind of deal.
3. But it’s not easy. It won’t necessarily come and find you. You may have to go and look for it. And it may not show up exactly when you expect, or look like you thought it would. But you’ll know it when you see it, if you trust your instincts.
Over the coming weeks and months I’ll be writing a lot more about this – how to go about finding your life purpose, the rewards it will bring, and how to cope when life pulls you off your compass bearing. I’m convinced that it’s the best, if not only, way to find happiness – and it costs a lot less than a pair of Jimmy Choos!